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Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is editor and publisher of Enterprising Women. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). To learn more about how you can become a mentor in the Peace Through Business program or donate to the organization, visit Contact her at

Women Entrepreneurs in Afghanistan & Rwanda Invited to Apply for Business Education

Oklahoma City, OK, October 26, 2015 - For the past nine years, Oklahoma City based non-profit, Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women's (IEEW) PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program, in partnership with Northwood University, has held ten-week courses for women business owners in Kabul, Afghanistan and in Kigali City, Rwanda. Today, applications to attend the tenth class of entrepreneurs went online and will be distributed by past students to potential candidates.

Already, Karen Berkheimer, Student Liaison for the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) program, has received several inquiries from enterprising Afghans and Rwandans. Berkheimer acknowledged that, "because graduates learn important business tools which help develop successful companies, graduates are eager to spread the word of PTB." They have seen the success of their fellow business women first hand. With 80% of all students still in business over the years, PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) has graduated 500 women who have together created over 13,000 jobs for their fellow countrymen and women.

PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) applications are due, along with proof of ownership for at least one year, photos, and miscellaneous documentation, by December 6, 2015. The January through March ten-week training will culminate in business plan presentations and in-country graduation. To assist each student through the course work, each woman will be paired with an American eMentor in the same field, sometimes supplemented by a mentorship team of accountants, financial consultants and marketing experts. The top fifteen students will then have the opportunity to move on to Leadership Development in the United States during the month of July.

The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women looks forward to welcoming the class of 2016. It is always so interesting to see the various businesses that these remarkable women are building in their countries. Not only are there traditional handicraft makers, midwives and farmers, but also engineers, technology gurus, fashion designers and marketers. And always, each Afghan and Rwandan woman is gracious, warm and ready to greet you with a big smile.

Applications can be found online at Or, contact Karen Berkheimer,

About the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

Established in 2006, the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, based in Oklahoma City, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that encourages the empowerment of women economically, socially, and politically by focusing on their education and mentorship. The IEEW strives to help women in the United States and abroad who want to gain entrepreneurial skills that will help them start and grow a business, which will in turn help them to become more active and effective public policy advocates. Working on the forefront of these efforts, the IEEW believes in the power of women as a driving force in the development and stability of businesses in emerging economies. Through its dedication, hard work and PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS ® program, the IEEW helps provide women with a voice in their fight to establish peace and free market economies. For more information, visit .

Left; 2015 PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS In-Country Training, Afghanistan. Right; Breakout workshops, In-Country Training, Rwanda.

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