Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have the potential to be a key economic driver of Afghanistan’s development. However, Afghan business owners struggle to obtain the capital, management advice, equipment, and technologies needed to grow their businesses. Women and youth can make significant contributions to private sector growth but have limited opportunities for economic participation.
USAID, in partnership with VEGA/IESC, today launched the Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises (ABADE) Program. ABADE aims to significantly improve the lives of people in Afghanistan by helping Afghan businesses grow their businesses.
“Afghanistan has many talented entrepreneurs who have shown that businesses can prosper and create employment, despite difficult conditions. Through ABADE, our goal is to help these businesses thrive,” said USAID Deputy Mission Director Brooke Isham.
“It is very important to provide financial assistance to growing small and medium Afghan enterprises. I hope this project will help Afghanistan be a self-reliant nation in the future,” said Minister of Commerce Dr. Anwar ul Haq Ahadi.
ABADE partners with the private sector to increase investment, job creation, and productivity of businesses, with a focus on advancing opportunities women and youths. The program incorporates three components that will contribute to sustained business growth and employment:
1. Public-Private Alliances (PPAs) with Afghan SMEs and Innovation Partners;
2. Technical assistance and advisory services to Afghan Alliance Partners and related SMEs to ensure the success of the PPAs; and
3. Business enabling environment support to remove administrative and regulatory barriers to business success.