Our Stories

The Urgency of Protecting Afghan Women Entrepreneurs’ Gains

By Guest | September 9, 2021

The number of Afghan women who own and run businesses grew from zero in 2002 to around 57,000 in 2020, including both licensed and unlicensed businesses. This was remarkable progress in less than two decades. I witnessed firsthand the growth of women in business and know stories of thousands of women from Kabul and other…

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Organizational Update

By Terry Neese | September 9, 2021

In the midst of everything else going on, we’ve made an exciting internal change. IEEW is pleased to introduce Anna Rohwer as our new Director of Global Operations!  Anna comes to us with 10 years of international development experience, with a focus on global non-profit operations, programs, and communications. Anna’s work has spanned continents and…

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15th Anniversary Awards Presentation

By kford | August 4, 2021

On July 15, 2021, the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women celebrated 15 years by recognizing individuals who have made a significant contribution or impact. Honorees were recognized at an event hosted by HoganTaylor LLC Oklahoma City, with proceeds benefiting IEEW and its PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program.

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What One Afghan Family Can Accomplish Out of Love & Compassion

By kford | June 2, 2021

Wahab and Manizha married in 2011. Manizha says of Wahab, “he has been a great partner, very gender sensitive and very courageous to break gender stereotypes.” Showing his understanding of his bride-to-be, Wahab assured Manizha that he expected her to continue her professional work and reach for the goals she had set. He emphasized, “in 5 or 10 years from now, I don’t want you to look back and say, ‘oh, you couldn’t do this or achieve that, because you married me’.” Wahab has been Manizha’s rock, ensuring that their life together remains as he promised the day they married. He supports her everyday work and accomplishments, but moreover, he enjoys her drive, respects her independence, appreciates her competency and deep sense of responsibility for family, friends, and indeed, for the world at large.

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Stories of Meticulous Balancing

By kford | May 28, 2021

“…Although at times the work takes her away from home, just like mine takes me away most of the time, we were blessed with autonomous children who have grown up into very reliable adults who look out for each other all the time. Mine has mostly been online parenting and sporadically physically present. Despite the enormous challenges that come with distance parenting, it doesn’t stop me from engaging them in discussions of values of hard work, discipline, respect for self and for others, especially our elders. Career and parenting requires very meticulous balancing.”

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All Stories

WOMEN FOR PEACE IN NIMROZ

By kford | October 1, 2020

Nimroz, Afghanistan, is perhaps the most raw and untamed province, a desert oasis in the southwestern corner nudged between the borders of Iran and Pakistan where sandstorms and smugglers menace the city regularly. As a drug-smuggling hub, Nimroz provides a financial artery for the Taliban. Here, Hasina Azizi Baluch, a Zaranj City business operator, is…

EW's Monica Smiley announces PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) Class of 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year awards for Afghanistan and Rwanda.

Nadege Benimana & Guljan Samar Receive the 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Award

By kford | August 6, 2020

 BY MONICA SMILEY The Enterprising Women of the Year Awards program is considered the most prestigious global recognition program for outstanding women entrepreneurs.  Now in its 18th year, this program recognizes women business owners from the United States and around the world who have financially strong, growing businesses—women who are leaders in their communities, and…

From ‘Mind is full’ to Mindful

By kford | July 2, 2020

There has been a lot of talk on social media about gaining weight and the lazy habits created during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is feeling the effects of sheltering in place over the past several months whether it be commercial, personal, or a combination of both. In Afghanistan, PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® alumnae and Class…

Brave Faces In Afghanistan

By kford | May 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic saw waves of Afghan men crossing the border from Iran to get back into their home country, a country they once fled. They were terrified of contracting the virus and in trying to escape it, they unknowingly brought it across the border to a country with very little resources to contain and combat it. As…

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS IN RWANDA

By kford | May 7, 2020

Rwanda is now slowly easing up on shelter-in-place restrictions and the country is fortunate enough to have no deaths. During quarantine, many of our past students found creative ways to continue serving their community. Kevine Kagirimpunda and Ysolde Shimwe, both class of 2014 alum and owners of UZURI K&Y, made sure that their brand stayed fresh in the…

An Intern’s Story

By kford | April 1, 2020

Hello to all! Some of you may recognize me, Sonja Sparks, from last year’s Leadership Development program and most of you have almost definitely corresponded with me in some way over the past year. When IEEW’s Director of Operations, Karel Ford, contacted in me January of 2019 about the possibility of an internship, I was completely thrilled. You see, a…

IEEW Board: Global Connectors in the USA

By kford | March 5, 2020

As they say, it takes a village. At IEEW, our village begins with our invaluable leadership team, the Board of Directors. These women help make empowering women entrepreneurs a lot more accessible. Their dedication to the mission of educating women business owners and their individual testimonies about their experiences with PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® alumnae inspire…

Zahra is Erasing a Stigma in Afghanistan

By kford | March 4, 2020

Zahra Qasemi has a personal story that is sadly not too uncommon, but she has used her past to fuel her passion for progress as an empowered business owner. Zahra was raised in Iran as a refugee, which made it extremely difficult for her to continue her education. She was married at the age of…

Books & Brains and Little Smiles

By kford | February 13, 2020

Branding is a key step to any new business. Sometimes a brand becomes part of our everyday vocabulary, such as googled, or Kleenex, and even bubble wrap. And some names become synonymous with an action; hoola-hoop, trampoline, and jet ski. So it is exciting to see some of the clever branding being used by students…

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