Kabul, Afghanistan – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supported 15 young entrepreneurs who graduated from a 4-month long training program provided by the Founder Institute, one of the world’s premier startup business accelerators. With local chapters or representations across over 180 cities including Kabul, the Founder Institute provides startups with the critical support network and structured processes needed to build an enduring company.
“Women’s economic empowerment is a priority of the U.S. government. Research shows that economic growth is accelerated and more sustainable when women are included. USAID is seeing tangible and positive results from our programs supporting Afghan women,” said Susan DeCamp, Director of USAID’s Gender Office.
USAID and the Founder Institute Kabul Chapter are supporting a number of new entrepreneurial concepts including: Bano Transportation (women-driven transportation services for women), Think Green (paper bag production), Afghan Food (ketchup and tomato sauce production), and Dev Zone (financial solutions). USAID and the Founder Institute will provide these startups with advisory services and technical support for the next year.
USAID Promote: Women in the Economy (WIE) assists almost 400 women-owned businesses and businesses employing at least 30 percent or more women with a variety of activities that provide business management and technical advice, access to finance and market, and support for entrepreneurship. The average annual revenue increase for companies after two years of project assistance is 40 percent. WIE launched a total of 47 new women-owned startups through two business incubation services, including the Founder Institute.
“Young entrepreneurs are the future of the country and at the forefront of economic development and sustainability in Afghanistan. We congratulate the hard work and entrepreneurial vision of these young women,” said Matiullah Rahmaty, the Country Director for the Founder Institute.
WIE is part of the USAID Promote program. Promote consists of four components: leadership development, civil service training, economic empowerment and civil society advocacy. This program already assisted over 60,000 young women across the country. To provide feedback to the Promote program, send an email to KBLPromote@usaid.gov.
With almost $19 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, to establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and to provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.