Class of 2019 applications are rolling in and provincial mini-courses have just begun. A new year for the program is upon us, but there’s still time left in 2018 to offer your support.

The Mayor of Charikar, Parwan Province, Mr. Khawaj Rohullah Sediqi welcomes 22 students on the first day of class for the 2018 PTB®/NU Pathways mini-course in Parwan, Afghanistan.


2018 has been one for the books as far as women are concerned. The tenets of the old patriarchal playing field are slowly shifting, one by one. Strides are being made in Parliaments in Ethiopia and Rwanda whose elections just ushered in a female majority. Barriers are being broken as women’s voices soar with the intention of creating real change in the workplace, as well as in politics and social structures. There is still a long way to go, but recent successes in places like Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the city council will soon and for the first time have a majority of councilwomen leading the way, demonstrate that progress is in fact being made.

The students and alumnae of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® are making their own individual strides to affect global peace in Afghanistan and Rwanda, countries still struggling to find their footing in the decades following the Taliban’s ouster and the genocide of 1994. And it’s our mission at the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women to educate each and every one of these women entrepreneurs economically, socially, and politically. As the stakes increase, so too do the demands placed in front of us. Our Rwandan Facilitator Chantal Munanayire (PTB®, Class of 2014) is spearheading the hunt for tables (yes, tables!) to outfit the new classroom and office space provided to PTB® via a partnership with Kigali City. And in Afghanistan, Manizha Wafeq (PTB®, Class of 2007) is re-launching the Alumnae Association spearheaded by a committee enthusiastic to spread the PTB® spirit of Pay It Forward and support both IEEW and AWCCI while also teaching for the first time in the Afghan province of Parwan, just over an hour outside Kabul by car.

And so, the real work continues. And we can’t do it without you! We do our work year-round within tight budgets with 100% private donations. This year-end, while you cross off your gift list and make your last minute donations to your most beloved charities around our beautiful world, don’t forget the women of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® are out there breaking barriers, changing the face of our communities, and affecting lasting change. The fight for gender equality isn’t over yet! Every little bit matters: help us to reach our $10,000 year-end goal started on #GivingTuesday. Can you donate today?

2019 PTB applicants

New Student Applications

It’s that time of year again! While the world sets its sights on renewal after a long winter and many around the globe celebrate holidays from Christmas to Winter Solstice, we here at the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women are sifting through our largest batch of applications to date (87!) to fill our PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® classrooms in Kabul and Kigali with the best and brightest to join the Class of 2019. Entering our 13th year of service empowering women around the globe, the make up of student businesses we have been seeing continue their evolution from more traditional handicrafts and textile producers toward including more tech-heavy focuses and breaking in to traditionally male-dominated sectors as well. This year in Afghanistan, for instance, we’ve seen everything from a public swimming pool owner in Kabul to an e-commerce start up. In Rwanda, a telecommunication maven joins a hardware wholesaler as hopeful entrants. These women business owners are breaking barriers and making the kind of strides necessary to create real and lasting global peace.

Those who are selected (only 30 women per country due to space and financial restraints) will begin 10 weeks of in-country class in January under the tutelage of facilitators Maniza Wafeq in Afghanistan (PTB®, Class of 2007) and Chantal Munanayire in Rwanda (PTB®, Class of 2014), both strong advocates of women’s empowerment in their home countries. Students will be informed in December if their applications earned them a spot in class after receiving a site visit to ensure their business fits our application parameters. All 60 selected women will have the opportunity to complete their business plan and compete for one of 30 spots to fly to the US for two weeks of further Leadership Development in July 2019. We can’t wait to welcome the Class of 2019 to the longstanding global sisterhood of PTB® where we can serve out our mission of empowering them toward success for their families, communities, countries…and thereby our greater world! If you would like to mentor any of these bright lights during their in-country studies or when they come to the US next summer, drop us a line at We are always pleased to welcome new members to our extended tribe that spans the globe.

*Above photo: Applicants from the Class of 2019 include handicraft cooperative leader Behista Azizi from Kabul and construction entrepreneur Jeannette Gakwandi from Kigali.

Masooma Ibrahimi

PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Encore: Masooma Ibrahimi

Class of 2017’s Masooma Ibrahimi is on a mission to change the culture from within Afghanistan using the power of film. She came into the program with the goal to make her company, Arastoo, one of the strongest script-writing and filmmaking companies in Afghanistan while strengthening the film industry in her country as an international competitor.

Her groundbreaking show debuting this year, Roya, is challenging the old views against women in the workplace in Afghanistan. Masooma explains, “We are hopeful that this show can help change the overall narratives of working women in popular culture in Afghanistan…as part of the media it is our responsibility to inform and educate the public. If we can influence just one person we have made a worthy impact.

Masooma is using her business to tell stories that shed light on the situations faced by those who lack a platform. On the university circuit, she shares her personal story of how her challenging entry into the economic arena has changed her life. A member of the Board for the Afghan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Masooma is a shining example of an empowered PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduate stepping up to build peace in her country. As of this writing, Masooma is teaching the marketing segment of the PTB/NU Pathway course in Parwan, Afghanistan.

*Above photo: Masooma Ibrahimi during mentorship week in Silicon Valley, 2017.

The Hill

Sponsor Spotlight: The Hill

We couldn’t power PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® without our amazing sponsors. It’s their belief in moving the needle on gender equality that ensures the Class of 2019 will be set up for success when in-country class kicks off in January. Today, we’d like to shine a spotlight on seminal international newspaper The Hill who “serves to connect the players, define the issues and engage Washington’s decision makers in the debate.”

Based out of D.C. with a readership of 24,000 and “read by opinion leaders, including 100% of Congressional offices, the White House, political pundits, association executives, lobbyists and corporate leaders”, we couldn’t be prouder to count The Hill as a Presidential Sponsor, our most elite sponsorship level. They sit alongside our other most trusted and beloved Presidential Sponsors: AT&T, Bank of America, and Northwood University. A huge thank you especially to Beth Tray, who has served as our number one point person on The Hill team when we get the wonderful opportunity to queue up our annual campaign spreading the word of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® in their pages.  If you or your company would like to become a sponsor to the Class of 2019 starting in January, reach out to us at

*Above photo: IEEW ad in the September 13th issue of The Hill Newspaper.

READ a powerfully written article by 16 year-old Mahika Halepete reflecting on her recent trip to Rwanda.

Now seeking eMentors for the Class of 2019! CLICK HERE to learn more about the mentorship experience.

Be inspired by our short video detailing the mission and ongoing accomplishments of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS®.