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Professional Development Certification training program for female entrepreneurs

14, May, 2017

The International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Empowerment hosted the Professional Development Certification Training Program (PDCTP) between April 16th and May 9th 2017. Funded by the US Embassy, the training brought together 72 women from 10 provinces including Herat, Balkh, Bamyan, Kandahar, Wardak, Ghazni, Daikundi, Kunduz, Jawzan and Parwan. The training offered classes on Women in Leadership and Management, Business Planning, Branding, Packaging, Communications and Public Awareness Strategy, and Principles of Finance/ Accounting to equip women with essential economic empowerment skills.

These in person classes have helped the trainees gain more knowledge to further develop their current business and use the skills for future planning. Business classes were run through a series of practical and theoretical methods, where the learning materials were implemented based on the progress made. A few of the participants had faced difficulties in sustaining or growing their enterprises before due to the lack of business knowledge and were grateful for this learning opportunity provided by ICAWED.

“Before this, we knew buying and selling and that was all. We did not know factors such as defects, profits, pricing and mostly how important they are in a business,” said Dina Sahar, one of the participants.

The participants of this training have each overcome a series of obstacles within their families, communities, and provinces. However, male dominance in the economic sector motivates these aspiring business women rather than hindering their spirit. They argued that the obstacles only push them to strive and work harder to increase women’s participation in the business world and the country’s economy, and most importantly be empowered.

Women’s empowerment through economic self-sufficiency is one of the focus areas for the International Center for Economic Development of American University of Afghanistan. Helping women establish and manage their businesses in a profitable and sustainable way is the organization’s main goal.

“I tried running a clothing line business which was not very successful. During this training I learned what went wrong with my business. This has been such a fruitful experience. I am excited to go back and give my business a second chance. This time, I am sure it will work.” said Nazi Azami who traveled from Herat to attend the training.

The training concluded on May 9th with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the participants. During the graduation ceremony AUAF leadership assured the participants of the commitment of the institution to creating more opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and growth in the future.