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EghtesadOnline: Iranian startups, with help from tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, have launched a campaign to help restore businesses in provinces affected by severe flooding in March and April.

The move, backed by the organizers of Iran Web and Mobile Festival, is described as social responsibility campaign by IWMF co-founder, Shayan Shalileh.

The 12th round of the festival will be held in February 2020.

In late March and during Norouz (the current year’s Iranian New Year holiday from March 21 to April 2), devastating floods struck the northern and western parts of the country, leaving behind a huge pile of ruined houses, farmlands, schools and urban infrastructure. A large number of people also lost their homes and businesses, according to Financial Tribune.

“Although aid, including food, medicines and clothes, were sent to the people in need both by domestic and foreign donors, still much more needs to be done,” Reza Olfatnasab, Iran E-Commerce Union’s spokesman, said. 

Olfatnasab, who also serves as the executive secretary of IWMF, said, "Our campaign aims to offer a helping hand to people whose businesses and workplaces were damaged by the floods. We hope to help them restart their business and get back on their feet.”

Speaking at a press conference held in Tehran on Monday, Shalileh said they hope to gather 10 billion rials ($82,000) in donations.

“Initially, the campaign activities will be focused on Lorestan Province in western Iran and then move to other afflicted areas,” he added.

Shalileh noted that the move is hoped to propel economic and urban restoration in flood-hit areas and if possible, curb rural to urban migration.

This is not the first time Iranian startups and tech enthusiasts have organized a donation campaign for a social cause.  

During the previous edition of the festival (IWMF 2019) held on February 14-15, a similar move was initiated to help equip a school in Shirabad, in the underdeveloped Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

Tapping into the potential of social media, event organizers report that 430 million rials ($3,500) were collected in donations through a local charitable website 2nate (pronounced "donate" in Persian).



IWMF 2020

Backed by Iran E-Commerce Union and several NGOs, the IWMF aims to promote business prospects for fledgling startups and tech firms, and introduce their activities to the public. 

The upcoming edition of IWMF is to be held in several Iranian cities as provincial editions. 

The event was to be held in four provinces, in addition to Tehran, in its 11th edition. However, the decision was postponed due to preparation and planning issues. 

However, the 12th IWMF will be simultaneously held in Tehran, Isfahan, Fars, East Azarbaijan, Gilan, Khuzestan and Golestan provinces. 

Preparations and registrations have started for the 12th round. App developers and website owners can register through the festival’s website

Based on the festival’s new regulations, three successful websites and mobile applications will be awarded in each host province. Entrepreneurs will also address the gatherings. 

The event's website says, "The festival aims to help active startups gain public trust and social acceptance."

The previous edition of IWMF was attended by close to 1,800 startup and tech companies. Over a dozen panels and workshops were held, covering a variety of subjects from digital marketing methods to state policies and government bureaucracy.

More information on the upcoming festival will be announced on the event's website.


Iran Startups Entrepreneurs Restore Business Flood-Hit Provinces