Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, Afghanistan

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"As the first woman in my family to go to college, I paved the way for my cousins to study as well. By studying, we show people that women are not weak as we continue paving the way."

–Masooda Abdul Khaliq
Afghan business owner, 2009 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women graduate, and 2010 Project Artemis Afghanistan fellow

Thunderbird School of Global Management teamed with Goldman Sachs as an early partner when the investment bank announced a $100 million commitment in 2008 to educate 10,000 underserved businesswomen from emerging markets around the world. Goldman Sachs' mission is simple: Invest in educating women with the skills they need to start and grow their own businesses, and then watch that investment spread. Since its launch in March of 2008, 10,000 Women has become active in over 40 countries worldwide through partnerships with local and international education providers. As of December of 2013, the goal of reaching 10,000 Women was achieved and surpassed. 

Given Thunderbird's already present investment in women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan through Project Artemis, and our already existing partnership with the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), Thunderbird was asked to spearhead the initiative in Afghanistan in 2008, and continues to manage the program. The 10,000 Women program in Afghanistan is delivered in Kabul through a partnership with the International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development (ICAWED) at the AUAF. The curriculum for the training program was developed by leading faculty at Thunderbird, in collaboration with instructors at the AUAF in Afghanistan; it includes basic business training in entrepreneurship, marketing, management, accounting and finance, networking and strategic planning. 

The program has trained over 300 women business owners and aspiring business owners since 2008 in basic business and management skills, leading them through the process of writing a complete business plan—their final deliverable for graduation. In addition to business training, Afghan participants receive access to a women's resource center with computers, books and meeting space. The graduates are also exposed to a variety of follow-up services including access to mentors, one-on-one business consulting hours, workshops and networking events.

In more recent years, Thunderbird also has teamed with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women to serve participants from Peru, Pakistan and other countries such as Malaysia and the South Pacific through a partnership with the U.S. Department of State.

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