Government supporting community-led micro-enterprises
- Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Programme (AREDP)
- Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
- Country of Implementation
- Asia & Pacific
- South Asia
- First published
“Before joining an AREDP saving group, I was jobless and had serious economic problems. AREDP helped me to establish a grocery shop in my village, and today I earn enough to support my family.” Mr. Abdul Bashir, programme recipient with a physical disability
The Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Programme (AREDP) was established by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in 2010 as a community-led micro-enterprise development project. Specifically, it was designed to support village inhabitants to create village-based micro- enterprises and to facilitate their access to finance as well as technical and marketing service. During the period 2010–2016, 143 enterprises have been established, creating 143 direct employment opportunities and 456 indirect ones.
Due to decades of warfare in Afghanistan, the number of people with disabilities has continued to increase, and as such, the government and local actors have had a hard time providing for the growing number of people requiring special support, specifically people with disabilities living in rural settings.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
AREDP supports people with disabilities from rural environments to establish micro-enterprises, such as mechanic workshops, beauty parlours, carpentry, transportation services, embroidery, poultry, shop keeping, and tailoring. After establishing the micro-enterprise, the entrepreneurs receive technical and soft-skills training on marketing, costing and pricing, selling, feasibility and business plan development, business promotion, simple bookkeeping, etc. Moreover, AREDP engages in community-based enterprise development, including: • Saving groups (SGs): An SG consists of eight to ten community members who conduct regular meetings and each saves 30 AFS (about EUR 0.50) on a weekly basis. • Village saving and loan associations (VSLA): The purpose of the VSLA is to provide larger loans for commercial and entrepreneurial activities, such as agriculture, handicraft, livestock, poultry, food processing, etc. • Enterprise groups (EGs): An EG consists of three to five rural entrepreneurs who run small-scale businesses at the community level.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The project was funded with US$200,000 from the World Bank’s International Development Association, which covered the costs of employee salaries, trainings, toolkits, and business incubation and monitoring. Currently, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development is conducting random monitoring of the project.
THE STORY OF ABDUL BASHIR, GROCERY STORE OWNER
“Today, I earn enough to support my family of eight people.”
Abdul Bashir, who has a physical disability, is a beneficiary of the microfinance programme sponsored by the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Programme (AREDP). A native of the Big Mohammad Khail village in in Afghanistan’s Parwan province, he is the breadwinner of a family of eight. At the outset, Bashir had a difficult time finding a job where he could fit in and could earn an income, but that changed when he was selected by AREDP to be a member of a “saving group” in his village. AREDP also provided Bashir with training and business skills, and helped him to establish his own grocery shop. “Before joining the AREDP saving group, I was jobless and had serious economic problems. AREDP helped me establish a grocery shop in my village, and today I earn enough to support my family,” reports Bashir with obvious satisfaction.