Afghan Female Jeweler Achieves International Sales and Establishes an Overseas Presence

Publish Date: 25 October 2018

Tanveer Jewelry was established in Kabul in 2007, and it produces high end jewelry and natural stone home décor products.  Having a well-equipped facility for cutting and finishing different gems and stones, the company provides jobs predominantly for women, the majority of whom are the only breadwinners in their families.

Although Mrs. Ayesha Aziz, the owner of Tanveer, had 32 years of business experience in Afghanistan, her company lacked the technical capacity to compete with rival businesses because of weak financial, administrative and marketing systems. After learning about USAID Women in Economy (WIE) Master of Business Administration (MBA) Corps program that is designed to assist women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to embrace a more modern business management approach, Ayesha applied and was accepted into MBA Corps.

Under her MBA advisor’s guidance, Tanveer doubled its production capacity and increased sales by 100% due to the purchase of new machinery as well as implementation of a proactive marketing strategy. Twenty-five more jobs were created for women, and the company expanded its client base by reaching out to new potential and international customers. One result was that Tanveer secured its first international contract worth $50,000 to supply 10,000 pairs of Tasbih (string of beads for keeping count of prayers) made of semi-precious stones to Saudi Arabia.

Ayesha doubly benefitted from WIE’s workforce development services. Due to her increased business capacity achieved through MBA Corps, she hired five WIE interns from the programs nation-wide Internship and Apprenticeship placement program.

“The WIE Program demonstrated what a women’s economic empowerment program can achieve. I became more involved in the local business community, expanded sales, and provided on the job training to my interns who gained valuable practical experience,” Ayesha said.

So far, 22 companies have benefited from the WIE’s MBA Corps program in Kabul. WIE’s Private Sector Development (PSD) component works with businesses that are women-owned, or employ over ten percent women to help them increase revenue by providing professionalized management and technical assistance, gaining access to finance and markets, and providing a foundation for entrepreneurship development.

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