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IFC Trains Women Entrepreneurs in Afghanistan


In Washington

Corrie Shanahan

Phone: +1 202 473 2258

Email:
Cshanahan@ifc.org

In Kabul

Abdul Raouf Zia

Phone: (0093) 070280800

E-mail:
azia@worldbank.org


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, and pricing.


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 hosting it.


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.