PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program aims to empower women globally
Some have lived through war, and some have languished in poverty, yet all have persevered and are coming to Dallas to celebrate their past achievements and the promise for a better tomorrow. This month, twenty-eight women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan and Rwanda will arrive for the final phase of the 2014 PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program.
PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® is a great opportunity to promote women in the global workforce and support the contributions women make to the economic stability of their communities.
The program, a part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), is built on the understanding that economically stable societies have a much greater capacity for peace. Support from sponsors including AT&T, has enabled opportunities for each woman to gain valuable skills and insight that they can use to strengthen and grow their own businesses, and train others in their communities to do the same.
PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® provides opportunities for women to gain economic empowerment through an eight-week course that focuses on creating business plans, as well as teaching them about accounting, marketing and overall operations. Each year, the women who demonstrate necessary leadership skills are given the opportunity to visit the United States for intensive training and mentoring in business for nearly three weeks. The women selected to come to Dallas this year have businesses that range from fashion, to car mechanics to film production.
“2014 marks the 8th year of the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program and we are honored to once again have the support of the city of Dallas and our corporate sponsors, like AT&T, in the ongoing effort to build a strong foundation economically, socially and politically for these women and to ensure that the opportunities are sustainable,” said Terry Neese, IEEW founder and CEO. “This year’s Summit theme is SUSTAIN! Join Champions for Solutions. It focuses on the strength and contribution of women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda, the obstacles they face, and free economy solutions to peace.”
The U.S. activity begins with a “Business Boot Camp” led by professors from Northwood University and local business women covering a range of topics to help enhance their skills, and includes sessions with EY to provide guidance on financial capabilities. On Wednesday, July 16, AT&T will host a luncheon at their downtown Dallas Headquarters with honorary guest Ryan Crocker, Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. 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.
“PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® is a great opportunity to promote women in the global workforce and support the contributions women make to the economic stability of their communities,” said Charlene Lake, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, AT&T Services, Inc. “It gives our employees a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect with, mentor and learn from their counterparts in developing countries. Many of our employees serve as volunteers in the program and come away inspired and empowered to grow in their own career pursuits.”
Following the boot camp, each woman is paired with an American woman business owner in a matched profession, lives in their home and goes to work with them each day for one week. This provides a one-on-one opportunity to experience firsthand skills they will use in their businesses when they return home.
Upon completion of the mentoring program, on July 28 & 29, PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® and AT&T will host the International Women’s Economic Summit at the AT&T University in Las Colinas, TX. Click here to register for The Summit.
The PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program will conclude with a graduation celebration at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The keynote speaker for this commencement is Margaret Spellings, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Margaret is the longest-serving staff member to President George W. Bush, holding the role of U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005-2009 and prior to that, White House Domestic Policy Advisor. Click here to register for Graduation.
About IEEW:The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), started in 2006, is an Oklahoma City based 501 (c)3 non-profit with a mission to empower women to grow their businesses, pursue greater entrepreneurial ventures and become more active public policy advocates. The Institute accomplishes this mission by focusing on education, mentorship and coaching women in the United States and abroad who are seeking to acquire entrepreneurial skills to help start and grow a business. IEEW works with a network of mentors, corporate sponsors, and private donors across the United States to accomplish its work.
About AT&T: AT&T provides opportunities for employees to use their unique passions and abilities to improve their communities. Continuing its century-long tradition of community service and giving, AT&T encourages employees to work together to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2013, employees and retirees donated more than 5.3 million hours to community outreach activities and pledged more than $35 million to charities of their choice through employee giving. Employees also committed to more than 36,000 sustainable choices through Do One Thing (DOT), a company-wide initiative which invites participants to make small, everyday choices that add up to a big positive impact for themselves and their communities, as well as AT&T.