Contact:  Karel Ford

Office:  405-943-4474


 Record Numbers Apply for

PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS ® Entrepreneurship Classes

“When you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

OKLAHOMA CITY- January 7, 2014 Sixty businesswomen in Kigali City, Rwanda and Kabul, Afghanistan begin an intensive and unique 10-week business course this month.  The course is part of the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS ® program sponsored by the non-profit Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). Going into its eighth year, IEEW was founded by one of the nation’s leading public policy and small business advocates, Dr. Terry Neese. Since its inception in 2006, the Institute has graduated over 400 women business entrepreneurs in these two countries. Today, 80% of these women are still growing their businesses, providing jobs and economic stability for their families, their communities and their countries.

In 2014, record numbers of women business owners have applied for the 30 spots available in each country. Those unable to attend will be put on a waiting list and eligible to reapply for 2015.

The in-country curriculum is provided by Northwood University, Cedar Hill, Texas campus. The courses cover accounting, finance, and marketing. At the end of the 10-week course, the students will have also developed a business plan.  Upon graduation in March, the top 15 women from each country will be selected to travel to the United States in July for higher-level business and leadership training. This part of the program includes a week long Business Boot Camp at Northwood University and a week-long mentorship with an American female business owner in a like industry. The program ends with a two-day International Women’s Economic Summit and a graduation ceremony, both hosted by A T & T.  At the summit, the graduates present their respective Ambassadors with the challenges and obstacles they face and the free economy solutions to peace.

A third component of the program is called “Pay it Forward,” in which each of these 30 students from Afghanistan and Rwanda is committed to paying forward for one full year by teaching the course they have completed to the next class of women graduating from IEEW in their home country.

“These women are so brave and so dedicated. They embody everything that the IEEW stands for  – which is to help women in oppressed parts of the world become business leaders and become their own advocates for change,” says Dr. Neese, who is also the organization’s chief executive officer.

The women who participate in IEEW’s program learn about this one-of-kind opportunity through women’s organizations, and word of mouth referrals within their countries. They are required to speak English to participate and apply directly to the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program on IEEW’s website (

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 Dr. Terry Neese

A member of the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, past national president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and founder of Terry Neese Personnel Services, Dr. Neese is known as a small business expert and was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the “Power 30”—the most influential small businesspersons in Washington, D.C. She is an inductee into the National and Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame, co-founder and past president of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and a distinguished fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). Dr. Neese made history in 1990 when she became the first woman nominated by a major political party for the seat of Lt. Governor of Oklahoma. This grandmother and certified pilot has been appointed to numerous councils and positions, with nominations by prominent leaders such as Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.