In January 2014, Hand in Hand Afghanistan expanded its activities to Samangan and Jawzjan provinces with a vision to reduce poverty through creation of micro-enterprises and jobs in marginalized communities under two separate projects and both projects directly serve 7,200 people with 70% women participation.
The Supporting Rural Entrepreneurship and Promoting Women’s Social-economic Empowerment is a 30 months project and co-funded by the European Union and Hand in Hand International. The project started in January, 2014 in Dara-e-Suf Bala and Dara-e-Suf Payan districts of Samangan province. The project aims to create 5,400 new enterprises and 8,100 jobs.
While, the Improving Lives in Jawzjan by Creating micro-enterprises and Jobs is a 24 months project, funded by Hand in Hand International and started in January, 2014 in Aqcha district of Jawzjan province. This project aims to create 1,800 new enterprises and 2,700 jobs.
The projects are initially mobilizing 7,200 members into 480 Self Help Groups (SHGs), in which 336 of them are exclusively females and 144 of them are males, then providing them with the group management, basic Microfinance and Business Development Services training. Later on groups are provided with vocational skills training on agriculture, horticulture, livestock, carpet weaving, silk weaving, wool spinning, poultry, bee keeping, handicrafts, fishery and other needed skills. The SHG members are encouraged to promote internal savings to financially support their enterprises. Besides, if there is demand for additional financial support, HiH Af facilitate their micro-enterprise linkage to other microfinance institutions in the area or provide them small loans from its Enterprise Incubation Fund. Once the targeted enterprises are formed group members receives training on value addition and market linkage.