Program Overview | Herat Economic Development Platform (HEDP)
TFBSO partnered with IBM to initiate the Herat Incubator Program (HIP) on May 24th, 2011. The HIP has evolved over time into the Herat Business Accelerator, which is a platform for fostering private enterprise growth across Afghanistan. The Herat Economic Development Platform (HEDP) provides a unique opportunity for corporations, investors, academic institutions, and other organizations to foster business development. Consultants supporting HEDP are divided into two teams, the Business Accelerator Advisors and Due Diligence Team, who implement on-the-ground operations in coaching small businesses and linking more mature companies with capital investment.
Herat Business Accelerator
Consultants provide companies with daily consulting and advisory services on strategic planning, business development, information technology, management and staffing plans, basic legal issues, revenue models, marketing, and client engagements. Additionally, Business Accelerator Consultants developed a training series which introduces core business skills and concepts for incubator companies to integrate into their business plans and operations. Lastly, the Business Accelerator facilitates seminars with business leaders, government officials, academics and others to deliver engaging lectures on topics related to venture business development and information technology.
Corporate & Non-Profit Residency
International organizations interested in operating in Afghanistan face a number of challenges including prohibitive exploratory costs, an uncertain security environment, and a limited business network of connections and potential partners. TFBSO seeks to host corporate organizations at the incubator compound to facilitate economic growth. The TFBSO Compound may serve as a “foothold” in Afghanistan for interested international organizations until they can operate independently in the Afghan market.
Our consultants are identifying investors with a tolerance for high risk investment and a desire to support economic development in Afghanistan and developing investment vehicles. The rigor, due diligence, and capital infusion of direct investment will support the expansion of promising business ideas. The HEDP is focusing on high-growth, high-impact sectors such as information and communication technology, extractive industries, logistics, agriculture, and light manufacturing. These industries should bring substantial returns to compensate investors while also growing revenue and creating jobs.
HEDP is leveraging the Academic Initiative (AI), a global program that facilitates the collaboration between IBM’s academic courseware and educators to teach students the skills they need in order to be competitive and keep pace with changes in the workplace. The HEDP is also seeking academic institutions that have established initiatives that support economic development or social impact projects in developing or conflict countries.
Technical Assistance & Networking
The HEDP is leveraging its solutions and international network to implement the the initiatives listed above. HEDP is facilitating partnerships between Corporate & Non-Profit Residents and Afghan companies, providing technical assistance including investment facilitation between Afghan companies and international investors, bringing local business leaders to the incubator, and connecting businesses with public sector partners.