Storai Dazhm Poya, a graduate of History and Philosophy from Balkh University, had a long history as a successful businesswoman in Afghanistan. In 1983, she established her family business, Poya Furniture Production Company, which designs and builds furniture. She had migrated to Pakistan as a refugee from war, and when she returned, she worked alongside her husband and trained about 320 women and 567 men on how to build and design furniture, most of whom she says are still employed by her company.
Despite this success, she faced challenges during Afghanistan’s current economic crisis which has made the market more competitive. “My team and I were unable to effectively analyze the market. Therefore, we faced many problems such as, low sales and decreased revenue.”
Rather than giving up, she used the same ingenuity that transitioned her from a refugee to a business owner to plan again. Ms. Poya enrolled in a certificate training created especially for women at The Women's Center (TWC) at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).
“In 2015, when I learned about professional training's for women by TWC, I attended it.”
At the Professional Development Certification Training Program (PDCTP), she learned how to modernize her business system.
The training helped her to establish a financial management system, marketing strategy and marketing plan. These skills, along with learning how to use business management systems and policies, helped her to standardize her company and make it more efficient, which helped her to stay competitive in Afghanistan’s market.
Armed with new skills, she says “I was then able to identify my shortcomings and gaps. I developed a comprehensive plan for my business, which led it towards success.”
With a newly standardized system, she says today her company has much more effective communication with their clients and partners. Inspired by her renewed success, she wants to expand her business to not only generate more profit but to “also provide employment opportunities for poor Afghans through this way, positively contribute for prosperity and economic development of Afghanistan,” says Poya.