Virtual Signing Ceremony Announcing AUIS & Bell Finance Seminar for Private Sector Development

SILVER SPRING, MD. (June 28, 2021) – Global Communities CEO David Weiss was proud to participate in a virtual signing ceremony launching a new partnership between Global Communities subsidiary Bell Finance and the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. The partnership will deliver an innovative new Private Sector Development Finance Seminar to business students as they work to expand Iraq’s private sector economy. Read more from Bell Finance below.

SULAIMANI, June 13, 2021 – American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) and Bell Finance, LLC are proud to announce a seminar that will support qualifying Business students in developing credit analysis skills and practical experience related to financing for private sector projects. Given the dire need to expand Iraq’s private sector and especially its financial services industry, this course will contribute to training future business analysts who will develop first-hand experience in financial credit analysis.

The seminar will be offered in-person and online to a select group of Business major and minor students at AUIS during the 2021-2022 academic year. Students will participate as part of two competing teams and learn practical skills including drafting projects that would generate employment and economic growth in Iraq as well as prepare business plans and mock loan applications, and conduct credit assessments of each other’s proposals.

Upon completion of the seminar, the teams will present their final projects to a jury of AUIS professors and Bell Finance instructors who will assess the quality of analysis, credit worthiness of each project, and overall performance of the teams.

The team that offers the best performance (identification and analysis of credit issues, creditworthiness of its project as supported by their analysis and participation in class), as decided by the jury, and successfully completes the Seminar, will receive Bell Scholarships awarded by Bell, in the form of tuition credit, internship stipends, or graduate education support, and have their project presented to Iraqi private sector financial institutions or international development institutions active in Iraq with the aim of obtaining financing for the project.

“This is a great co-curricular opportunity for AUIS Business students to supplement their existing course work,” said AUIS Department of Business Chair Dr. Fahrettin Sumer. “This will increase the skills that are sought by employers in the financial sector and we as AUIS would like to thank Bell Finance for offering this opportunity to our students.”

Commenting on the new agreement, Bell Finance General Manager Jorge R Vila said, “There is a tremendous need for project finance and credit analysis skills in Iraq and Bell Finance is working through its partnership with AUIS to develop these skills in future business analysts.” He continued, “We are very grateful to AUIS for giving us this opportunity to contribute to developing these skills. Given the outstanding talent of AUIS students, as seen in our previous Development Finance Seminar in 2017, and the extraordinary commitment of the AUIS faculty and colleagues, this new seminar is guaranteed to be a success.”

This press release was originally published on the AUIS website. 

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American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is the first non-governmental, not-for-profit, American-style university in Iraq. Founded in 2007 and operated for the public benefit, it is also the first non-governmental university in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to be accredited by both the federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The only certified member in Iraq of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU), the University welcomes students from diverse communities throughout Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. For more information, visit www.auis.edu.krd. To learn more about how to support the education of Iraq’s future leaders, contact AUIS VP Advancement Liza O’Connor-Stroud at liza.oconnor@auis.edu.krd.

Bell Finance LLC was created in the US State of Delaware in July 2019 to build upon the Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation’s lending and educational activities in Iraq since 2005 (www.immdf.org). Funded by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (www.dfc.org), formerly OPIC, IMMDF disbursed 3 to 5-year loans to 53 private sector agricultural, manufacturing and industrial companies, in a total amount near US$ 80 million to finance projects that generated employment and economic growth in Iraq. IMMDF also offered a 3 to 5-month Internship Program to give Business Management students at Iraqi, European and US universities work experience on credit assessment and loan monitoring.

Bell plans to continue IMMDF’s lending activities by co-financing with Iraqi banks qualifying projects that generate employment and economic growth, as well as adopt food security standards, in Iraq. In addition, Bell plans to continue, and to expand, IMMDF’s educational activities in Iraq.

Region: Middle East, Iraq
Area of expertise: Financial Inclusion