A Review of Objectives, Activities, and Future Plans AWCCI, Organizational Document (V6) - Page 12

Papers published by the AWCCI related to its activities, on women’s industrial parks, the ‘Made by Afghan Women’ labelling initiative, and internal factors affecting the growth of women-owned businesses, respectively ACTIVITY AREAS The AWCCI engages in activities related to six core objectives of the Chamber. These objectives are as follows: fields tracked by the database of women-owned businesses, in order to more closely monitor the long-term progress of Afghan businesswomen • Research (academic and policy-related) pertaining to the status of women in the Afghan economy • Increasing sales for women-owned businesses • Supporting investments by Afghan women • Advocating for the interests of Afghan businesswomen and raising awareness about their contributions to the Afghan economy • Building the capacity of Afghan women in business-related fields In the proceeding sections of this document, we will review each objective and how the AWCCI is currently fulfilling its obligations to its members. We will also review the future plans of the Chamber related to each activity area. Research (Academic and Policy- Related) Objective: Provide data that can be used practically in developing Afghan Government and donor organization polices related to women’s involvement in the Afghan economy Research Initiatives and Activities: The AWCCI maintains an active research unit within its Executive Body tasked with regularly publishing studies and fact sheets related to the activities of women in the Afghan economy. Accomplishments in this area are highlighted below: Development of Precious Stones & Jewelry sector strategy paper for the ITC Handicrafts production in Afghanistan is dominated by small and medium-sized women-owned enterprises, and as such the AWCCI expends a great deal of time and effort working with its members in this sector. Recognizing the AWCCI’s expertise in this field, the International Trade Centre approached the AWCCI in the fall of 2017 with a request to develop a strategy paper for the Precious Stones & Jewelry sector. The AWCCI took on the challenge, and the resulting document was published alongside other sector strategy papers within the Afghan Government- endorsed National Export Strategy. 11 Members of the AWWCI-led, UN Women-funded fact-finding mission visit a cloth-printing workshop at a women’s industrial park in Hyderabad, India Publication of ‘Internal Factors Affecting the Growth of Women-Owned Businesses’ Paper In the spring of 2018, the AWCCI published the academic paper, Internal Factors Affecting the Growth of Women-Owned Businesses. Utilizing data from a survey of 248 Afghan women business owners, the study looks at how the qualifications of the business owner – as well as the methods they employ operating their business – impact the overall success (or lack thereof) of their enterprise. Law Review Committee The AWCCI operates a Law Review Committee that examines commerce-related Afghan laws and regulations. The objective of the committee is to ensure that there is equity for Afghan businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in the laws and regulations put into place by the Afghan Government. Maintenance of Women Business Database • Developing database policy: Develop a policy for users of the AWCCI’s database, i.e. who can access the database, should AWCCI charge fees for use of database, etc. • Research on women in the informal economy: Conduct field research on women businesses operating in the informal economy, and what are the obstacles for licensing and/or rationale for remaining unlicensed • Tracking impact of Afghan businesswomen: Perform quantitative analysis on the contributions of women in the Afghan economy Sales Support for Women Business Owners Objectives: Bring tangible results to women-owned businesses by increasing sales, both domestically and through increased exports abroad Sales-Related Initiatives and Activities: Scoring Allowance with the National Procurement Authority (NPA) Future Research-Related Goals: In the spring of 2018, the AWCCI successfully concluded negotiations with the Afghan Government’s National Procurement Authority (NPA) to provide a 5% scoring allowance for women-owned companies. This scoring allowance will allow women-owned companies to ‘get a foot in the door’ when competing with large traditional logistics companies with decades-long past performance records. The AWCCI has the following plans related to its research mission: Facilitating Business Relationships Between Members and International Organizations The AWCCI maintains a database of women-owned businesses in Afghanistan, and routinely uses this data as a means to perform evidence-based advocacy work (another activity area of the AWCCI that will be described later in this document). • Examining growth factors: Expand the ‘Growth Factors’ line of research, to include both internal and external growth factors that have significant impacts on women-owned businesses • Expanding database: Expand the number of The AWCCI has worked tirelessly to connect Afghan businesswomen with the procurement departments of international organizations operating in Afghanistan, such as UNAMA, UNGM, ADB, World Bank, UNDP, and UNODC, to name a few. The goal is to encourage these organizations to include women-owned businesses on their Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quotation (RFQ) dissemination lists, along with incorporating scoring preferences for women-owned businesses. Disseminating Procurement Information to Members Besides encouraging organizations to reach out directly to women-owned businesses to share procurement opportunities, the AWCCI has also made the effort to let its members know about active RFPs and RFQs. The AWCCI Executive Body collects RFP and RFQ information from a range of sources and posts the details on the AWCCI website, as well as distributing the information to its members by email. ‘Made by Afghan Women’ (MBAW) Labelling Initiative In May 2018, the AWCCI officially launched the Made by Afghan Women labelling initiative, following months of preparation. The purpose of the initiative 12