More Afghan Women in Business Campaign

by Afghanistan Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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More Afghan Women in Business Campaign
More Afghan Women in Business Campaign
More Afghan Women in Business Campaign
More Afghan Women in Business Campaign
More Afghan Women in Business Campaign
More Afghan Women in Business Campaign
More Afghan Women in Business Campaign

AWCCI's Women Business Resource Center (WBRC) held a session of “More Afghan Women in Business” on Aug. 25, 2020, for female students of Kardan, Kabul, and Salam universities. The program's aim was to encourage the young generation especially Afghan female students to take part in business activities.
Learning from experiences of businesswomen and networking was one of the inspiring and encouraging parts of this program for female students. In the panel discussion part of this program, two successful businesswomen, each Ms. Lailuma Abawi, the President of Taranum Style, a clothing and handicraft brand, and Ms. Marghooba Safi, the President of Peshrafte Zanan, a handmade soap brand and a farm, shared their business experience. Afterward, the students were able to interact with the panelists. The students were happy with AWCCI's such initiatives that are inspiring and creating hope for them especially that AWCCI expressed readiness to provide them with mentors and coaches through such programs. An exhibition of women's products was also organized and students were also able to visit exhibition stalls and interact with women buyers. This can be a practical experience for the students to see women buying their products while doi34rng business. 

AWCCI's WBRC held another session of “More Afghan Women in Business” on Aug. 26, 2020, for informal female Enterprise Groups (EGs) with the support and collaboration of the Women Economic Empowerment Rural Enterprise Development Program (WEERDP) Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD).
This campaign is for informing active informal women in businesses about developments in the business sector in Afghanistan. There were twenty (20) women from Parwan and Nangarhar active informally in sectors like handicrafts, embroidery, clothing, and dairy. They were encouraged to formalize their businesses. They learned about the types, the process, and benefits of getting a business license and the benefits of getting membership of AWCCI to join the huge network of businesswomen nationally and internationally.
The speaker of the program was a successful and well-known businesswoman, Ms. Benazir Yakta. She is the President of Benazir Yakta Company, which is active in the export of dry fruits. Ms. Yakta shared her business experience with informal businesswomen. In her speech, she mentioned that she sold her gold bangles to start her business, getting a business license, and buying some dry fruits. The women asked questions and interacted with the speaker. They were happy with the exposure they received at AWCCI and learn from a successful businesswoman's experience on formalizing their businesses. They were also part of the exhibition AWCCI organized and joined formal businesswomen in the exhibition to network with them and learn from them. The coaching and mentoring of these businesses starts from here and will continue through AWCCI and in collaboration with its great partner, WEERDP. 

At the end of the session, women were presented the Certificates of Participation. 

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Session's screenshot with the university students
Session's screenshot with the university students

Despite the lock-down all over the world due to COVID-19 pandemic, AWCCI tried to remain active and take great advantage of the technology. This was not easy as Afghanistan's infrastructure of infrastructures electricity is not sufficient through out the country incuding the capital Kabul and major cities Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar and Kandahar, telephone and internet connections are there but the bandwidth is not enough for all the population to stay at home, work from home and run businesses from home. 

During this period of pandemic AWCCI could conduct two sessions of its compaign More Afghan Women in Business and your contributions made it possible. 

- One session with women in informal businesses to enourrage them formalization but this time also to discuss challenges they have started facing with the lock-down and what kind of help they require to be able to continue running their businesses. This session was attended by 25 women. 

- One session with the university students. Online session allowed AWCCI to include students from various universities. Participants of this program were 25 female students of Kardan University, American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), Rana University, Ghalib University, Kabul and Polytechnic Universities. We also had Afghan students from Kuwait University and Abant Izzet Baysal Turkey. This program included a brief overview of AWCCI’s establishment, objectives of the session and Campaign, a presentation on Entrepreneurship and Business, entrepreneurship exercises, a panel of successful businesswomen on their business journey, Question and Answer between businesswomen and students, and at the end Networking opportunity for students with businesswomen.

Thank you for continously supporring our work so we keep women businesses sustain in Afghanistan. 

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Women Business owners are sharing with students
Women Business owners are sharing with students

We whole heartedly thank every cent donated to our work. You didn't donat to a project but to a movement towards women's economic empowerment in Afghanistan! Please reade below the report of our session with university female students.

Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry – West Zone in Herat held “More Afghan Women in Business” workshop to encourage female students to participate in business activities in collaboration with Khawja Abdullah Ansari University on February 5, 2020. Around 60 female students from Economics, Management and Law and Political Science faculty participated in this one-day training.

At first, Ms. Ahmadi, President of the Khawja Abdullah Ansari University, talked about the importance of business startups. Subsequently, Ms. Saeedeh Ahmadi, AWCCI- West Board of Directors member provided the presentation about importance of business and entrepreneurship. In the presentation, the impact of entrepreneurship on life, the difference between a businesswoman and an employee, characteristics of a businesswoman and a good team to start a business, starting with an idea, writing a business plan, and inspirational sources to consider in writing a business plan were covered and explained.

Panel discussion for the purpose of learning from the experiences of women entrepreneurs and networking with them were the most inspiring parts of this workshop for students in which four successful businesswomen including Ms. Saeedeh Ahmadi, CEO of Food Industry National, Ms. Safiah Mohiti, the Head of Mohit Banowan Hariwa Company, Ms. Farida Mahyar, the CEO of Foruq Rashidyar Dairy Production Company, Ms. Nasrin Keshawarz, the Head of Negin Production participated. They talked about their business challenges and experiences in their business journey for encouraging female students to start a small enterprise.

At the end AWCCI ensured students that if they want to start a business they can attend further training and mentorship with us. 

Ms. Ahamdi President of the University speaking
Ms. Ahamdi President of the University speaking
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One of the panelist sharing her business journey
One of the panelist sharing her business journey

AWCCI held “More Afghan Women in Business” program on January 29, 2020 for women in informal businesses from different districts of Kabul, Parwan and Kapisa provinces. This program was organized with the cooperation of Women for Women International (WFWI), which is one of the AWCCI’s partners. This program is led by Ms. Parwarish Oryakhail, the Vice President of AWCCI and with the participation of Women for Women International staff, Ms. Zubaida Rasooli, Community Supporting Officer, WFWI’s three trainers from Kabul and provinces and 21 informal women businesses from Kabul, Parwan, and Kapisa. These women are busy in economic activities such as food processing, tailoring and agricultural produces.

The program started with a welcome note by Ms. Oryakhail. Ms. Oryakhail presented the information about the campaign, which included the objectives of this program, business license entities, procedure and required documents for getting a business license and existing opportunities for formal businesses. Ms. Oryakhail, by providing examples of active businesswomen, encouraged participants to become formal businesses.

In the other part of the program, three businesswomen, Ms. Habiba Payendanek, Vice-Chair of Business Development Services of AWCCI and owner of Qizil Handicraft Company, Ms. Lailoma Abawi, one of the AWCCI senior members and owner of Taranum Style Clothing Company, and Ms. Momtaz Yousufzai, another senior member of AWCCI and owner of Mumtaz Yousufzai Trading Company, had a panel discussion with participants. They took the participants through their business journey, sharing their experience, talking about how they started their businesses, the motivation behind that, initial steps of leading a business, challenges and how to work towards a successful business. After the panel discussion, Ms. Oryakhail emphasized on the next step to be taken by these women towards becoming formal. AWCCI and WFWI will work together and assist these women in any guidance needed for becoming formal. Additionally, she highlighted some of the AWCCI membership benefits. She also emphasized that participants should keep their good relations with AWCCI and get the benefit of the existing opportunities in provinces. AWCCI will continue this campaign by holding such programs for informal groups of women businesses with its partners including WFWI.

At the end of this program, there was a Q&A session. Participants interacted with the panelists and AWCCI staff and received suggestions and recommendations for their economic activities and becoming formal businesses. Moreover, a small exhibition of women's products was organized by AWCCI and the participants had a chance of visiting the exhibition and learning from their work, packaging, and labeling.  One of the participants, Ms. Tahmina Hussaini who has an informal business in tailoring said about this program, “I learned about how to get a license, benefits of getting or having a business license, and the opportunities AWCCI can bring to us. I thank AWCCI and Women for Women International for holding this program”. Each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation from AWCCI.          

AWCCI thanks Women for Women International for their cooperation.

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Organization Information

Afghanistan Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Location: Haymarket, Virginia - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AWCCI2
Project Leader:
Parwarish Oryakhail
Kabul, Afghanistan

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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