Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, January 18th, 2021

Entrepreneurship and its Challenges in Afghanistan


Entrepreneurship and its Challenges  in Afghanistan

Although there is no clear definition for entrepreneurship, it usually refers to the process of creating new values, new enterprise and bearing any of its risks, with the view of making the profit. It is also defined as process by which individuals or a group of individuals exploit a commercial opportunity, either by bringing a new product or process to the market, or by substantially improving an existing good, service, or method of production. This process is generally organized through a new organization (a start-up company), but may also occur in an already established business that undergoes a significant change in product or strategy. The most famous example of successful entreprise in Afghanistan can name Kabul Bank, Azizi Bank, Moby group, Alkozey group and so on.
As mentioned earlier the term of “entrepreneurship” is quite elastic and has a wide range of different meanings and typology. In order to provide a clear picture of entrepreneurship concept, it is required to introduce four most popular kinds of entrepreneurship including small enterprise, expandable enterprise, large companies and social entrepreneurship. Though entrepreneurship of small businesses are usually small and belong to a certain family with limited investment, but this type of businesses create a lot of jobs in a country and overall form more than 38% world economic power. For example, it is said that around 50% of the businesses in United States are classified under category of small entrepreneurship providing jobs for a large number of people in that country.
The key factors to success of small entrepreneurship are being supported by families of entrepreneurs when laying down the foundation for their entrepreneurial venture. For example, in China many small or medium entrepreneurs are leaded by family elders. From one hand, it provides a lot of job opportunities for entire family members and on the other hand, family members are considered the most trustable workforce for the business.  However, today an independent entrepreneur is highly appreciated as entrepreneurs are considered as risk takers who are willing to reach the heights in the corporate world with their own hard work. The risk of starting everything from scratch is not the kind of risk everyone has the will and courage to take.
As already mentioned, the next type of entrepreneurship is expandable enterprises which are not usually too large but they have enough potential to grow with hiring good business talents and ability to attract the attention of big investors or traders. The third type of entrepreneurship is large companies which are able to create new products and services in domestic market and beyond. The forth type of entrepreneurship is social entrepreneurship which focuses on producing products and services that resolve the social needs and problems. Their only motto and goal are to work for society and not make any profits.
The most important points in concept of entrepreneurship are its links to creativity, creating new values, risk-taking, profit making, and economic mobility. In fact, the culture of entrepreneurship provides a lot of opportunities for individual or groups to practice creativity and pave the way for creating these values. When choosing entrepreneurship as a career path, it is crystal clear that the only way to stay on top of the corporate world is by coming up with brand new ideas. Creativity is the key to success in entrepreneurship. However, with such a vast global marketplace, the ideas proposed are often monotonous which leads to the trouble of disapproval from the critics. This is the most common yet crucial challenge that is faced by every entrepreneur.
In Afghanistan neither there is the culture of entrepreneurship and nor the government and universities are enthusiastic to cultivate such culture in the country.  If Afghan people were aware of entrepreneurship advantages and government also supported it, now Afghanistan would not rank as one of the poorest countries in the world. In general, lack of security, lack of systematic supports, lack of entrepreneurship culture and also administrative corruptions are the main challenges of entrepreneurship in the country. In addition, many of the entrepreneurs are imitators or opportunists,   not innovator as their talents have not been nurtured in the educational centers. Unfortunately, the higher educational system in Afghanistan is only organized for educational activities, not creative programs and so they produce only job seekers, not job creators. As long as everything is based on merely traditional educational and training courses, we should not expect any economic dynamism in the country.
Finally, there are few important points to be re-emphasized, if still there is any enthusiasm for entrepreneurship in the country. The first and most important point is that the entrepreneurs should be highly innovative to generate new ideas, start a company, and earn profits out of it. In the other word, the entrepreneurs must be able to create a new and factual value so as to satisfy the needs of target customers. For example, when we think about Apple, Samsung or Toyota product, there is a specific quality or value in each of those products which mesmerize us buying or using their products. So, if there is no such distinct value in the products, no reason or ads will convince customers buy our products or services. Secondly, the entrepreneurs must have ability to take a considerable amount of failure risk although the professional expertise largely helps to minimize it at the lowest level. Thirdly, being visionary and grow leadership quality; to be successful, having a clear vision of his new venture is vitally important. However, to turn the idea into reality a lot of resources and employees are required. Here, leadership quality is paramount because a leader imparts and guides their employees towards the right path of success. Lastly, entrepreneur should be flexible and open to change required by business environment.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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