USAID backs women-owned business

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Afghan businesswomen summit has helped identify area of reforms which would assist women-owned businesses in access to finance, market and increased revenue, a statement from the USAID said on Thursday.

The national summit of Afghan businesswomen had been launched in Kabul with support from USAID’s Promote: Women in the Economy (WIE) project, in close cooperation of the Office of the Chief Executive, the statement said.

The summit brought together more than 150 women-owned or managed Afghan businesses, government officials, interest groups, and industry leaders from throughout the country to examine challenges facing businesswomen.

Convened at the Kabul Star Hotel, the summit encouraged participants to share individual examples of issues they face, and work together to create practical and constructive plans that will help them grow.

“USAID is proud to support the National Business Women’s Summit—a unique representation of diverse businesses from across the country”, said Susan DeCamp, Director of USAID’s Gender Office.

Groups of Afghan businesswomen have held meetings since March to identify economic opportunities and initiatives designed to help women better participate proactively in the mainstream economy and become more competitive.

With support from business sector experts, the groups identified actions that would form the basis for a comprehensive blueprint for initiatives designed to create a more conducive business environment for Afghan businesswomen.

Addressing the event CEO Abdullah said, “Investment in women’s development and capacity building can lay the foundation of a better future, and contribute to the stability of the country.” WIE and the Office of the Chief Executive vowed to work together in promoting adoption of the blueprint as part of the official policy related to women’s economic empowerment.

USAID Promote: Women in the Economy is a four-year program that assists women-owned businesses or those employing women to perform better, increase income growth, and provide business sustainability. WIE also supports Afghan women in finding new or better jobs through career counseling and workplace skills development.