Helping Afghan Women Entrepreneurs Succeed - Project Artemis
Research has shown time and again that one of the best ways to stabilize a country and lead it to prosperity is to empower its women. Overall, Afghan women entrepreneurs have invested more than $66 million in the Afghan economy and created more than 47,000 jobs. In business and virtually every other sector, from architecture to journalism to law — even the military and police— Afghan women are drivers of education, growth, and self-reliance. Project Artemis alone has created a powerful ripple throughout Afghan communities by generating over 3,000 jobs for local people and training well over 15,000 fellow Afghan citizens in business and leadership skills.
The Thunderbird School of Global Management, a unit of the Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise, began supporting Afghan women in 2005, soon after the fall of the Taliban, through a program called Project Artemis.
Thunderbird brings together cohorts of motivated Afghan women for this two-week, intensive business training program which features:
- Business courses taught by leading Thunderbird faculty
- Personal coaching on business plans and goals
- Site visits to a variety of small- and medium-sized businesses
- Networking opportunities with global business networks
- Continual follow-up support and business coaching online
How You Can Help
Project Artemis is funded entirely through private support. In addition to financial support, our alumni network in India helped identify businesses, experts, leaders, and advisers, as well as finding key program resources such as classroom space, reduced lodging expenses, transportation, and materials.
With your continued support, we can make the next Project Artemis happen. Here are 3 ways you can help:
- Become a Project Artemis Angel: Sponsor an Afghan woman to attend the program for $2,500.
- Donate what you can: Every dollar counts. Does your company have a matching gift program? If so, be sure to double the impact of your gift by submitting a matching gift request.
- Share the Cause (and this website!) with Your Network: Your advocacy has the power to transform lives.
Project Artemis alumni return to Afghanistan where they start new ventures, grow existing businesses, empower and mentor others in their communities, strengthen their own families, create networks of women and business people throughout the country, succeed in non-profit and educational organizations, and put their leadership and management acumen to good work in government. The multiplying effect is obvious in Afghanistan when Project Artemis graduates arrive back home.
Below are just a few of the many examples of Project Artemis’ impact:
- Rangina Hamidi, runs Kandahar Treasures in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and employs between 300 and 400 women out of their homes producing high-quality home décor items such as pillows, tablecloths, and clothing embellished with a uniquely Afghan style of embroidery, called Khamak.
- Dr. Malika Pigham has expanded her small maternity clinic/hospital in the western region of Herat by 33% since returning from Project Artemis in 2008, now boasting a 15-bed maternity ward with trained nursing staff and modern medical equipment.
- Aziza Mohmand runs Muska Ball and Leather Making Company Ltd., a leather goods company that produces over 10,000 hand sewn soccer balls each year, which are sold domestically and exported to regional markets such as India, Dubai, and Kazakhstan.
- NasimGul Azizi and her business have blossomed since participating in Project Artemis – from only 20 employees in 2010 to over 300 employees (90% of them women). She has recently built the first cold storage facility in Herat, providing much-needed jobs and creating a means to get locally-grown produce to market in Iran and Kabul.
By partnering with Project Artemis today, you too can make a difference in the lives of thousands of Afghan women entrepreneurs, their employees, families, and communities. Thank you for standing with us and the Afghan women business leaders of tomorrow.
“The Artemis program in India was excellent. Visiting big businesses in India gave me new ideas and vision for my business, and I found business models to follow. With the knowledge I gained and the network I built through the Artemis Project, I am ready to expand and improve my business.” - Zakia Jafari (Artemis 2016)
“Today we expose to the world that Afghan women can do business, can travel alone, can walk beside everyone else and raise their voices. We show that we are brave, we are clever, we can have our own choices, we can reach our own wishes in our lifetime... This training has grown our capabilities and made us recognize who we really are.” - Geeti Aryanpur (Artemis 2013)
"As an Afghan woman, I want to affirm that a woman is capable of holding a cradle in one hand and the world in the other." - Najiba Faiz (Artemis 2010)
To learn more, visit our website at https://thunderbird.asu.edu/global-impact/project-artemis-afghanistan.
Follow all of our initiatives helping women succeed in business on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Thunderbird.for.Good/.
Watch an interview with Former First Lady Laura Bush and Ambassador Barbara Barrett discussing Project Artemis here!
*Funds will be deposited with the ASU Foundation, a separate non-profit organization that exists to advance ASU as a New American University, for the benefit of the Thunderbird School of Global Management and its programs such as Project Artemis. Gifts in support of Thunderbird are subject to foundation policies and fees. Your gift may be considered a charitable contribution. Please consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of charitable contributions.