OKLAHOMA CITY – The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s “Peace Through Business” Program will take aspiring Rwandan women entrepreneurs to Oklahoma this summer.
Although they come from different cultures and are in very different fields – clothing manufacturing, food distribution and journalism – the 15 Rwandan women participating in a groundbreaking program share a common goal: to learn self-sufficiency.
Through the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s (IEEW) Peace Through Business, these aspiring entrepreneurs will receive university business courses and mentorship from women business owners.
Upon arriving (July 2), the Rwandan women will study at Oklahoma Christian University’s Academy of Leadership and Liberty in Oklahoma City, Okla. Following three weeks of study, each participant receives a week of mentoring from a local business woman before returning to their home countries in August.
“This program is founded on a simple premise: It’s possible to change the world by educating women about business and giving them the tools to succeed,” said IEEW President Terry Neese. “Building on our history from last year, it has been amazing to see the effect of Peace Through Business in the lives of its participants and those around them.
These women are creating strong businesses and planting seeds for other women to achieve economic freedom.”
This is the second year for IEEW to take women from other countries to the United States for an intensive three-week course of study at a major university and one-on-one mentorship.
IEEW began its groundbreaking program, Peace Through Business, in 2007 by partnering with the US State Department, USAID and the US/Afghan Women’s Council to host 12 women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan to study at Northwood University and be mentored in Michigan.
The success of IEEW’s Peace Through Business program’s first year led to a partnership with Oklahoma Christian University in bringing women from Rwanda.
“The women of Rwanda are a rising economic and societal force in their nation,” said Oklahoma Christian President Mike O’Neal. “We are proud to work with IEEW in giving these women the business knowledge and education necessary to help revitalize their country.”