The Goldozi Project

Speeches Shim

  • Duration:
    April 2018 – April 2022
  • Value: $10 Million


The Goldozi Project ("Goldozi" is Dari for "Embroidery") is designed to upgrade the skills of and increase access to market information for15,000 vulnerable female embroiderers in and around Kabul, thereby increasing the commercial and export potential of their products. This tested approach will also create a class of over 500 trained and certified sales agents who are equipped with new skills and access to market insights, connect them to embroiderers and other actors along the value chain, and build and promote a strong brand that advertises the authenticity and ethical production of its product lines.

Despite an eagerness on the part of Afghan women to contribute to the economic well-being of their households, family obligations and cultural norms constrain them from pursuing activities outside the home. As a result, only 16 percent of Afghan women participate in the workforce, the seventh-lowest rate in the world.

Options for home-based work are limited by existing skills, access to techniques and technologies, and linkages to viable markets. Traditional embroidery is a suitable option with great potential for increasing incomes. Nearly all embroidery jobs are held by women who are disadvantaged by cultural, social, and economic obstacles to employment. The Ministry of Labor reports that embroidery is the fifth most common occupation among Afghan women, employing roughly 400,000.

In Kabul, embroiderers work an average of 38 hours per week, earning just fewer than 10,000 Afghanis ($200 in 2017) per month.

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recognizes the export potential of Afghan embroidered products and sends small handicraft enterprises to international trade exhibitions. These efforts have increased direct sales, regional awareness of Afghan crafts, and linkages to regional markets. However, there is room for Afghanistan to improve its export share further.


  • Launch of Goldozi Partnership Network as a source of expertise, support services, and market linkages
  • Establish a certified skills curriculum and course for sales agents
  • Establish training providers for the Goldozi certificate course
  • Recruit and support sales agent trainees
  • Mobile support for training and market information
  • Link sales agents and embroiderers
  • Develop the Goldozi brand
  • Launch a domestic marketing and outreach campaign
  • Launch a global marketing and outreach campaign
  • Create market linkages


  • LAUNCH THE GOLDOZI PARTNERSHIP NETWORK (GPN): Goldozi convened the GPN twice to introduce the project and provide a forum for participants to share insights about Afghanistan’s process for bring embroidered products to market (This process is known as the “value chain.”), offer feedback on the project, and discuss the role of the GPN over life of the project. The GPN has grown from 22 to 51 value chain actors. As the GPN grows, it will become a critical resource for Goldozi when designing training and market-led support for prominent entrepreneurs and female embroiderers.
  • Conducted rapid market assessments in Kandahar and Kabul provinces to determine market demand and quality of products; conducted an international market assessment for high-end Afghan embroidered products, identifying priority markets and providing an evidence base for export activities going forward
  • Facilitated sales exhibitions for six Afghan design and embroidery organizations/firms to test market Afghan hand-embroidered products
  • Developed curriculum and pedagogy for the first phase of the Goldozi Certificate Program (GCP), comprising nine learning modules and teaching guides
  • Goldozi launched Version 0.1 of the Mobile Application, which will track sales and up-to-date market information, to increase the commercial potential of Goldozi products and earning potential of beneficiaries


Last updated: July 18, 2019

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