Scaling up the ICT start-up ecosystem in Iran

Aiming to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem for information and communications technology (ICT) start-ups and scale-ups through international exposure, fostering technology and know-how exchange, UNIDO, together with its national counterparts from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies of Iran, Information Technology Organization and in partnership with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, is taking the next step to implement the UNIDO project “Promoting and upscaling innovative SMEs in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

An ICT ecosystem mapping exercise has revealed that Iran already possesses extensive scientific, technological, financial and highly qualified human capital to boost its small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. However, it is currently not living up to its potential and there is a need to provide a mechanism for establishing linkages with key stakeholders, including access to finance and relevant advisory support. Based on the findings regarding the existing constraints and opportunities, UNIDO has proposed a roadmap that envisages short-, medium- and long-term interventions in both public and private sectors, addressing several problem areas, such as knowledge generation and transfer; access to finance; nurturing of entrepreneurial talent and skills, as well as stimulating interaction and collaboration within the ICT ecosystem.

UNIDO looks forward to further extending support to the government of Iran in its efforts to promote internationalization of ICT-related entrepreneurs through the virtual entrepreneurship hub that will become a major platform for knowledge exchange and support services for ICT startups, as well as facilitating partnerships with domestic and foreign partners and inter-institutional networking.

As part of the initiative aimed at fostering public-private dialogue, UNIDO conducted a two-day workshop for major ICT sector stakeholders, including government entities, entrepreneurs and other key players, to present key findings of the initial phase of the project and the forthcoming action plan, while also providing an opportunity for a thorough exchange on how to reduce the existing  development gaps between science and industry thereby raising Iran’s profile as a knowledge-driven economy.

Read the press release here.

For more information contact Farrukh Alimdjanov (F.Alimdjanov [at]