Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government with support by USAID and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) brought together women business owners from the merged areas to support them in creating market linkages to develop their businesses.

“Based on the findings of a recent baseline survey, we are building women’s confidence and resourcefulness to deal with social barriers,” said Raluca Eddon, Programme Manager of the UNDP’s Merged Areas Governance Project. “Skills like financial literacy, business knowledge, product development and group management, coupled with leadership training will not only enable them to run successful and sustainable enterprises from their homes but also to train other women within their communities.”

“Working womenfolk and women entrepreneurs in the Merged Areas face numerous challenges due to various factors including limited or no exposure to the markets,” said Nasheeta Mohsin, Secretary KP Department of Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment. “The KP government appreciates USAID and UNDP for their innovative and context-specific interventions to help us overcome these challenges.”

Under the initiative, 240 women from Khyber, Kurram, Bajaur and Mohmand districts are being trained on business startups, food processing, and carpet weaving. The learning environment in this activity facilitates and brings together trainees, field workers from the Provincial Social Welfare department and representatives from the business community to exchange ideas on product development and establishing robust market linkages.

Building on this pilot intervention, the KP government intends to scale-up the program to the remaining MA and sub-divisions in the coming years.

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