If you are an entrepreneur and you want to start another business, go back and do the same program that made you successful the first time. This is what returning PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® student, Freshta Sarwaree decided to do in 2019. The first time Freshta participated in PTB® was in 2017 with her business Blossoms of Hope, an early education and childcare center located in Kabul, Afghanistan. Freshta stood out among her peers even then for her drive and devotion to not only her own business, but to the women and children of Afghanistan. She struggled with facing distrust from society as a woman in business. But, by caring for the children of other working women, she has promoted an environment for mothers to get outside of the home and help disrupt this stigma.
In true entrepreneurial spirit, Freshta is now simultaneously running a new business, Green Choice Vegetable and Fruit Processing Company, which sells to local businesses and individuals in Kabul. Primarily, she sells spices and vegetable products like soups and dried produce, with some interest in exporting her products and importing new ones that cannot be found locally. Her business is self-financed and only employs women, keeping in line with her goal of creating economic security and independence for other women in her community. In the next five years, she hopes to see this business expand all across Afghanistan and connect directly to the farmers who are producing the raw materials.
Freshta is running Green Choice while still working as Vice President to Blossoms of Hope Kindergarten, a testament to the determination and drive within her. She decided to take the PTB® course again as she works to scale up her new business in a completely different industry. Facing new challenges such as securing industrial machinery for production and packaging, Freshta was set on retaking the course in this new light. IEEW is proud to see the repeat success of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® through entrepreneurs with an ambitious spirit like Freshta’s.
Written by: Ariel Wilkerson, 2019 IEEW intern