USAID’s Groundbreakers – The Fearless 15: Empowering Women Entrepreneurship in Khatlon Region

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, October 27, 2022 – USAID Agribusiness Competitiveness Activity in Tajikistan (ACAT) celebrated the launch of the photobook entitled “Groundbreakers: The Fearless 15 to recognize the women entrepreneurs of the Khatlon region for their outstanding efforts to improve agribusiness and drive Tajikistan’s sustainable economic growth.

The photobook profiles 15 women business leaders who own and operate enterprises of all sizes across the agribusiness sector in the Khatlon region. These entrepreneurs are bold leaders who are agribusiness processors, traders, and exporters in traditionally male-dominated sectors. The photobook tells the story of their commitment to their businesses and showcases female role models who are inspiring other women to take advantage of the new economic opportunities that are available in Tajikistan’s growing agribusiness sector. By highlighting their work to eliminate gender inequalities in the private sector, the event helped to inspire other women to act as powerful change-agents for inclusive development in Tajikistan.

“Women’s meaningful economic participation is integral to achieving greater security and economic stability in Tajikistan. When women are empowered economically, they tend to invest in their families and communities, spurring economic growth and creating more stable and prosperous communities” – said the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Bridgette Walker.

The event was combined with a Media Contest Award Ceremony, where the best 15 stories about women in agribusiness were presented and awarded with prizes. The contest aimed at disseminating accurate information on agribusiness and encouraging journalists to expand their knowledge of the sector.

Since July 2018, USAID’s ACAT has invested in start-ups and emerging agribusinesses by providing essential resources to Tajik entrepreneurs to better manage their businesses. In addition, USAID’s ACAT has focused on identifying and addressing gender inequalities in the business sector to help foster sustainable economic results. To date, USAID’s ACAT helped provide more than $1.5 million in private capital for agribusinesses in the dairy and horticulture industries, and assisted around 18,000 entrepreneurs, 40 percent of whom are women, with businesses of various sizes.


USAID is the world’s premier international development agency, and a lead actor driving development results. Since 1993, USAID has partnered with the Government of Tajikistan to strengthen good governance, boost economic growth, improve education, health, food security and bolster regional economic connectivity. For more information, visit the USAID/Tajikistan website: and the Facebook page: