Dallas, TX, July 17, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- In the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Emelienne found herself alone. Despite the hardships she faced for survival, she persevered, keeping her eyes on the road ahead. With hope for the future, Emelienne, along with other women in her community, developed a cooperative based on the one skill they all had: sewing. Today, she is the treasurer and master seamstress for the company, which sells accessories and crafts to more than 30 retail stores across the United States.
This is the story of one of the 22 women from Afghanistan and Rwanda who traveled to Dallas over the weekend to participate in the 2013 PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program. These entrepreneurs will spend three weeks in the United States, gaining valuable skills and insight that they can use to build and expand their own businesses, and training others in their communities to do the same.
Monday launches the first portion of the program, in which the women will participate in a weeklong “Business Boot Camp” at Northwood University, featuring high-level discussions with experts on specific business, leadership and public policy topics. The week starts with a luncheon and technology day hosted by AT&T featuring a panel of local women business leaders sharing their experience and thoughts on “How to Succeed in Business.” The afternoon continues with a series of seminars at AT&T on best practices for using technology to enhance business virtually anywhere in the world and concludes with a dinner hosted by Ernst & Young.
Once the Afghan and Rwandan women complete the Boot Camp portion of the program, they will spend nearly 10 days with American women business owners in matched professions, living in their homes and going to work with them each day. This year, for example, an Afghan midwife who plans on starting a preschool is paired with an OB/GYN in Oklahoma City who is also the founder of a local charter school. Upon the completion of the mentorship in the United States, the women will celebrate with a graduation reception on Tuesday, July 30 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
The keynote speaker for the graduation event is Mary Millben, a Broadway actress and singer who is the recently-appointed global ambassador for Education Africa and an advisory board member for Veteran Central. Millben will be joined by the Honorable Sultana Hakimi, wife of Afghanistan Ambassador Elklil Hakimi, as well as a Rwandan Ambassador. IEEW will also present a special message from former first lady Laura Bush.
“The Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) is excited to host our seventh annual PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program with the support of corporate sponsors who share the goal of empowering women leadership and entrepreneurship around the world,” said Dr. Terry Neese, IEEW founder and CEO. “PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® is founded on the idea that the empowerment of the individual leads to community growth, and, ultimately, economic prosperity. The women who participate in this program play a valuable role in strengthening their local economies, and leading the next generation of women leaders.”
“At AT&T, we believe that promoting and increasing the overall participation of women in business around the world is an important step towards economic prosperity and stability,” said Charlene Lake, chief sustainability officer and senior vice president, Public Affairs. “Working with PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® gives us the opportunity to help support a movement of women who are – despite the obstacles – persevering to positively impact the lives of citizens in their communities.”
- IEEW is supported by the following National Presidential Level sponsors: The T. Boone Pickens Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, Office Depot, the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Northwood University and The Hill newspaper.
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Established in 2006, the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, based in Oklahoma City, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that encourages the empowerment of women economically, politically and socially by focusing on their education and mentorship. The IEEW strives to help women in the United States and abroad who want to gain entrepreneurial skills that will help them start and grow a business, which will in turn help them to become more active and effective public policy advocates. Working on the forefront of these efforts, the IEEW believes in the power of women as a driving force in the development and stability of businesses in emerging economies. Through its dedication, hard work and PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program, the IEEW helps provide women with a voice in their fight to establish peace and free market economies. For more information, visit http://www.ieew.org/.
MMI Public Relations