Application deadline: 26 Oct, 2020
Nove Onlus is an Italian non-profit organization founded by international development professionals. Its mission is to support vulnerable people, in particular women, children and disabled persons in living a dignified life. It does this by providing them with a range of opportunities such as vocational training, socio-economic programs for creative enterprises, literacy classes and social integration for disabled people through sporting activities. It also carries out emergency interventions which include food distributions after the lockdown.
Since 2012 Nove Onlus is active in Afghanistan, where it is registered as an international NGO with the Ministry of Economics. It works in collaboration with Afghan institutions such as the Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA) and with traditional authorities i.e. local Shura (Community Council) and Elders.
Nove Onlus’ innovative approach to female entrepreneurship in Afghanistan led to the creation of the ‘Pink Shuttle’ project. The Pink Shuttle is the first transportation service run by women drivers for female passengers only. It tackles the problem of women’s independence and emancipation by fostering their economic and social autonomy.
The ‘Pink Shuttle’ which is the first private transportation company run by women in Afghanistan, is deemed to be a successful example of women entrepreneurship. However, still too many Afghan women struggle to set up their own business venture: women-owned businesses are severely hampered by lack of financial resources, network and a general conservative attitude that undermines women’s economic role within their society. The pandemic has exacerbated an already grim perspective for millions of women entrepreneurs who long for self-sufficiency. According to Radio Free Afghanistan, even in strategic and business friendly Afghan provinces such as that of Balkh, which is bordering Central Asia, officials and business leaders say the coronavirus pandemic is pushing Afghan women and their businesses to the brink. According to the CEO of Balkh’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries “In the past four months, 100 percent of female-owned businesses were halted due to the pandemic and half of those businesses are currently not in operation.” The World Bank expects economic growth in Afghanistan to decline sharply this year and a vast majority of Afghans “to fall under the poverty line due to the severe impacts of the pandemic on incomes and jobs.”
‘Daring Women in Business’ is a competition for female entrepreneurs, which will be held in Kabul in November 2020 (date to be announced to the 5 shortlisted finalists) at the Women Garden.
DWB is a daily event that serves as a networking platform and innovative business-ideas-incubator open to all those Afghan passionate women who dare to engage in entrepreneurship and support the growth of Afghanistan’s business environment.
Active and creative female entrepreneurs will be presenting their business company or pitching their business idea before a jury of well-renowned experts from different walks of life, with opportunity for critical feedback.
The most feasible company or business idea will be awarded a prize of the amount of 4.000 USD. The Prize also includes a certificate signed by Nove Onlus and the Afghan authorities.
Everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the challenging world of business in Afghanistan. Apart from the opportunity to win the prize, all participants will be given the unique chance to build their network; launch a business; get in touch with experienced leaders and mentors; join a global community; learn through the art of creating and build business strategy. Here are the benefits you will get:
- Enlarge your own network of high-quality women who are leading change in business in a challenging environment;
- Gain powerful insights that inspire change in your own business;
- Make authentic connections and build new friendships to support you on your business and personal journey;
- Develop a new mindset to take your own leadership to the next level;
- Be energized by spending a whole day in the presence of the most fabulous women.
This event is specifically designed for those who meet the following criteria:
- Women who lead a business in Afghanistan (the registration with the local authorities is an asset) OR women who have a business idea to be implemented in Afghanistan;
- Women with Afghan citizenship OR women with a work permit in Afghanistan.
STEPS TO COMPETE
STEP 1: Call for nomination from October 12th to October 26th; a collection of the applications and shortlisting;
The applicants should download the instructions and details from the attachments below and must send the call for interest to DWB@noveonlus.org by October 26th at 11:59 PM Kabul Time.
Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3 need to be attached to the call for nomination;
STEP 2: Announcement of 5 shortlisted finalists via email and FB on November 15th, 2020.
NOTE: Only shortlisted finalists will participate in the event competition. The finalists will be notified of the exact date of the event by phone or email. They will pitch their businesses or business ideas to the international expert panel. Those finalists who do not live in Kabul city will be virtually present at the event via Skype or Zoom.
DATE: November 2020 (to be announced to the 5 shortlisted finalists)
VENUE: Women Garden, Kabul
|8.30 am||Arrive at the venue and Registration|
|9:00 am||Opening remarks by MoWA/ DoWA representative|
|9:30 am||Forum Discussion led by Nove Onlus on female entrepreneurship in Afghanistan*|
|10:00 am||Tea break & networking|
|10:30 am||Pitches by the 5 finalists|
|12:30 pm||Award ceremony|
The forum discussion will precede the competition and will serve as a creative platform for sharing experiences and lessons-learnt on the challenges and potential of women-owned business in Afghanistan. The aim is to inspire the participants and help them in generating their distinctive business ideas or re-boost their already existing businesses. The experience of the ‘Pink Shuttle’ and that of Nove Onlus’ internationals partners will be shared with the nominees and the international expert panel;
The Expert Panel (EP) votes and awards the DWB prize. The EP is comprised of most accomplished national and international high-profile personalities from different walks of life i.e. the business sector, NGOs, activists. The EP will evaluate the businesses or business ideas considering specific criteria: originality, innovation, feasibility, social impact, outcomes (if applicable). The award of 4000 USD will be awarded by the expert panel to the most daring women-owned business or business idea!