Young Afghan Entrepreneurs are the ‘Hope’


Two young entrepreneurs in Kabul, Afghanistan have given up promising career and set up a bakery. They have done so despite of the fact that Afghans are leaving the country and international agencies are winding up their operations in the country.

These entrepreneurs have taken a very small step but at the same time are very hopeful that it will bring a greater change in the Taliban devastated country.

Suleman Fatimie and Shakib Noori, two management graduate from Pakistan’s Preston University, have invested all their savings and set up a bakery in Kabul, reported Independent.  Suleman Fatimie was previously chief executive of Afghanistan’s export promotion agency but gave up his post to start the new business.

He said, “We thought hard – how can we help change the situation?” However, he justified his decision by saying “a good, sustainable business has the power to improve lives of those involved. So, we decided to set up a venture.”

Fatimie also added that a bakery was a natural choice as Afghans are foodies and also addicted to bread. Both the partners have invested $30,000 (AU$ 42287.17). They have named the bakery “Khanagi”, which means homemade in Dari language. The bakery uses ground grains from Afghan farmers to produce their goods.  They also sell all seasonal side dishes like jams, milk and cottage cheese from local producers. It is the livelihood of 11 local residents and created more than 100 employments at its suppliers.

Another report by Fast Company  stated that an Afghan youth, Ahmad Reza Zahedi started a website design company called Tech Sharks in 2010. Initially the company did not do well but in 2012 not only expanded its staff but also expected revenue to double, to $50,000 (AU$70478.12). The report focused on the blooming tech community of Afghanistan.

Amidst the ongoing battle between Taliban and Afghanistan, stories of Suleman Fatimie, Shakib Noori and Zahedi are like whiff of fresh air.  A country which uses child soldiers to protect it and has turned into a place where people are in constant fear of losing their lives, inspiring stories like these are the only hope.

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