For the Love of Science

Speeches Shim

Friday, February 5, 2021
Nian and Iman teamed up to develop "Med Guide", an online platform to help other Kurdish students in the medical field succeed.

How two former biology majors teamed up to build a business that helps biology students in Kurdistan succeed.

Iman and Nian are two friends from Sulaymaniyah with Bachelor’s degrees in Biology.

The young graduates recall facing many obstacles while completing their studies, including limited reference materials for lab work available in Kurdish.

For three years after their graduation, Iman and Nian interned with different medical laboratories. While they were grateful for these experiences, they knew that many students in the medical field face many obstacles both during their studies and upon graduation. There are limited reference materials for lab work available in Kurdish, which makes studying challenging. It is also difficult to find internship placements, which is a fundamental first step to starting a career in the medical field in Iraq. 

Iman and Nian wanted to find a way to help their peers advance their careers in the medical field. Together, they decided to use their knowledge and experience to start two complementary projects: Med – Guide, a Facebook page that provides instructional videos for biology students, and a Kurdish medical/scientific dictionary that includes 11,000 English medical and biological terms that Iman and Nian painstakingly translated into Kurdish.

 To make their projects even more accessible, Iman wanted to find a way to create their own website, which would house the entire Med-Guide project, including free online training videos and the medical dictionary for biology students. Though motivated, Iman and Nian struggled to know where to start. 

Iman and Nian heard about the USAID-supported Ignite program through a women’s Facebook group and they decided to sign up. Through the program, they learned how to start up their online business and successfully market it to students. “When we started the Med-Guide project, it was a Facebook page. I did not think that we would ever have our own website.” said Nian, “This program has helped us to plan out everything related to customers’ needs and conduct market analysis. It has been really an eye-opening experience for both of us.'' 

USAID and its partner Five One Labs are working together to support young people to start their own businesses through the Ignite program that provides incubation services and/or support that will accelerate the growth of their businesses.

Last updated: May 10, 2022

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