Social entrepreneurship tackling poverty in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan

Said Ahmad Maisam Najafizada, Maurie J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent years have seen growing interest in the design and implementation of interventions to reduce poverty in developing countries based on social entrepreneurship. While there are numerous examples of this model being applied around the world, we present a case of social entrepreneurship involving carpet weavers in Bamyan, an extremely rural and resource-constrained province in Afghanistan. The investigation demonstrates a process of poverty alleviation that began with poor villagers undertaking the hardest and most mundane production tasks. This work allowed some people to access better education and training and to in due course move on to less onerous employment. We also found that poor Afghans are embedded in stratified communities in which households at relatively higher levels are most able to break the cycle of poverty. The most capable individuals tend to be young and diligent members of slightly more prosperous families with motivation and talent for education and skill acquisition. Poverty-alleviation programs based on social entrepreneurship have the potential to improve living conditions and to launch at least some people on a trajectory of gradual transformation, but the effects are unlikely to diffuse to entire communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-26
Number of pages3
JournalWorld Development Perspectives
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Afghanistan
  • Asia
  • Developing countries
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Poverty traps
  • Social entrepreneurship


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