The Women's Center (TWC) of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) convened Afghanistan’s first international conference focused solely on the role of women entrepreneurs. During this three day Forum we developed an understanding of the challenges; the hallmarks of success; what steps does society (governmental bodies, private sector, developing partners, educational institutions, communities and individuals) need to take to empower ALL of its citizens to be contributing members to a nation’s economy.
The Economic Forum entitled ‘’Women Entrepreneurship’’ was the first effort of TWC to assist women entrepreneurs, policy makers, and practitioners in understanding “why investing in businesswomen will boost the economy for everyone, and how women owned businesses succeed’’. The forum offered a series of country specific, regional and global perspectives on the involvement
of women in business, their hardships, and strategies to address challenges and secure sustainable success. The Forum also presented the landscape of women businesses in Afghanistan, best practices and the common and specific challenges they encounter. Diversification of practices and lessons from abroad enriched the quality and outcome of the Forum, and helped draw lessons and shaped recommendations for the empowerment of Afghan’s businesswomen, both today and tomorrow. The Center hosted several guest speakers from within Afghanistan and foreign countries to add their experience and lessons learned to this forum.
At the end of the forum an outcome document produced including recommendations and commitments. This document will serve as the base for the follow up with relevant institutions and organizations for creation of enabling environment for women’s business to flourish. The document will also be considered as the baseline for the next economic forum in 2018.