Kabul by Sohaib Ghyasi Unsplash
Strength-based Research
Launch of start-up center in Kabul

Stockholm/Kabul June 2021

A Lumen Behavior team, led by Natalie Engdahl, has been selected by ACGF – Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation to carry out the work on an upcoming project focused on setting up a business start-up center in Kabul. The start-up center will streamline the approach of various stakeholders to provide comprehensive support services and financial instruments tailored to the needs of local start-ups and young businesses. The center is a component of the upcoming EUR 10 million ‘Accessto Finance for Startups and Young Enterprises in Afghanistan’ Project, which is pending a final agreement for funding by KfW Development Bank and the GermanFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

“We are thrilled that our long experience with start-up support in diverse and challenging markets can contribute to entrepreneurial development in Afghanistan,” says Natalie Engdahl, senior consultant at Lumen Behavior.

Through its 17 years of credit guarantee and technical assistance operationsin Afghanistan, ACGF has identified a need to strengthen the local start-up ecosystem, especially as it relates to extending support to underserved groups such as female entrepreneurs, as a part of its mission to enhance access to finance for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and spur sustainable economicd evelopment in the country.

“Now more than ever there is a need to build local capacity that can bridge the entrepreneurial potential in Afghanistan with the access to specialized support and finance necessary for a vibrant MSME sector. We are happy to have Lumen Behavior onboard as we prepare to execute this ground-breaking project,” says Bernd Leidner, Chairman of the Management Board of ACGF.

Specializing in international development beyond the beaten track, Lumen Behavior employs business strategies and methods for strengthening entrepreneurship in individuals as wells as ecosystems. Its consultants have worked with entrepreneurship support in fragile or unstable markets such as DR Congo, Ethiopia, Chad and Russia, as well as in developing markets across Africa, Europe and Asia.

It is projected that the start-up center inKabul will open in early 2022 with a program offering comprehensive assistance to entrepreneurs starting or developing their business and engaging the budding ecosystem of start-ups and business support actors in Afghanistan.

About ACGF

ACGF’s mission is to improve access to finance for MSMEs in Afghanistan by providing credit guarantees and technical assistance to Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) such as banks and micro-finance institutions.  

In the challenging context of Afghanistan, ACGF utilizes its funds effectively to create a wide-reaching developmental impact.