Baghdad Business School (BBS) held its first graduation ceremony on Saturday, December 4 to celebrate the completion of the program by its pilot class. Graduates, their families and friends, faculty and staff, and guests from the private sector and government, were in attendance.
BBS graduates received a Certificate of Completion to recognize their achievement in completing the one-year program in English, Business, and Professional skills. BBS is an intensive, comprehensive program that teaches skills like English and Accounting, but also critical thinking and analysis and key professional abilities like research, writing and presentation, preparing Iraqi university graduates to work and succeed in the private sector. BBS addresses the skill gap and youth unemployment, generating human capital for the private sector.
Central Bank of Iraq Governor Mustafa Ghalib was the keynote speaker at graduation, and two BBS Business professors, Dr. Yass Alkafaji, and Mr. Ahmed Tabaqchali also made comments on the importance of BBS and high quality education to fuel Iraq’s private sector. Zahraa al Dabbagh was the class speaker due to receiving the highest GPA. She has a BS in Engineering, and is now working as a Commercial Coordinator for a new E-Commerce company. BBS Founder Christine van den Toorn opened the event, recounting the history of BBS and its future plans. Suha Al Najjar, head of the National Investment Commission, and representatives from National Bank of Iraq, Miswag, Careem, Iraq Private Banking League, GE, and multiple other private sector firms were in attendance as well as from the EU. The ceremony was held at KAPITA, a private sector development company that aims to empower startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
BBS’s 17 graduates are now in internships and jobs with a variety of startups, SMEs and firms like Miswag, Alsaree3, Baly, Fedshi, Earthlink, UNDP, Business By Design, Morshed Business Development, Tanweer Energy Solutions, Sagerlabs, Switch, and one was accepted into Orange Corners, the Dutch government sponsored incubator at Kapita.
BBS thanks its donors for their generous support, without which the program and graduation would not have been possible.