Reintegration good practices #10 - Supporting SMEs and former returnees to create jobs for migrants returning to Afghanistan
Under the RADA project, IOM is contributing to create employment for returnees in Afghanistan by supporting local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase their production capacities and their market reach.
Applicant SMEs that have a potential for growth and commit to employ a number of returnees, are selected to receive financial and technical support. Priority is given to SMEs established by migrants who returned and received assistance in the framework of past IOM reintegration programmes, proved to be able to run a successful business, and are willing to support recent returnees while expanding their business.
By December 2020, 104 returnees (82 male, 22 female) were employed by 17 SMEs supported by RADA, including 13 employed in two SMEs established by former returnees.
As this practice is relatively recent and still lacks evaluation data, it can hardly be characterized as a good practice. However, it is a promising practice as it already demonstrated its capacity to create jobs for returnees, to develop their skills and to contribute to their economic stability in a complex return environment. The technical support provided to enhance the SMEs’ productivity and revenue (e.g. business linkages, packaging or marketing support, etc.) is remarkable. Finally, its focus on linking former and recent returnees is promising and worth further exploring.