Client:Garage 48 | Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affaris
Date:October, 2019 - December, 2020
Tags:Hackathon, Women Empowerment, Business Services

Organizing series of Tech-Hackathon for Empowerment of Afghan Women

Empowering Women Hackathon in Kabul – Afghanistan

From a business idea to a prototype in 48hrs

It has been years that private and public sectors along with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working on different projects to enhance Afghan youths’ competencies and create an enabling environment for them. Among the key players in the private sector, Asara Global Group has also played its role in supporting and enabling Afghan youths (male and female) to reach self-sufficiency, create employment opportunities for their fellows and take part in the economic growth of the country. 

As mentioned, Asara helps Afghan youth establishing their own businesses and create employment opportunities, as a new initiative, Asara was able to partner with Garage48 which is an Estonian organization serving entrepreneurs and helping them establish their business in organizing a female themed entrepreneurial event called Empower Women Hackathon in Kabul. The event was funded by the Development Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.

The goal of the event is to empower female entrepreneurs through a  course of 48 hours, where women entrepreneurs are pitching their business ideas, developing prototypes, and presenting it to the audience.  

As a partner for implementing the initiative, Asara managed the outreach phase of the event, where a wide range of women entrepreneurs from multiple resources through efficient channels was targeted to participate in the event. Moreover, Asara organized an informative session called Entrepreneurial Talk in one of the private universities located in Kabul city to spread the entrepreneurship concept and invite the university’s students to participate in the event.

After an extensive round of outreach, although the maximum number of participants was 50, 150 applicants were enrolled in the event as the number of applicants was more than 400. More participants were invited to the event in order to keep and increase their enthusiasm for such activities.

The event was organized on 10, 11, and 12th of December. During the three-day event, 40 business ideas were pitched and 16 of them were selected considering the criteria that mean 16 teams were created each including members from different fields i.e. entrepreneurs, designers, and developers. All 16 teams were coached and mentored by a professional team of national and international entrepreneurs, designers, and developers. Each team prepared its draft business plan along with the prototypes of its products. At the end of three days following teams pitched and presented their business models and prototypes to a team of judges:

  1. Fun Learn App: An interactive educational app for pre-school children. The team managed to develop some pretty cool games for the kids to learn about numbers, letters, and colors
  2. Gender Harassment: A movement that fights for equal rights of women through social media and through creative drawings.
  3. Plastic Pollution: A team that fought against plastic pollution, which is a big problem in  Kabul city currently. 
  4. C-Light: A website to shop for the salt lamps. Salt lamps fight against the dangerous radiations caused by smart-phones and laptops.
  5. TeezPa: The first private Afghan-founded delivery service. During the weekend they tried to build a web-based application to communicate with customers and to track packages.
  6. Hani Flowers: An online flower shop, that would customize the bouquets according to customer’s needs and deliver them initially in Kabul and later all over Afghanistan.
  7. BNW: Focusing on boosting small enterprises and individuals through social media (Youtube) and through helping businesses to sell goods on their own platform.
  8. Dastyaar: A platform for freelancers, developers, and designers to apply for different kinds of freelancing opportunities, both full-time and part-time.
  9. Labour Market: A platform for job finding and recruitment.
  10. Property Portal: An online property marketplace in Afghanistan for buyers and sellers.
  11. Gynecology App: The aim was to create an app that would educate women about the menstruation cycle, different stages of pregnancy, and other important issues relevant to women’s organisms.
  12. No Escape: A facial recognition app, that scans the faces through security cameras and identifies the location.
  13. Bridge: A platform that helps the artist to promote and sell their artwork. 
  14. Sere Fashion: The aim was to create a web-page that would sell well-made fashionable (mix of old and new) Afghanistan clothes
  15. Afghan Peace Warrior: Kabul-based gym, that would also be focused on training women.
  16. Rangin: A printing company that would print local female graphic designers’ work on different items (t-shirts, tote bags, socks, etc.).

Based on the results of evaluations by the judges, Dastyar was announced as the winner of the event while Gynecology and Plastic Pollution were awarded the second and third runner-up positions.

We at Asara are caring more about the sustainability of such activities. In order to help the established businesses, Asara is providing them with the incubation service as the post-event support. Asara will enroll three of the businesses into its current incubation program. It is worth mentioning that the rest businesses also have the chance to attend the program if met the selection criteria.