Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Aseel Technology Incorporation

What is the name of your solution?

Omid (Hope) IDs

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Omid IDs, a form of standalone identification card, providing access for beneficiaries to get aid from anyone, anywhere in the world while providing donors the ability to track aid delivery.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Omid IDs address the challenge of the lack of identity for aid recipients. Afghanistan (our first country) and Turkey (our second country), like many underdeveloped countries, are excluded from formal identification services, which results in low financial inclusion. A significant proportion of people in underdeveloped and developing countries do not have access to banking, insurance, and investment due to a lack of personal identification. They do not have access to fintech, which facilitates the breakdown of barriers to financial services. As a result, they do not benefit from the value brought to consumers, SMEs, and the economy. Lack of identification also excludes aid recipients from getting direct aid from organizations and individuals who may be willing to support them. 

Organizations and Individuals who want to support specific beneficiaries or a group of beneficiaries cannot directly assist these beneficiaries. In the case of organizations, for example, if an organization wants to support people who are directly affected by a natural disaster in a specific geography or wants to (e.g.) target women-led households, are not able to do so because of lack of identification and the ability to further segment data of. In terms of individuals, for example, a person in the US who has access to financial technology cannot provide direct aid to someone they know in an urgent situation in an underdeveloped country. 

Development Sectors’ historical approach: The development sector has historically relied on government-issued ID systems to deploy aid and in most cases not used identification systems that are custom-built for communities to support them. This has resulted in widespread corruption, bad quality distributions and no trail of data to go back to in order to get the beneficiaries from being in-need to making a sustainable livelihood. At the same time, different development sector actors have developed their own approaches at deploying aid in different regions that has led to parallel systems and duplication of efforts. 

Economic factors such as poverty and unemployment, as well as education and financial and digital literacy, further contribute to isolation of people.  80% of the world’s illiterate live in (under)developing countries and with the rapid development in technology, inequality of digital literacy increases. These communities are less likely to use the internet, as well as other information technologies than developed economies. 

Social and cultural factors play a significant role in excluding people from access to formal identification and, thus, inability to access financial services. There is a lack of engagement with communities of different cultural, religious, and economic systems, alienating them from engaging with the financial and digital world. Digital literacy highly impacts employability, with those who are digitally literate being significantly more employable. And financial literacy enhances people's financial security, decision-making, and access to financial services and increases their entrepreneurship and ability to create opportunities to become financially self-sufficient and independent. Engagement in including these people who are excluded can be solved through a first step of giving them a form of identification.

What is your solution?

The Aseel platform (iOS, Android, Web) expands access to the digital economy by providing direct aid to people in humanitarian need through its 'Do Good' pillar and empowering artisans to sell their products directly to buyers through its 'Buy Good' pillar. Using its proprietary back-end Ferni technology alongside OMID (Hope) IDs and its own Atalan (Heroes) network - Aseel designs and leads initiatives, connecting people globally to underdeveloped countries. Aseel has developed and built the infrastructure with local custom technological solutions to improve livelihoods with the goal of economic development and financial stability of people in developing and underdeveloped countries.

Central to Aseel’s mission are Omid IDs, which means “Hope” in Persian/Pashto/Arabic. The Omid cards are given to every beneficiary who needs assistance and is provided through Aseel’s Do Good pillar. This provides us with complete visibility on who we are supporting. The cards (paper-based & digital) also provide people with an identity number (OMID ID) that they can use to contact us. By sharing the QR Code/Image of the card with anyone in the world, they can directly send them aid in the future should they require further assistance, whether for winter crisis, medical support, or anything else that can save a human life. The OMID cards are the most critical aspect of our work because this leads to our plan of creating a people-run mobile platform that anyone can contribute to support people in crisis. 

Aseel believes the first step in onboarding people who are experiencing disaster, including natural or human-made, to the digital economy, is to provide them with an identification system that is made up of essential information, including household data but not necessarily through a government-provided identification system. Aseel’s decentralised humanitarian system supports the humanitarian market through enabling local deliveries of humanitarian packages and identification and distribution of OMID IDs by local Atalan (Heroes) members without physical engagement from the international development community. 

At the time of writing this application, anyone, anywhere in the world can go to aseelapp.com or the Aseel Mobile apps, select a package, pay for it online, and deploy it to a) someone they know in a conflict/disaster zone with their Omid ID or b) let us decide and report on the Omid ID just like an uber-eats order is delivered to someone’s home. 

To date, Aseel has supported over half a million people (75K Omid IDs) in the Afghanistan crisis and the Turkey earthquakes and has recorded the data of every Omid ID and the delivery process. The Atalan (Heroes) Network is a people-led specialized network, central to the infrastructure in our mission. These heroes enable technology for artisans and direct aid for people, and give access to financial technology (previously unobtainable). The network combats inequality of financial and digital literacy, through comprehensive training, easy to use app and great understanding of the fintech backend system “Ferni”, contributing positively to the heroes employability, as well as OMID ID receivers knowledge of the financial knowledge.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

According to the UN (2023), 339 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection - 92% of the population in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s economy has shrunk by 20% to 30% since August 2021 with the Taliban’s takeover. People have lost their jobs and livelihoods, social services have been decimated, poverty and hunger, as well as the humanitarian crisis, have greatly worsened, hundreds of thousands of people have left the country, government agencies have been denuded of managerial and professional staff, many Afghan businesses have closed or downsized, and the bottom has dropped out of the already low investment. For a while, the economy was in complete free fall. Still, the economy has stabilized at a lower equilibrium, leaving people poorer and more vulnerable to privation, hunger, and disease. WFP (2023) outlines that in Afghanistan, 28.3 million people require multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance. By March 2023, nearly 20 million people are acutely food-insecure, including >6 million people in emergency situations. Four million people are acutely malnourished, including >3.2 million children under 5. Two hundred eight million people will be unemployed (ILO, 2023). Unemployment rates in Afghanistan by the end of 2022 hit 25%. Most people in Afghanistan are excluded from the global digital economy. 

Omid IDs serve all the people that are affected by humanitarian and natural disasters by providing them an ID through the Atalan network at no cost; once the IDs are assigned to beneficiaries/households, organizations and individuals can directly send aid packages to them and track its distribution without mobilizing any physical resources. Furthermore, cash transfers can also be enabled through the platform as we improve the legal framework around the KYC process and further integrations with OFAC and other financial institutions. 

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Born from an incubator called AWAL Development, an international development company harnessing technology and innovation to improve the lives of those in underdeveloped or underrepresented countries. In addition, Aseel has gone through and won the XtremeTech Challenge Japan and has graduated from the Village Capital Migrants Fintech Accelerator.

Our founder, Nasrat Khalid, the recipient of the Andrew Rice award, started this company, but as Aseel grew, the project became its own platform and has to date helped thousands of artisans to sell their handmade products and hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries with emergency food aid and other supplies. Working in Afghanistan and other underserved communities with the United Nations, World Bank, and the US State Department for 12 years, and being from an underserved community like Afghanistan himself, having grown as a refugee, results in a refined understanding of the situation faced by people affected by crises. Other staff members from 13 countries have a deep understanding of humanitarian issues and specific skills that allow Aseel to respond to global challenges effectively. 

Over half of Aseel's Afghan staff are working inside Afghanistan. And regarding Turkey operations, those working predominantly in Turkey live there. Being close to the operations allows Aseel to respond effectively to changes and the work being conducted. Furthermore, face-to-face interactions build up trust with Aseel's beneficiaries and customer base, another plus of having offices in the countries of our operations. In each country of operation - Afghanistan, Turkey, and the USA - Aseel has a country office.   

The application of Aseel has demonstrated great potential; besides being covered by every major news agency, including Time Magazine, NPR, Al Jazeera, BBC, and so on, the Aseel platform overhead for the Do Good (Humanitarian) aid for the first 1 million dollars sent to Afghanistan was 16% compared to WFP’s public figure of over 50% globally. In Afghanistan, that number is increased to over 63%, meaning that millions of dollars are being wasted instead of delivering urgent food to people that are at risk of dying because of hunger. 

On this journey, Aseel has been transforming to address local customers' unique needs and preferences and tailor them to develop Aseel’s platform. By leveraging local insights and partnering with local businesses, Aseel designs and creates an effect more likely to resonate with nearby communities and drive business growth. Aseel has been employing some efforts to understand the needs of those it serves. The Development (Buy Good) and Humanitarian approach (Do Good) mix provides beneficiaries with immediate humanitarian needs and an exit to sustainable livelihoods. 

Aseel's team employed a collaborative and participatory approach that involved the community through designing and implementing with community input, ideas, and agendas. Start by conducting user research to understand the target audience's needs, preferences, and behaviors. Aseel uses customer satisfaction surveys, website comments, and ratings to modify the product. Also, consider incorporating local cultural elements into the platform, such as language, imagery, and symbols which help the Aseel platform feel more relevant and meaningful to the community.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Create and/or reduce frictions to scale safe personal identification methods for individuals who have been kept out of the formal financial system due to a lack of formal identification

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Arlington, VA

In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • United States

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model that is rolled out in one or more communities

How many people does your solution currently serve?

500,000

Why are you applying to Solve?

Aseel is looking forward to being part of Solve and learning from other start-ups involved. Aseel has made significant progress in the last five years, but it still faces some financial, technical, and cultural challenges that it hopes to mitigate by being involved in this program. 

The Financial barriers include lack of funding or access to capital. Aseel is currently engaging in Seed funding from community investors, family, friends, and institutional investors. The reasons behind this lack of funding can be the increasing cost of living, decreasing individual support for the platform, and conditional funding. This results in some of its work being compromised and cautious while investing, particularly in social impact startups. This slows Aseel’s ability to develop its products and scale its operations.

The Technical barriers include the glass ceiling regarding technical expertise, which is catalyzed by a lack of funding. This often slows the progress of Aseel in developing our platform and product. Aseel needs to be able to have well-trained and technically skilled staff to guarantee its progress. Involvement in Solve would allow Aseel to learn and gather expertise and assist in overcoming the challenge at this stage. This could also help Aseel to operate and reach out to customers more efficiently and reliably. 

Legally, Aseel faces two major issues. Firstly, it has not patented any of its work - “Aseel | Buy Good, Do Good,” “OMID IDs,” and “Atalan Network” in particular. This has a huge potential to lead to an intellectual property issue, which might influence its progress negatively. This issue could be better tackled with the help of funding and expertise. Secondly,  Aseel is registered in three countries, making compliance with the involved countries' lawyers difficult to navigate. Being involved in Solve would allow Aseel to learn different mechanisms for compliance in various countries.

Aseel’s products are scalable and innovative, as proven through its success in the last five years. Its adaptability to different situations has also allowed it to market its product to different audiences. However, it still needs improvement in fitting its product to the market and its marketing development. Solve will assist Aseel in better identifying and reaching target customers and  further the sales of its products. Especially since existing market players such as Esty and Amazon Handmade dominate the market, and it is difficult for Aseel to fit in and reach customers who are already buying from those platforms. Asee’s edg, however,  over other existing platforms is their empowerment of the people in developing countries as it gives them the opportunity to have the same platform as people from more developed countries. With good marketing , Aseel will be able to reach more customers and consumers and move forward on its mission. 

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Financial (e.g. accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Nasrat Khalid

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

OMID IDs at full expansion are accessible to an estimated 1.7 billion people excluded from the digital economy. These people often face geographical and economic barriers that exclude them from traditional financial services and systems. To further enhance the accessibility of OMID IDs, Aseel uses the Atalan network, Aseels own people-led network (uber-eats like). The Atalans can support in terms of identifying unbanked individuals in countries like Afghanistan and Turkey, which we are operational in at present, and support the education and distribution of these IDs. Rather than providing a solution and then asking people to adjust, Aseel believes that Solutions must be tailored to the need of the people that it is trying to support. 

By design, Omid IDs provide more than identification, at it's current level, anyone can receive an Omid ID without having any state-issued identification documents, giving us the ability to target people who are on the move, ultra-poor without an address or officials documents. Omid ID holders can get food assistance, other packages, cash, and go on to create a livelihood from Aseel Buy Good. 

The OMID IDs give them the opportunity for unbanked people to build their credit histories and participate in the formal economy, something from which they were excluded. Also, they act as a form of identification for those without identity cards, passports, or other documents. This is incredibly important, as often, to access some services, identification is required. Further, it ensures that people, who are most vulnerable in our society, do not get left behind and are included in development and progress made at the local, national, and international levels. 

Furthermore, planning for future development is crucial, such as transport infrastructure, housing, etc. Political representation can be enhanced to ensure equitable representation for all citizens. Lastly, it informs research on population trends, demographics, and social and economic issues, ultimately feeding decision-making and policies. 

OMID IDs can facilitate better governance on a macro level through the aforementioned factors. Also, giving access to financial markets to people who currently do not have access to them empowers people. People feel more comfortable making decisions due to increased financial security, understanding of finances, and better-saving practices. Ultimately, this can contribute positively to social issues such as reducing poverty rates, improving health outcomes, increasing access to education or training, increasing access to safe and affordable housing, increasing capabilities to support families, and increasing participation in social and cultural activities. 

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

In the next year, We want to improve on three fronts: 

1) Enabling Aseel Omid IDs to receive cash transfers from anywhere in the world. This is a work in progress as we create our internal filter that connects with OFAC and banking sanctions lists, ensuring that the aid dissemination through the platform goes to the right people even when we enable cash transfers. Further research and development include our work with the Village Capital Migrants accelerator to make 'Aseel Payments' that will be used to pay our vendors and all Omid ID card holders. 

2) Enabling Aseel Omid IDs to be segmented into a data portal that can be used to target specific demographics; for instance, we can work with organizations that support disabled people to directly target populations in geographies that are disabled and use our portal to directly deliver aid to them and monitor the aid dissemination process. This is a work in progress with creating the Aseel Analytics Dashboard. Its integration with the Aseel Institutions portal enables institutions to distribute aid in areas covered by Aseel directly. 

3) Further solidifying the platform from the backend and creating partnerships with the United Nations and state agencies for broader targets. Our first target is to visualize how we could get the state of Afghanistan from the deep red humanitarian crisis level to a yellow and beyond that to a green. Supporting the recovery of all affected by the Earthquake in Turkey. 

4) Aseel Seed round of investment is going to give us the capital required to sustain Aseel and continue with our 1000% growth target year over year for the fourth year in a row. 

Next five years, we want to cover all 41 underdeveloped countries with Aseel Do Good, the Atalan Network and create a mass network of people affected by humanitarian crises, migration, disabilities, and so on that can be supported through the platform and other integrations to improve the overall health of people affected by the crisis. This will go on to become a major feat and may have a broad impact globally. 

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

The key performance indicators (KPIs) are listed below:

For Origin Countries (Afghanistan or others), products management team KPIs are:

  • Number of partners added to the platform – This includes the whole process for enrollment of the partner including signing documents, ceremonies, discussions, making video and story alongside standardisation/registration of the vendors and supporting them to register with government authorities and get a bank account/mobile money account.

  • Number of people trained – This includes training on the system/portal and training on improving their products in terms of packing and quality for western markets.

  • Number of people supported with Do Good. 

  • Number of Omid IDs issued. 

  • Number of Sales – Online and Offline sales for the products that are in the platform.

  • Number of contracts/orders – contracts/orders with vendors/sellers in the international market for products in pick up countries.

Data Collection and Analysis: 

  • The Heroes Network (Atalan) is the main source of data collection for Aseel. For instance, before issuing an Omid ID card, a household survey is conducted, in addition, biographic information is captured. 

  • The Aseel backend system (Ferni) captures all the data that flows through the system including data from customers' side, artisans, beneficiaries, and partners. 

  • The Aseel team has created the Aseel Analytics dashboards that provide data on all aspects of our system. 

  • Third-party monitoring: Ferni is designed to allow open APIs (Application Programming Interface) to external systems, this will allow our partners to look at real-time data through our system. 

What is your theory of change?

OMID ID Theory of Change

→ [If] Aseel provides OMID IDs for unbanked people globally (through the use of Aseel App technology and mechanisms), [then] unbanked people will be included into financial systems that they previously were excluded from and [Then] financial inclusion will be facilitated.

→ [If] There are increased number of OMID IDs available to unbanked people, particularly in rural isolated areas [Then] Aseel will help reduce poverty rates, improve health outcomes, increase access to education or training, increase access to education and safe and affordable houses, while overall improve quality of life in impoverished communities.

→ [If] More unbanked people access their OMID IDs through Aseel [Then] the Aseel’s OMID IDs will become more developed and effective in financial inclusion for the many, [Then] this will enhance the sustainability of the Aseel platform and provision of OMID IDs and enable expansion of its reach and impact.

→ [If] Aseel’s reach and impact is expanded, [Then] Aseel can help more unbanked people [Then] and Aseel can cover all underdeveloped countries, and [Then] contribute to the development, prosperity and financial inclusion of these regions.

Use of OMID ID through Aseel

→ [If] Aseel "Do Good" exists as a platform for [Then] emergency aid to vulnerable families, including food, shelter, and essential supplies, will be provided.

→ [If] Aseel works with a network of volunteers, called "Atalan” [Then] the most vulnerable communities and families are identified, [Then] Omid ID cards will be issued to the beneficiaries after conducting targeted searches and capturing household data. 

→ [If] The Atalan Network works to educate and inform identified individuals of how the OMID ID system works, including information about identification as well as inclusion a form of a financial card, [Then] OMID ID holders will afford the opportunity to buy and save using the OMID IDs. 

→ [If] Aseel tracks the impact of its aid efforts, financial through Omid cards for each identified person, [Then] donors will be provided with details on the families who have received aid which [Then] enables complete oversight and transparency in the provision.

Additional value adds of the process: 

→ (also)  Increase efficiency and accountability in the aid delivery process, ensuring that donations are used effectively and reach those who need them most. 

→ (also) Enable beneficiaries to use their Omid IDs and send Omid IDs to anyone in the world to get direct assistance, while also being afforded the opportunity to be included in financial systems and have a form of identification.

→ (also) By enabling direct cash payments to Omid IDs, direct, compliant payments systems are provided to underdeveloped countries.

→ (also) Providing a mobile app platform, using social media buyers/individual donors in the West, impacts and involves in the global humanitarian and development space. 

→ (also) Development of the Aseel platform requires minimal customization when it’s applied to different countries, so with limited investment Aseel supports multiple countries without duplicating our efforts.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Aseel uses an internally developed backend software system called 'Ferni' to manage and organize all the data points. Ferni is a powerful system that supports all aspects of Aseel's operations and functionality. The core connects to the front end and third parties with APIs. Further information on features is provided below: 

As the central system for data on customers, products, vendors, payments, and other important information, Ferni is a vital tool for Aseel's operations. It provides insights into customer behavior, product performance, vendor performance, and further research, including field monitoring, data verification, data quality control, and analysis. In addition to its other features, Ferni feeds data into third-party monitoring (TPM) systems, which are used to record sales in coordination with the M&E Team. This helps to ensure the sales data is accurate and up-to-date.

The Ferni backend system is designed and built from scratch by the Aseel systems development team. It utilizes top-notch global e-commerce technology from Nike, Ford, and Nestle. Features (as addressed below) are designed to provide with various capabilities, including operations research, data verification, data collection, reporting, quality assurance, and detailed information on products, SKUs, and customers. The system is intended to be used for all data collection, storage, and analysis for the project. Some essential features of the Ferni platform are mentioned below:

Defined Role-Based Access: Ferni can grant management, M&E, and reporting teams access to a username and password that allows them to evaluate data on artisan groups, their products, orders, sales, and customer data. This can be used to assess the performance of artisan groups and their products and identify areas for improvement and optimization. By providing this data, Ferni helps teams to make informed decisions about their operations and strategy.

Powerful Customized Reporting Dashboard: The initial dashboard in Ferni can provide the team with a wide range of data, including key performance indicators and other important information. This information can be used to understand customer behavior, optimize marketing efforts, track performance, and identify areas for improvement. The dashboard includes bestsellers, most viewed products, customers, orders, reviews, and sales data. 

Sales Management: Ferni offers a comprehensive sales management system integrated with the Aseel mobile apps (iOS and Android) and webshop (Aseelapp.com). Any order placed through these platforms is automatically recorded in the Ferni Sales section, which includes features such as orders, invoices, shipments, credit memos, billing agreements, transactions, and abandoned carts. The sales section provides detailed data on customers who have purchased products, allowing teams to analyse customer behaviour and identify trends. Information can be used to optimise marketing efforts and improve the business's overall performance. The below image provides a snapshot of the orders section. Overall, the Ferni sales management system is a powerful tool for understanding and optimising sales activity.

Further detailed information on each order is exhibited below: 

Products: Ferni offers a range of features for listing products, including support for one-off, individual product SKUs. The system is designed to accommodate the unique needs of businesses operating while providing support for sales. Product listings in Ferni are automatically synced with the Aseel web-based platforms, making it easy to manage and track products across different channels. The system provides a clear view of how products are listed and how they appear to customers on web-based platforms, making it easy to manage and optimize product listings for maximum impact. 

Customer Data: Ferni provides detailed data on every customer registered with the platform, whether they have placed an order or not. For customers who have placed orders, data includes further detailed information, such as shipping addresses, phone numbers, emails, and buying behaviors. 

Reporting Data: In addition to the reporting app, Ferni captures a vast amount of data from both customers and the vendors on the platform, including information on products, search terms, carts, customers, orders, taxes, refunds, coupons, and many other customizable features to meet the needs of the M & E and reporting teams. This data can be used to find trends and tailor future marketing strategies and campaigns for specific products and campaigns.

Aseel Payments: 

Aseel has an extraordinary potential in the payments space to not only pay our vendors for their sales or enable direct cash transfers to our beneficiaries. But we can go beyond that and create custom payment systems for each country we extend our services. The Aseel payments are a tangible way to provide payment infrastructure to the countries we expand to. The excellent news for Aseel is that it's been selected for the migrants' fintech program offered by Village Capital. 

Custom Payment Solution: Aseel understands from its experience working in Afghanistan and Turkey that some vendors may not have bank accounts. This pushes Aseel to get them to standardise their business procedures. Aseel also wants to make sure it supports non-traditional ways of payments to the vendors so they are not left behind. Aseel has previously successfully enrolled vendors from Afghanistan where it used mobile payments (mobile money) and it will be using the same option for all its vendors in Tunisia. One of the ways to make this possible is the  Orange Mobile Money which supports API integration with Aseels platform. In addition, Aseel is fully compliant and supports payments through Wise and Cryptocurrencies in case the vendors have a preference for that while making sure that the doors of its team and offices in Tunisia are open to the vendors to get cash payments at any time, they elect to have it. 

Aseel Payments Use Case in Afghanistan: After the withdrawal of the U.S., the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan meant that the central banking system in Afghanistan collapsed. The regime is under sanctions, and all payments are very problematic. In this critical situation, Aseel has been one of the only payment infrastructure providers that have enabled artisans and beneficiaries to participate in the digital economy.   Through the use of the OMID ID, it supports payments to individual beneficiaries or artisans, by passing on issues faced with the banking system, which is practically nonexistent.  

There are two key parts of the initiative 1) focus on ‘decentralization’ through the Atalan (Heroes) network and 2) focus on ‘transparency’ through the Omid (Hope) ID cards systems. These two factors are explained in detail in the appendices. 

Hope, Omid ID: Aseel Omid (Hope) Cards, the Omid cards are given to every beneficiary who needs assistance and is provided through Aseel Do Good. This is our approach to having complete visibility on who we are helping. This also gives the people an identity number (OMID ID) that they can use to contact us in the future as they require assistance given the winter crisis, medical support, or anything else that can save a human life. The OMID cards are the most critical aspect of our work because this leads to our plan of creating a people-run mobile platform that anyone can contribute to (Donors, Organizations, Volunteers, Shops, Beneficiaries, and the Afghan Youth) to support people in crisis. We believe the first step to onboarding to the digital economy for those going through some disaster, including natural or human-made, is to provide them with an identification system that is made up of essential information, including household data but not necessarily through a government-provided identification system. The graphic below explains how the Aseel decentralized humanitarian system could take over the humanitarian market and enable local deliveries of humanitarian packages by local Atalan members without physical engagement from the international development community. The system is currently used in Afghanistan and allows many packages to be transferred safely and fully compliant to the beneficiaries. 

Aseel has its own “Atalan” (Heroes in Pashto) Network - a people-led specialized network central to the infrastructure in our mission. These heroes enable technology for artisans and direct aid for people and give access to financial technology (previously unobtainable). Overhead costs for Buy Good Afghanistan is 25% (kept low due to collaborations established with shippers and couriers), and for Do Good is 16% (lower than institutions like WFP’s 50%). In Turkey, Buy Good overhead is 6% and 16%, retrospectively. The Atalan’s serve as a catalyst for stability in communities and expand their businesses to meet a growing demand from consumers/for recipients to be relieved of poverty. The network combats inequality of digital and financial literacy, through thorough training, an easy-to-use app, and a comprehensive understanding of the fintech backend system “Ferni,” contributing positively to the hero's employability.  Aseel focuses on individuals (upskilling and training) to avoid further compounding the lack of understanding of and access to technology and traditional financial systems.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Afghanistan
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Turkiye
  • United States

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Tajikistan
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Uzbekistan
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit

How many people work on your solution team?

53 - Full-time staff 15 - Part-time staff 17 - Volunteer staff

How long have you been working on your solution?

Five years, 2 months

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

At Aseel, diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to building a thriving, innovative company. As an equal-employer, Aseel strives to create a culture where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences.

Aseel is committed to building a diverse team that reflects our customers and communities. We recognize that diversity encompasses many aspects, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, and socioeconomic status. Aseel recognizes that systemic barriers and biases exist in society and industry and is actively working to dismantle them.

Aseel incorporates DEI into our work by:

  • Aseel is dedicated to promoting equity by ensuring that every employee can access the resources and opportunities needed to succeed. Aseel commits to paying fair and equitable wages, providing benefits that support our employees' well-being, and offering career growth and development opportunities.

  • Aseel believes that inclusion is essential to creating a sense of belonging for all employees. Aseel commits to fostering an environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, and all voices are heard and valued. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

  • Aseel designs the policies and practices to create a safe and inclusive environment for all employees. Some include implementing anti-discrimination policies and ensuring our workplace culture values diversity and inclusion.

  • Creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace requires ongoing effort and continuous learning. Aseel is committed to listening to our employees, soliciting feedback, and taking action to improve our practices.

  • Aseel engages with and supports diverse communities through partnerships and philanthropy and works to ensure that the business practices align with the values of the communities we serve. Here are a few:

Aseel Women Empowerment Programs and Campaigns

Aseel's mission is to create disruptive technology solutions to global challenges. Aseel is committed to empowering discriminated individuals, including women. In March 2023, we launched the 50 Women in Tech Program to help Afghan women access quality jobs from tech companies worldwide. We have campaigns aimed at promoting women's rights, which ensures that we achieve equity in the communities we are serving. Other discriminated individuals include people living below the poverty line, children, and elders who do not have access to food, clothes, and other basic needs. Aseel works to provide them with food packages and ensure improvement in their quality of life.

Aseel Staff

Aseel, as a global tribe, embraces diversity and inclusion in building an international team representing individuals with different backgrounds, skills, and perspectives. As of April 30, we have 88 staff from 14 countries working as full-time, part-time, and volunteer staff. Of 88 of all Aseel staff, 32 identify as female, and we have changed our hiring priority to bringing more women to the team, some of which are part of the leadership team.

At Aseel, we are committed to building a diversity, equity, and inclusion culture that enables us to create innovative products, better serve our customers and communities, and positively impact the world.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Do Good (B2C):

- Overhead Commission (16%)
▪ Campaigns: All campaigns have a 16% total processing fee.
▪ Packages: Every package processed through Aseel has a 16% processing fee.
- Tips: All transactions have an optional portion to tip Aseel. (We have seen 55% of all Do Good users tip Aseel).

Buy Good (B2C):
- Afghanistan: Profit per Sale @15%
- Turkey: Profit per Sale @15%

Do Good (B2B):
- Non profits that deploy aid through Aseel only provide 16% for overhead. Till date, we have had over $1m deployed by organizations deployed directly to Omid IDs in Afghanistan and Turkey. 

Buy Good (B2B):
- Buyers can on wholesale can buy handmade products from vendors with a 15% fee. This is the equivalent of Faire. 

Do Good (B2G): 
- We currently have deployed aid for JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) and USAID (US Agency for International Development). Will continue to push for an alternative aid mechanism in addition to WFP and others. 

Buy Good (B2G):
- We have previously received funding from USAID to onboard vendors from underdeveloped countries to sell their products globally. This supports women empowerment, financial inclusion, economic growth and so on. 

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

In November 2022, we hit profitability for the first time with $180K in revenue, but since then, we kept growing our platform and are eyeing for a much bigger revenue within the next five years. 

We plan to be publicly traded in 5.5 years after covering all 41 underdeveloped countries. For more information, please refer to the Sustainability plan. 

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

Women for Afghan Women deploys $780K to women-led households in Afghanistan. 

USAID Afghanistan supports Aseel through ACEBA (DAI) project with a $78K grant to onboard 35 vendors from Afghanistan to the digital economy. 

IRC Afghanistan supports Aseel with a $200K grant to support Artisans from Afghanistan to onboard the Digital Economy. 

Vitol Foundation agrees to $400K aid dissemination with the Aseel platform for ultra-poor people in Afghanistan. 

Aseel raises $125K through it's crowdfunding platform to support people affected by bomb blasts in Afghanistan. 

Aseel gets 55% tips in all transactions through the platform, solidifying it's demand and support from everyday people. 

Aseel buyers (people who used the platform to buy something) reached 10K paying customers. 

Solution Team

 
    Back
to Top