Iraqis sit at "The Station", Baghdad's incubator for would-be entrepreneurs,

STUCK between an endless waitlist for a government job and a frail private sector, Iraqi entrepreneurs ate taking on staggering unemployment by establishing their own start-ups.

The first murmurs of this creative spirit were felt in 2015, but the Islamic State group's sweep across a third of the country the following year put many projects on hold.

Now, with IS defeated co-working spaces and incubators are flourishing in a country whose  unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent but whose public sector is too bloated to hire.

Many a self-starters begin their journey at an aptly named glass building in central Baghdad : The Station.

There, they sip on coffee, peruse  floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for ideas and garb a seat at clusters of desks where other stylish Iraqis click away at their Laptops.

''We are trying to create a new generation with a different state of mind,'' said executive director Haidar Hamzoz.

''We want to tell youth that they can start their own project, achieve their dreams and not just be happy in a government job they didn't even want,'' he told AFP.

YOUTH make up around 60 percent of Iraq's nearly  40 million people.

After graduating from university, many spend years waiting to appointed to a job in the government, Iraq's biggest employer.

Four out of five jobs created in Iraq in recent years are in the public sector, according to the World Bank.

And in its 2019 budget, the government proposed a $52 billion in salaries, pensions and social security for its workers - a 15 percent jump from 2018 and -

And more than half the total budget. But with graduates entering the workforce faster than jobs are created, many still wait indefinitely for work.

Among youth, 17 percent of men and a whopping 27 percent of women are unemployed, the World Bank says. [Agencies]

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on Iraq's Students, continues.


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