Program for Women

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Core Program Management Process

Afghanistan Economic Facts

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Women in Afghanistan have faced immense obstacles throughout 23 years of war.  They have been subject to systematic discrimination and abuse of rights, as in education, especially during the Taliban regime.  The Afghan Small Business Development Institute's, Program for Women - "Afghan Women In Business", is designed to specifically target Afghan women's development in education, business, commerce and trade.  The intent is to aggressively pursue women's participation in Afghanistan's economy and to provide women with quick impact, self-sustaining means to enhance their lives.

Micro Lending
& Credit
Business Incubation Model Income Generating Training &
for Rights


Program Measures of Success

Women's Program Features

  • The women's program is focused primarily at a particular sub-set of people who are in need of assistance and support.  These include: (1) women who are widows, (2) women who are poor, and (3) women who are in need of assistance because they lack a wage earner in their homes.

  • The women's program sets aside a minimum of 50% of total program funds targeted specifically to women's education and business development.  Based on program capacity and demand for services, our actual program funding levels may vary.

  • 50% of total solicitation efforts is targeted to women within their communities.  Due to cultural reasons and access to information, women will generally not approach us directly for support, therefore, we seek them out and identify qualified individuals or groups who can effectively benefit from our program and contribute to their families as well as their communities.


We use the Grameen Bank micro-lending model developed to bring badly needed credit directly to the most vulnerable people (the poor and women) in rural communities.

Loan amounts are as low as $50 with average loans of $100 and maximum amount of $500.  The loans are for 1-year, paid on a weekly basis at 2% installments.

Cooperatives of five (5) or more individuals have a greater chance of receiving credit and are, therefore, highly encouraged, (1) to increase cooperation and networking, and (2) to create self-sustaining checks and balances within the cooperative.

Small Business Financing

For more advanced business concepts with proven track records, based on sound business plans and clearly defined markets, customers, management expertise, and financial plans, we provide incremental financing for facilities, equipment, supplies and expenses through an established investors pool to help the business get established and grow.

Formal business plans must be presented either in written or oral form that encompasses all the necessary components of: (a) understanding the market and customers, (b) understanding the competitive forces, (c) realistic sales and revenue projections, and (d) capable operational staff.

Business Incubation

We utilize Business Incubators (PDF) to assist women with education and development of their business concepts.  A business incubation model is used to increase the likelihood of success - generally 85% of businesses developed through an incubation program succeed.  The business incubator provides:

  • Shared Facilities,

  • Shared Resources,

  • Access to Business Expertise during day-to-day operations.

Income Generating Outreach Program

We make an effort to help needy Afghan women to support themselves through the delivery of vocational training programs away from the business districts, in remote locations.

Training is provided through independent contractors in such things as bead knitting, tailoring, embroidery, doll making, basket weaving, cooking, rug weaving, etc.

The long-term objective of our training, skills development and outreach effort is to develop cooperatives that allow these women to operate businesses.

Trade Channels Development

Trade is an important economic development tool (PDF) for alleviating poverty and assisting the economy, for example: new markets are developed for people to sell and buy products; government benefits from duty tax revenues; and the economy is more globally linked lessening its vulnerability to shortages and internal shocks.

We assist businesses that have import / export potential or existing products and services with education, advice, quality specifications / requirements to establish successful contractual seller / buyer relationships in (a) the United States of America, (b) Europe, and (c) East Asia, to transport and deliver goods and services.  Our courses include:

  • Marketing planning - niche, matchmaking, finding a buyer

  • Supply chain management

  • Negotiations, agreements and contract management

  • Pricing, collections and currency exchange

  • Regulations, customs clearance, duties and tax

  • Risk management, law and insurance

  • Transportation  and logistics

  • Packaging and labeling

  • Doing business in [USA, Europe, Asia, ...]

  • Relationship management

  • Etceteras�

Partnerships with Women's Advocate Groups

Partnerships are established with women's advocate groups to provide training in health-care, teaching, human rights, and leadership.

Motivational Speakers and Role Models

Notable women, successful in business, are brought in to share their perspectives for success and to help increase the program participants' self-confidence.

Program Measures of Success

The "Afghan Women In Business" program's plan of operations has goals of achieving the following success measures:

  • 50% of all program participants are women

  • 50% of all program teachers and trainers are women

  • 50% of all program funds are used to support women operated businesses

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Program for Afghan Women In Business