We are excited to work with the women of The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and their PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® PROGRAM to Trailblazers Impact! PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® is an annual business training and mentorship program for women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda. The program is in its 14th year and is implemented through three major components — In-Country Education, Leadership Development, and Pay It Forward — which combine to create a 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.
We had the opportunity to speak to the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program facilitators and students about their incredible achievements in business despite the overwhelming daily obstacles they face in Afghanistan and Rwanda. While they may call themselves ordinary women, we think they are the true definition of extraordinary.
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. IEEW accomplishes this mission by focusing on education, mentorship and coaching women in the U.S. and abroad who are seeking to acquire entrepreneurial skills to help start and grow a business.
Listen to IEEW's PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® PROGRAM Founder
Terry Neese: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the Developing World
Terry Neese is a prolific entrepreneur who is dedicated to mentoring women both locally and abroad in starting their own businesses and turning their ambitions into reality. As founder of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), her organization has grown a network of women business owners in Afghanistan and Rwanda who are provided with leadership skills and business strategies to reach their goals.
In this episode, Neese talks about her Oklahoma upbringing and what she learned about the value of hard work and honesty on her parents’ farm. Her passion and commitment to hard work led her to several successes, such as founding Neese Personnel in 1975, an Oklahoma City staffing agency. Her advocacy and philanthropic work in business led to a call from The White House, and the inspiration to create IEEW to help women in the developing world develop business strategies and advocate for policy change with local governments.
Neese shares why passion is at the heart of any successful entrepreneurial endeavor, and what it takes to create large-scale change for women in business.