PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Program
It is widely acknowledged that economically stable societies have a much greater capacity for peace. Small business has always been the backbone of economic stability; and the Institute believes that diversity is the key to the development and stability of business in emerging economies.
PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® is a business training and mentorship program for women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda. The program is in its 11th year and is implemented through three major components — In-Country Education, Leadership Development, and Pay It Forward —which combine to create a continuing program to educate women, promote their business and leadership skills, build a strong public policy agenda in the women’s business community and to help build stable democracies.
(1) In-Country Education (Kabul, Afghanistan and Kigali, Rwanda) – Thirty women from each country will participate in the classroom training that provides basic business education. All classes will be taught by PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS™ Alumnae who are certified in the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® curriculum. The classes will focus on developing entrepreneurs, improving technical skills, and creating leaders with an emphasis in Accounting, Marketing, and Operations. By the end of the 10 week course, the students will have developed a business plan that will be used to guide their business and apply for business loans.
(2) Leadership Development (United States) – To assist in creating an environment where women are empowered, a country must have well-trained leaders. Leadership Development will provide a unique opportunity each year for women who demonstrate the ability and mindset to influence and train peers. Traveling to the United States to participate in Leadership Development will include:
- Business Boot Camp – A week of high-level discussions at Northwood University with experts on specific business, leadership, and public policy topics.
- Mentorship – Living and working with an American woman business owner for 5 days in a matched industry provides the real world implementation of the business skills learned in the classroom environment.
- International Women’s Economic Summit – the Summit is an opportunity for the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® students to turn their attention to their country and how they can participate in their country’s economic recovery to peace. Attended by 150 people, this event hosts speakers from the private sector as well as government agencies and elected officials; with the pinnacle being a Presentation of Commitment from the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduates to their Ambassadors.
- Graduation – This gala, attended by 200+ people, is the finale to Leadership Development. This is the opportunity for graduates to celebrate their new status as Change Agents as they prepare to go home and empower others.
(3) Paying it Forward – PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduates understand the importance of personal responsibility and have pledged to support their country by being the Change Agents needed to revolutionize their economy. Each of the graduates donates her time as a mentor to other women business owners, serves as a speaker at women’s organizations, and as an advocate on economic issues. In addition to the Graduates responsibilities, the American women mentors agree to continue mentorship via email for at least one year.