Thunderbird equips 20 Afghan businesswomen for success

October 12, 2010

Thunderbird School of Global Management will host 20 businesswomen from Afghanistan October 17-29 as participants in its fourth annual Project Artemis program, an intensive entrepreneurship skills course.

The program will provide these women with business training, coaching, mentoring and access to resources so they can not only become self-sustaining citizens in their homeland, but also create opportunities for employment and help rebuild Afghanistan through small business.

The women range in age from 21 to 49 and come from seven different provinces in Afghanistan. Their business acumen and expertise range from construction and carpentry trade to internet cafes and food production such as jams and chutney.

Project Artemis participants are selected based on the strength of their business ideas, level of business knowledge, experience and perceived ability to do well in the program.

Some of the courageous and hopeful women attending Project Artemis 2010 include:
• Maryam, a 22 year old woman from Jawazjan who owns a woman’s only internet cafe.
• Najiba, a 46 year old woman from Herat whose wool processing business employs 100 women.
• Fatemah, a 45 year old woman from Kabul who has been the owner of a carpentry business for 6 years. 

Local female entrepreneurs, alongside Thunderbird alumnae, will serve as mentors for the Afghan women and will host the group at various locations throughout the Valley. A graduation ceremony will be held at the program’s conclusion on Oct. 29 at Thunderbird’s campus.

These women will return to Afghanistan to execute their training despite much adversity and personal risk. The success stories of the more than 44 Project Artemis graduates thus far are proof of their spirit, resolve and hard work.

For example, Project Artemis graduate Aziza has accomplished much since completing her fellowship in Thunderbird’s Project Artemis. Aziza owns Muska Leather & Ball Making Company in Afghanistan. She sells around 10,000 soccer balls per year and has 200 women in the ball making section of her company, which also makes leather goods.

“We are always amazed at the dedication the Project Artemis participants possess,” said Kellie Kreiser, director of Thunderbird for Good, which implements Project Artemis. a program that leverages Thunderbird’s expertise in international business and provides learning experiences for non-traditional students who can utilize business and management skills to fight poverty, secure peace and improve living conditions in their communities.”

Kreiser will be blogging during the Project Artemis program at

For more information about Project Artemis and to read more success stories, go to