Accelerate Prosperity

Inspiring rising entrepreneurs in emerging regions to grow new markets, create sustainable employment, and strengthen communities.

Challenge: a lack of economic opportunities, especially for women and youth

More than half of the Central and South Asia’s population is below the age of 25. Youth unemployment is high; and women work in low-income sectors and participate very little in business as entrepreneurs and senior managers.

Across the region, job creation is a priority for governments to foster socio-economic stability and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are seen as vital players in driving regional growth. However, barriers to launching and growing an enterprise persist in the Central and South Asia region.

Entrepreneurs face tough regulations, insecurity, under-resourced government programmes, and expensive financing. This hampers regional trade and progress in tackling the low participation of women in business and youth unemployment.

Both the EU and AKDN are actively encouraging regional cooperation in Central and South Asia and continue, through this partnership, to work across the region to enhance opportunities for economic growth and sustainable livelihoods. 

Response: provide technical expertise, creative financing solutions and market connections for small and growing businesses

SMEs are essential in fostering sustainable economic growth by promoting innovation, reducing income inequality and providing stable employment. The unique intervention through Accelerate Prosperity (AP) in Central and South Asia aims to harness the power of SMEs to tackle the low participation of women in business, limited trade and burgeoning youth unemployment.

AP Asia will invest millions of Euros in selected businesses and differentiates itself by providing in-house capital to do so. Through this, the programme will empower high potential entrepreneurs and equip them with the appropriate tools to grow their businesses, access investment and help multiply economic opportunities in Pakistan and the region.

Accelerate Prosperity - in pictures

A selection of some of the rising entrepreneurs and their businesses that have been supported by this programme, including a canning business, two hotels, a textile business, a pharmacy, a co-working space business, and a water bottling plant.

What AP aims to achieve

Working alongside the targeted SMEs, investors and other stakeholders will help build more inclusive environments. As supported enterprises grow, they will generate markets and services and open new avenues for regional trade. 

These interventions will put women and youth entrepreneurs in the frontline of economic transformation. 

So far AP has helped:

  • Support 1,541 entrepreneurs, 50% of which are women and youth
  • Create 4,500 regional jobs
  • Support 45,000 rural producers and suppliers through value chains

AP's impact

Since 2016, Accelerate Prosperity has supported promising entrepreneurs through business modelling, 1:1 coaching from staff, mentorship and networking with entrepreneurs, investment readiness, seed and growth financing, investors services and trade facilitation.
invested in small and growing businesses
private commitments secured for future investments
jobs created in invested enterprises
entrepreneurs supported
rural producers and suppliers supported

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