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Zahra Shah

Zahra Shah is crowdfunding

14%
£2,895
raised of £20,000 target by 52 supporters

Weʼre raising £20,000 to launch Iraq's first Digital Copywriting program

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a new type of fundraising where you can raise funds for your own personal cause, even if you're not a registered nonprofit.

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Story

My goal is to graduate 15 copywriters in Iraq so that they can find employment in one of the most in-demand digital jobs.

I am raising £20,000 to pioneer Iraq’s first Digital Copywriting program, enabling Iraqi youth to acquire a highly sought after skill with the aim of opening up greater opportunities for them in the tech sector, in turn reducing youth unemployment rates

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Why is this important?

Since October 2019, Iraqi youth have been protesting daily because of lack of employment, dated education and widespread corruption. The need for quality education, relevant to the world's digital growth is hugely necessary.

One of the things that have been lost in the decades of conflict and war are the creative and cultural industries. Long forgotten are Iraqi poets, writers, designers, performers, etc. Funding is non-existent for these sectors and most talented creatives leave Iraq to find success abroad.

Words continue to inspire and influence as our generation moves from the printing press revolution towards digital copy. Effective copywriting skills are necessary for the future of businesses to improve their marketing, increase conversions, and conduct international outreach.

Copywriting is an in-demand skill for remote workers and there is huge potential to freelance online with foreign clients. The skills learned in digital copywriting can serve as a base for a career in content management, marketing, journalism and advertising.

I started this mission a year ago by launching the Iraqi Innovators platform. Our content has had over 11000 views and people reach out to me regularly with surprise as they didn't know Iraq had so much to offer.

I was working in Iraq for the past two years to train youth in digital skills and support entrepreneurs to build tech businesses. Having been involved in the non-profit sector and the growth of Iraq's technology and startup sector, i've seen huge growth and opportunities for the people of Iraq. From successful e-commerce startups to thriving software developers and trainers, the support of the non-profit sector has helped push the country forward.

But, there is still a long way to go.

Finding Iraqi copywriters for both English and Arabic is a huge challenge and many local businesses rely on hiring remotely to fill this gap, or spend six months on training.

With the launch of the first Digital Copywriting course in Iraq, graduates will learn key aspects of digital copywriting and can choose to specialise in either English or Arabic. My aim is to have at least 50% women in the program. Read more here.

I request you to join me in using education as a tool for empowering a population recovering from a series of conflicts and supporting Iraqi youth to learn new skills and get jobs! The Iraq war promised change, however, we have failed Iraq and the war has taken more from the Iraqi people than it has given them.

This is the first program of its kind in the country, I'll be piloting it in Baghdad and then expanding it across the country to Najaf, Basrah, Karbala, and Mosul.

Meet our team

What will we teach?

By the end of the program, graduates will be able to:

- Write engaging web headlines, copy, and calls to action

- Write digital content that communicates, persuades and sells more effectively

- Understand the power of online copy and the influence of words

- Ensure that key messages stand out and are immediately understood by the audience

- Develop organisational policies and processes to guarantee consistently excellent digital writing (including tone-of-voice)

- Sell the value of high quality digital copywriting to prospective clients and employers

- Present a high-quality online portfolio of their work in the form of a blog or website

- Manage all stakeholders in the writing process, from photographers to customers.

- Understand the role of SEO and optimise copy for search engines

- Write and structure content for mobile

- Make adjustments and change approaches for different digital media channels

These skills will prepare them for a career in content creation and marketing.

What will the money be used for?

This amount will cover: Staff costs (English copy trainer, Arabic copy trainer, local trainee), training supplies, marketing materials, and transport.

With an initial investment of just £20,000, we will still be relying on partners in Iraq to provide training venues and other high cost course necessities free of charge.

Stretch Goals

We're aiming big to support the growth of the creative industries, whilst also empowering women and entrepreneurs in Najaf. Our focus on Najaf stems from the lack of funding opportunities towards the South of Iraq where entrepreneurs have major FOMO on co-working spaces and incubation programs launching in other major cities.

I hope that you will join me to support Iraqi youth who have been born into a situation that is no fault of their own. For the sake of humanity, let us use education and technology to create a generation of capable and creative people.

Our Partners

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Updates

7

  • Zahra Shah1 month ago
    Zahra Shah

    Zahra Shah

    1 month ago

    Hello supporters Update time! Due to COVID and travel restrictions in Iraq, we're hoping to conduct the program early next year. I'll keep you posted on developments. In the meantime, we're creating a kickass curriculum with the support of international journalists! I also have exciting news! We opened an online store selling uniquely designed items from artists in Iraq. https://iraqtech.io/shop Every purchase pays artists and supports our mission. Please share this on your socials or click here to tweet: https://ctt.ac/B7Tdb Thank you!

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  • Zahra Shah4 months ago
    Zahra Shah

    Zahra Shah

    4 months ago

    To our lovely supporters! I hope you're keeping well! Since my last update, we received over £350 in donations and I wanted to thank you for the support. I wasn't expecting any donations since the pandemic started, so I'm truly grateful. If you'd like more updates on our progress then do join our newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/gwcN-X We're still reporting on tech developments in Iraq. You may find this article interesting about makerspaces in Iraq responding to COVID: https://bit.ly/2LcXdRZ Stay safe and healthy! Zahra

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  • Zahra Shah6 months ago
    Zahra Shah

    Zahra Shah

    6 months ago

    We were able to hit £3,000 before the Coronavirus situation worsened and our donations slowed down. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and it is amazing to see all of the support that is being given to people who have lost jobs, or are vulnerable and/or living alone. I'll be focusing less on promoting the campaign until the situation becomes clearer. If there is any way I can help you during this time, please feel free to reach out.

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8 months ago

Zahra Shah started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 9/13/2020 10.13

Supporters

52

  • Dominic Campbell

    Dominic Campbell

    Sep 13, 2020

    🤜🤛

    £100.00

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Sep 7, 2020

    £50.00

  • Aza Asim

    Aza Asim

    Sep 1, 2020

    Keep up the good work

    £30.00

  • Kurdish House London

    Kurdish House London

    Aug 27, 2020

    Teaching skills and building a brighter tomorrow is amazing work. Looking forward to updates on the programme.

    £30.00

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Aug 9, 2020

  • Aza Asim

    Aza Asim

    Aug 1, 2020

    Keep up the good work

    £30.00

  • Aza Asim

    Aza Asim

    Jul 1, 2020

    Keep up the good work

    £30.00

Zahra Shah

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About the fundraiser
Zahra Shah

Zahra Shah

London

I've been working in startups and emerging markets for over 7 years, with a focus on growing tech ecosystems in conflict-affected areas. I've worked in Iraq, Jordan and Palestine for the last four years.

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