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Women entrepreneurs join Startup Revolution

Women entrepreneurs join Startup Revolution

Oct 19, 2017 - 14:26

KABUL (Pajhwok): The first group of young female entrepreneurs graduated today from Startup Valley, Afghanistan’s first private business incubator, the USAID said on Thursday.

Of more than 150 applications and 30 selected candidates, 17 young women completed the incubation programme and are now taking their business concepts to market.

Operated by AGHAEZ Professional Services and supported by USAID: Promote Women in the Economy (WIE), Startup Valley encourages the entrepreneurial mindset in youth, especially female university graduates.

Susan DeCamp, director of USAID’s Gender Office, hailed young entrepreneurs as the future of the country and the forefront of economic development and sustainability in Afghanistan.

“We congratulate the hard work and entrepreneurial vision of these young women,” the director said in a statement from the USAID.

Ten of the new companies already registered have a presence in Kabul, and are generating income; the others are in the process of incorporating.

The new business concepts include mobile applications, a health centre for women, landscaping services and a seeding and agriculture venture, the statement added.

Startup Valley and WIE will provide six months follow-up support including advisory services, networking, assistance in procuring office space and relevant technical help.

A second group of 26 female entrepreneurs, ready to enter the second chapter of Startup Valley, will attend workshop sessions and receive coaching and mentoring besides taking part in networking and learning opportunities.

They will benefit from the skills of entrepreneurs who have already navigated the startup and launch process.

The incubatees will validate their ideas, develop business models, conduct market research, develop viable products and finally launch their startups.

Executive Director of AGHAEZ Professional Services Ahmad Fahim Didar said: “We believe that by nurturing a startup ecosystem in Afghanistan, we will contribute to the economic growth of the country by helping reduce unemployment…”