As a child, Manizha dreamed of being a business woman in her native country, Afghanistan. In 2007, the creation of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® by Dr. Terry Neese and supporters, gave her the opportunity to hone her skills. As part of the first graduating class, Manizha spent six weeks in the United States and came away with even more persistence and a plan. Her mission has been to cooperate and collaborate with her competitors in order to expand industry overall within Central Asia.
As a PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® student it was obvious to her mentors and Northwood University professors that Manizha had a talent for training, as well as a heightened sense of the importance of progress within Afghanistan. Realizing that they had a powerhouse packed in a 4 foot 9 inch frame, the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, the umbrella organization for PEACE THROUG BUSINESS®, hired Manizha to facilitate training in-country. Manizha loves teaching and especially favors economics and other business subjects. Her passion fuels her generosity in sharing knowledge and experience with fellow entrepreneurs. Manizha’s kind heart endears her students to her and their responsiveness empowers Manizha to continue training and uplifting women year after year.
Seven years after Manizha graduated, she has led fellow PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduates in developing their own PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Network, an umbrella of program alumnae that assists them in fulfilling their commitment to paying forward their education and knowledge within Afghanistan. As a group their mission is to help each other in their business development, to create a platform for Afghan business women and to serve as a conduit between IEEW and business owners.
Manizha believes that Afghan business women appreciate the strong curriculum, long-term training and mentorship aspects of the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program. Afghan women want to be exposed to American business women as developed industry experts. They also appreciate the hands-on, practical knowledge they receive in accounting, marketiing and building a business plan.
The PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program also stresses the importance of networking, advocacy and engaging in public policy. Manizha began joining various organizations as a volunteer. She became an executive board member in the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN), a seventeen year old women’s rights advocate. Receiving the third highest voting ratio, Manizha realized then that her volunteerism and commitment was being recognized by other women within Afghan civil society and has spent the last two years attending advocacy meetings with government policy makers. During her service in AWN, Manizha organized the largest march for the international campaign, One Billion Rising, on February 14, 2013. This was a walk that raised funds to help stop violence against women. Manizha speaks around the country on gender and violence issues as well as economic issues. As a PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduate, she teamed with other leading Afghan business women to raise the platform on women’s economic issues within the organization Leading Entrepreneurs for Afghanistan Development (LEAD). Additionally, Manizha is a member of the Afghan Innovative Youth Association whose mission is to help underprivileged youth create sustainable lives, as well as build a culture of acceptance, tolerance and volunteerism among Afghan’s youth.
Manizha is grateful to PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® and Dr. Terry Neese for teaching and inspiring her THE RIGHT WAY! And we are thankful for Manizha and all the Afghan and Rwandan women that are paying forward the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® mission. Furthermore, we are thankful for Manizha’s father, a physician, and a man that allowed all his wonderful daughters to dream and to learn, even at his own peril, and for Manizha’s wonderful husband that supports her in all her endeavors.