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AUAF awards the Maqsudi Social Entrepreneurship Awards winners at Seventh commencement ceremony

On Friday, May 20, 2016, The American University of Afghanistan awarded the winners with the Farid Maqsudi Social Entrepreneurship Award during the seventh commencement ceremony at the International campus.

During the commencement ceremony, Director of MBA Program, Dr. Patrick Asea, introduced the Farid Maqsudi Social Entrepreneurship Award and winners for the year 2015. President of the university Dr. Mark English, and Dr. Patrick Asea awarded the winners Saher Sulaimankhail, Hosai Fakhri, Alem Shah Ibrahimi and Ehsanullah Hilali with the USD 10,000 winning prize.

“In addition to the chance to win the cash prizes the Maqsudi competition provides students an unparalleled experiential learning opportunity---coaching and mentoring from health, development and business professionals, exposure to an extensive network of professionals and companies, and the chance to present to judges and investors. ,” said Dr. Partick Asea.

The Maqsudi Social Entrepreneurship Competition challenges AUAF-MBA students to use rigorous business principles to create sustainable, positive solutions to some of Afghanistan’s most challenging problems—poverty, health, education, hunger, environmental degradation and development.

"I am very thankful to Mr. Farid Maqsudi for this award and encouragement, and I would like to return to my community what I have learnt , I hope I could serve my country with this unique project of crowd sourcing." Alem Shah Ibrahimi.

This $10000 award is generously given by Mr. Maqsudi, to be presented annually to one female and one male MBA student, who have developed an outstanding Business plan supporting a new social entrepreneurship venture and exhibited exceptional original graduate level work at AUAF’s MBA program. “ I am grateful to the American university of Afghanistan, specially Director of MBA Program, Dr. Patrick Asea, also Mr. Maqsudi because he has supported the winners with $10,000.” Said Saher Sulaimankhail.

The two winning projects of the Maqsudi award were named Saaf water purifier and Paanga|Sarmaya . An innovative low-cost water filter that will help tackle this serious and endemic health problem. SAAF water purifier will be locally manufactured by a female-owned social business to meet the highest international standards of hygiene.

Paanga|Sarmaya is the first innovative platform for crowd sourcing, and this is the first opportunity for mass investment in Shariah compliant products in Afghanistan. The investment is highly affordable since the investment is as low as 100AFN via mobile SMS to the online investment platform. This is highly scalable in Afghanistan since 12 million people are net prepaid mobile users. These tiny funds will be accumulated as a large investment pool. This investment pool fund will be used to buy Afghan farmer's products. These Afghan farmer's products are processed, properly packaged and finally exported to regional and international markets throughout the year, and the profit and loss will be shared based on Shariah compliance to the investors.