9-9-13 8:00 AM EDT | Email Article

The Friends of the American University of Afghanistan announced today that it has been awarded a grant to launch the Kabul Business Accelerator, which will support Afghan businesses in marketing, business plan development, product review, and other ways.

The Kabul Business Accelerator (KBA), located at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), will help facilitate the growth of Afghanistan’s small and medium-sized businesses and ultimately raise awareness of Afghan businesses to a global audience.

The KBA will be funded by a grant from the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), which promotes and strengthens the private sector in post-conflict environments to enhance long-term stability and security.

“We see the KBA as a true economic engine for the country of Afghanistan,” said Leslie Schweitzer, chair of Friends of the American University of Afghanistan. “By supporting bright, motivated businessmen and businesswomen, we can help create jobs, raise the standard of living and bring stability to Afghanistan’s economy. We are hopeful that this generous grant from the TFBSO will enable Afghan entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and leave a positive lasting legacy of the U.S. in Afghanistan.”

The TFBSO grant funds the first phase of the KBA, which will support Afghan businesses in a number of ways, including:

  • Preparing businesses to become market ready
  • Providing services and support in marketing, sourcing, business plan development, product review, general process improvements and accounting
  • Creating reports on model companies in order to further develop their sustainability plans
  • Tracking progress of companies serviced, documenting lessons learned and building a foundation for a mentoring network to assist in future development

The KBA will be housed in same building on campus as the university’s International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development (ICAWED), a recently opened research, advocacy, and business development center dedicated to promoting, coordinating and connecting the numerous public and private sector entities engaged in the empowerment of Afghan women in the economy. In addition to providing entrepreneurs with access to ICAWED’s classrooms, event space and auditorium, the KBA will have the capacity to house eighteen companies in fully equipped, technology-enabled offices.

The KBA will leverage the best practices and expertise of the TFBSO to become a sustainable entity within AUAF, utilizing the resources of the university, private sector partners and public sector entities. Key local partners include Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries as well as other specific sector ministries.

About The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF)

The American University of Afghanistan is Afghanistan’s only private, not-for-profit, non-partisan and co-educational university. It opened its doors in 2006 with an initial enrollment of 50 students, and today enrolls more than 1,700 full and part-time students. It has produced 11 Fulbright Scholars and maintains partnerships with the world’s most prestigious universities, including Stanford University, Georgetown University, and the University of California network.

About the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO)

The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations promotes and strengthens the private sector in post-conflict environments to enhance long-term stability and security. In Afghanistan, TFBSO helps the Afghan government identify and tender its vast mineral and oil and gas resources, promotes opportunities for investment in industrial development, strengthens value chains for existing Afghan businesses, and supports entrepreneurship. TFBSO is a resource for any investor interested in exploring investment opportunities in Afghanistan.

Ogilvy Washington
Anna Hughes, 202-729-4156
anna.hughes@ogilvy.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013
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