Women in the Economy
Frequently Asked Questions
- I AM A FEMALE; HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM WIE?
Women aged 18 or above have an opportunity to benefit from career services, work experience placements, job search and placement services. WIE will expand access to employment information and through partnerships with career centers will facilitate training, counseling, and connecting. Need-based and achievement-based training scholarships will be available.
- I AM A MAN; HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM WIE?
First, it is important to note that WIE is not only about increasing the number of women in the skilled workforce. It is about generating a stronger economy. Men can and will benefit in at least two ways: (1) any business (including those owned by men) with a female workforce of at least 30% is eligible to participate in the WIE program, and (2) improving career centers and job placement services, and upgrading educational curricula and training programs across Afghanistan is for the benefit of both men and women.
- CAN I PARTICIPATE IN MULTIPLE PROJECTS UNDER PROMOTE?
Yes, the Promote programs are designed to work with each other, although women seeking advancement in civil service should work primarily with Women in Government.
- I HAVE HEARD THAT ONLY AFGHAN WOMEN PARTICIPATE IN THE PROJECT. IS THIS TRUE?
No. WIE will work to expand businesses owned by women and also those owned by men who have at least a 30% female workforce (at least three out of ten professional employees should be a female). In addition, WIE will undertake activities specifically designed to engage men in the program, offering access to project supported resources such as career and employment centers.
- IS PROMOTE JUST FOR WOMEN IN KABUL?
WIE implementation will occur in two phases,an initial phase and an expansion phase. During the initial phase, WIE will operate in five regional economic zones with offices in Kabul, Jalalabad, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar, and Herat. Later, WIE will expand activities to new areas selected on the following criteria: presence of economic opportunities for women, potential for partnerships with reputable local institutions capable of delivering WIE services, demand for workforce development and business development activities, community support for women’s economic empowerment programming; and permissive security conditions.
- WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THE PROJECT ENDS?
Since WIE is operating on market-based principals and is supporting the development of affordable local service providers, and better, more market oriented training provision, career, and job placement services, the majority of the program’s impact will not be tied to ongoing donor support. These institutions and service providers will continue to operate after WIE ends.
- HOW CAN I GET AN INTERNSHIP / APPRENTICESHIP?
WIE will partner with private sector companies to offer paid internships and apprenticeships, depending on the needs of the host organization and the intern or apprentice. Internship opportunities will be disseminated through job search platforms, career centers, and employment centers.
- HOW MUCH EDUCATION DO I NEED IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN WIE?
Women wanting to participate in WIE should have completed at least 8th grade.
- HOW WILL AFGHAN WOMEN BE INVOLVED IN DEVELOPING THE PROGRAM?
WIE has a technical working group that brings together workforce and private sector stakeholders to provide input into, and support for, the program. Members include both males and females from the private sector, government, educational, vocational, and training bodies, and non-profit and civil society organizations closely involved in workforce and private sector development. Youth representatives from both high school and university programs currently participate. Members should be relevant subject matter experts or leaders of WIE stakeholder communities and committed to achieving greater participation of Promote: Women in the Economy. The technical working group uses a collective impact approach to bring people together in a structured way to achieve WIE’s program objectives
PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT
- DOES WIE OFFER FREE TRAINING AND CONSULTING?
No, WIE does not offer free training or consulting. WIE will identify, facilitate, and connect businesses and female job seekers with service providers, but expects businesses and women to invest in their own success. WIE operates on market-based principles and is committed to supporting sustainable Afghan institutions and service providers that depend on cost recovery from user fees. In cases of need, WIE may supplement payment for services, job experience stipends, tuition fees, and sector-specific skills training with a cost-share contribution.
- DOES WIE PROVIDE GRANTS FOR BUSINESSES?
No, WIE does not provide grants for businesses.
- DOES WIE SUPPORT SPECIFIC BUSINESS SECTORS?
WIE does not target businesses operating in any specific sector, but looks for businesses with high growth potential and committed management.
- MY BUSINESS IS NOT REGISTERED WITH ANY ENTITY IN AFGHANISTAN BUT I AM AN AFGHAN; CAN I STILL APPLY FOR WIE’S SUPPORT?
Yes. You can still apply for support; however, WIE can only assist businesses that are operating in compliance with Afghan law. WIE will guide businesses wanting to apply for one of WIE’s activities in how to register.
- I OWN A LARGE BUSINESS. CAN I APPLY FOR WIE’S TECHNICAL SUPPORT?
Yes. Businesses are evaluated on their potential for growth, not on their current business size, but qualifying businesses should have the potential for doubling sales over a two-year period.
- MY BUSINESS IS RECEIVING, OR HAS ALREADY RECEIVED, SOME SUPPORT; CAN I APPLY FOR MORE SUPPORT?
Yes. As long as technical assistance from WIE could help increase your revenues substantially you can apply. Because WIE does not give grants or equipment to businesses, it is advantageous for the program to work with businesses that have received these through other projects but need help with implementing expansion plans or improving business performance.
- DOES WIE GIVE ANY GRANTS, EQUIPMENT, OR LOANS TO BUSINESSES?
No. WIE does not give out business grants or equipment. WIE is not a lender, but can in, some cases, facilitate loans through a loan referral process.
- I HAVE A START-UP BUSINESS. DOES WIE SUPPORT START-UPS?
Yes. All businesses are evaluated on growth potential and the commitment of the owner and managers, regardless of whether they are start-ups or established businesses.
- MY BUSINESS IS IN A PROVINCE OTHER THAN KABUL, HERAT, KANDAHAR, JALALABAD, AND MAZAR-I-SHARIF; IS THERE ANY POSSIBILITY MY BUSINESS CAN BENEFIT FROM WIE’S SERVICES?
Yes. WIE’s regional offices serve the entire regional economic zone in which they are based; this does not exclude businesses from other provinces engaging with the program.
- IS THERE ANY APPLICATION OR PROCESSING FEES TO APPLY FOR AN ACTIVITY?
No. There is no charge to apply for participation in Women in the Economy activities, nor can any third-party charge any service fees for filling, processing, or endorsing an application. Please note that there is no advantage to applying through any third party.
- ARE PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR GRANTS FROM WIE FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN EXPANDING THEIR BUSINESS?
Yes, organizations having unique and innovative ideas through which they can help achieve WIE’s programmatic objectives can apply for grants as explained in the Annual Program Statement (APS).