Mina Sherzoy is the CEO and Founder of Excel Consulting and has spent two decades driving international development projects in Afghanistan and the surrounding regions of Central and South Asia. By cultivating international partnerships and humanitarian bridges among decision makers, societal figures, and political catalysts, Mina’s primary focus has always been to impact and elevate marginalized groups through the mastery of scalable trade practices. Excel’s greatest accomplishment has been to inspire the life foundation for thousands of women in business, to overcome socio-political instability in her ancestral homeland, and to ignite culturally unifying stories.
During her prolific career supporting women in securing economic well-being, Mina served in leadership executive roles for USAID-funded projects like Home-Based Workers’ Network (HBWN), Women in Government Project, Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan and Trade Show Support (TSS), leveraging the technical resources of multinational firms such as Deloitte, Chemonics International, and DAI.
Mina led a USAID project in Afghanistan. The project’s goal was to hire female university graduates to fill government positions for two years. With her team, she developed an internship and a career bridge program in two years. Ultimately, 300 women were placed in government positions, but it took a lot of effort. Mina had to talk to the ministers, deputy ministers, and other leaders on many occasions and advocate tirelessly for the hiring. This is what Mina excels at–navigating government channels, building relationships, and making the impossible possible.
In Afghanistan, almost 90% of women are illiterate, and mostly are involved in home-based work. Mina wrote a concept paper on how to work with these women that led USAID to greenlighting a 6-month pilot project offering training for women. Eight hundred women from the Mazar-e-Sharif district participated in the program. They learned business skills and ways to grow their business, and today they earn more income due to the training they received. In addition, the project created a network of 452 women who continued to support each other in their enterprises after the project ended. Three thousand women are still on the waiting list to join the program.
In embattled Afghanistan, Mina and Excel used fashion and design to empower women economically and to keep alive the traditions of a rich culture. Encouraging a sense of fashion is a way of teaching women and families to live again, of nursing people back to work and culture, and most importantly, of empowering women economically.
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Elevating marginalized groups through the systematic transfer of trade and technological skills and creating data-driven leadership protocols with continuous, replicable improvement are the goals of Excel’s international development counseling.
Excel’s trade shows connect international investors, businesses, and consumers across verticals in meticulously organized marketplaces and ensures the best possible circumstances for principal and agent, product and consumer, donor and recipient, and investor and entrepreneur to meet in a disruptive, highly engaging, and informative event.
Through Excel, Mina has disseminated industry knowledge and perspective through lectures concerning up-to-date movements in technology, finance, and operational innovation. These conversations intended to spark critical discourse on how to leverage resources for a unified path forward in conflict zones.
Dear Ms. Sherzoy,
I greatly enjoyed visiting the marketplace with you at Kabul University. Thank you for helping arrange for me to greet the women from the Afghan Women’s Business Association and Project Artemis and to see their marvelous array of crafts and wares. The lovely silk rug you gave me is a great reminder of a splendid time. You are doing wonderful work supporting women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan. The delegation of exceptional women you accompanied to the United States for the mini-MBA program impressed everyone they met, and I was delighted to have Hamira Nassary join me for President Bush’s State of the Union address. The President joins me in sending our best wishes to you and the AWBA for your ongoing success.
With warm regards,
Laura Bush-The White House, April 21, 2005, Ms. Mina Sherzoy Afghan Women’s Business Association Wazir Akbarkhan Street # 11, House No. 570 Kabul AFGHANISTAN
Ms. Mina Sherzoy has been a dedicated professional leader and team player across Afghanistan in the scope of elevating businesswomen and women’s rights activism across the country. In 2012, I was working on a project with USAID in Afghanistan where Ms. Sherzoy served as the technical chief of the initiative. During that time, her enthusiasm, positive energy, and attentiveness to the project effectively materialized the curriculum for women’s capacity development and designed methodologies to accomplish its core mission. She refined the project plan to combine diversity and equality, which amplified the project’s empowerment scope. I was very motivated as a result of her proficiency and ethical standards to become a volunteer for the youth and women’s rights to advocate for them against inequality.
Fakhruddin Mujeeb-Fakhruddin Mujeeb – dedicated professional leader
Freshta Akbari was one of the 800 beneficiaries for the Women Home-Based Workers’ project in Mazar-e-Sharif, which was implemented by USAID/DAI/Excel Consulting International in 2019. This training intended to build women’s capacity who worked in their homes to increase income and teach women how to expand their businesses.
“It taught us the various ways to market, deliver customer service, and how to find new business. Excel’s training was the reason my business expanded and how I learned to market my products to win multiple contracts.” – Freshta Akbari
In the future, Freshta wants to expand her bakery business beyond her province. She will be seeking more assistance and support from Excel Consulting International to increase and expand training so that other women who work at home can benefit like she did.-Freshta Akbari – Excel’s training programs was reason business expanded
Ms. Sakina Mohammadi is 35 years old. She is one of the USAID/DAI/Excel Consulting International Home-Based Workers’ Network (HBWN) project beneficiaries.
She participated in the HBWN training in October 2019, among other female beneficiaries in Balkh. She has been able to expand her tailoring business since then. With Excel, she learned how to increase her income from home.
“I have been able to grow my tailoring business. I was truly encouraged by Excel’s training which is the reason I rented and opened a tailoring shop. Now I have expanded my shop. I have hired another ten women to work for me.” – Sakina Mohammadi
In the future, Sakina wants to take her business to the next level. She would like to sell outside of her province and also enter international markets. She is working with Excel Consulting International to bring training to other villages and districts so that other women can experience the same success.-Ms. Sakina Mohammadi: able to grow tailoring business was truly encouraged by Excel’s training February 2021
USAID/DAI/Excel Consulting implemented a training program in Mazar-e-Sharif for women who worked from home and were illiterate. Excel’s Home-Based Workers’ Network (HBWN) training was different from others I had received in the past. The curriculum made a major impact on many other women and myself who participated. We learned how to market, develop plans, create surveys and target markets for our products. I also learned how to price my products (clothing), which has made a big difference. Through the guidance of Excel toward the end of the program, we were able to develop a Women’s Home-Based Network through more transparent electoral and voting processes. I was elected the President of this network. I am grateful to Excel’s method of building capacity, and I highly recommend them for the future trainings
Sima Hashimzada-Sima Hashimzada: Excel’s Home-Based Worker’s Network (HBWN) training
Mina gets results using her trademark diplomacy. Her multi-tasking capabilities and people skills allow her to effectively organize women-to-women matchmaking events, while simultaneously organizing high-level Ministerial events – from extending personal invitations to managing every logistical detail within protocol. Thanks to her vast networks across the world, the USAID/Afghanistan-funded Trade Show Support project was able to pull off the impossible, from getting VVIPs to our event despite lack of seating on available planes to gaining support from host countries elite executives and changemakers.
– Kristin Lobron, Former Chief of Party – Trade Show Support Activity (TSSA)-Kristin Lobron: Former Chief of Party. Trade Show Support Activity (TSSA)
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