Kabul, Afghanistan, July 29, 2005
— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group, recently organized a two-day workshop on “How to Market
your Business” for 40 women entrepreneurs in Kabul. The event, which was
held July 26-27, is part of a larger IFC regional program to strengthen
women-owned small and medium enterprises.
The workshop was designed for women who have some experience in formal
small and medium-sizedbusinesses and who seek innovative, nontraditional
and growth-oriented approaches to their enterprises. It was delivered using
IFC’s Business Edge management training methodology and expertise.
The training series aims to increase productivity, profitability, and growth
in small businesses by improving their financial, operational, and marketing
management. It also focuses on the soft skills needed for effective human
resource management and sound leadership. In particular, the Kabul workshop
focused on the introduction to marketing concepts, the targeting of markets,
IFC workshops intend to provide women with the skills and the support they
need to emerge and to compete in the mainstream business world. Despite
the challenges arising from the post-conflict environment of Afghanistan,
IFC believes that unleashing the potential of entrepreneurship is crucial
to enabling women to transform their socioeconomic status, bolster private
sector development, and ultimately contribute to the country’s reconstruction
and economic advancement. “Afghanistan needs all its citizens, male and
female, to participate in the economic growth of the country. Workshops
like these that equip women with business skills are contribute to this".
These were Mr. Hamid Qaderi’s (CEO of Afghanistan International Chamber
of Commerce (AICC)) remarks at the end of the workshop when thanked for
IFC’s technical assistance facility, the Private Enterprise Partnership
for the Middle East and North Africa, has been drawing from its regional
experience and country mapping surveys to identify market barriers facing
women, including access to markets, finance, business resources, and associations.
IFC research shows that market failures discriminate more against women
than men and that some of these imbalances can be addressed by technical
assistance interventions targeted at growth-oriented enterprises.
The IFC (www.ifc.org)
is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. The IFC’s mission is
to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.