Economic Empowerment of
Join Terry Neese,
Founder, Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, and Pat Lynch on
Name of Organization: Institute
for Economic Empowerment of Women
Field: Non-profit organization
Date Founded: EEW was founded in 2006
Founder: Terry Neese, CEO
Location/Level: IEEW is a global organization
with locations in the United States, Afghanistan and Rwanda.
Linda Mares – Director of Media Relations Phone:
“As far as we know, we believe IEEW is the only organization in
the world that is doing exactly what it is doing. We are
educating 30 women in two foreign countries with a former PEACE
THROUGH BUSINESS® student on the ground as a teacher. Then, we
bring the top 15 from each country to the United States for
Leadership Development—classes at Northwood University,
mentorship for a week with American women business owners, an
International Women’s Economic Summit and the PEACE THROUGH
BUSINESS® graduation. We are in our 6th year and the results are
inspiring. Over 80% of our graduates are still in business!”
How many Members?
IEEW is not a membership organization.
However, it has a network of 6 staff members, an 8-member board
of directors, around 250 Rwandan and Afghan women business
owners, and American women entrepreneurs around the country.
IEEW is a 501(c)3 non-profit empowering women to grow their
businesses, pursue greater entrepreneurial ventures, and become
more active public policy advocates. The Institute 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. The
Institute’s PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program was created to
educate women who have suffered oppression and marginalization
and whose homelands have been devastated by war, genocide, and
Why was your organization launched?
In 2006, Dr. Terry Neese was asked by the U.S. Department of
State and the US-Afghan Women’s Council to create the PEACE
THROUGH BUSINESS® Program, which provides business education and
mentorship for women business owners in war-torn countries. The
program was inaugurated in 2007 with the first class of 8 Afghan
women, and in 2008 the program was extended to include women
from Rwanda. To date, about 250 women have gone through the
PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® training, with approximately 100 of
those women coming to the United States for further business,
leadership and public policy training.
What are the organization’s goals for
IEEW’s primary goal with the PEACE THROUGH
BUSINESS® Program is to empower the 2012 class of Rwandan and
Afghan women business owners to grow their businesses, mentor
their peers in entrepreneurship, and to affect public policy
change that will benefit women empowerment and entrepreneurship
within their countries. IEEW is also working to expand its
program into the rural areas of Rwanda and Afghanistan, as well
as bringing the program into new countries.
Programs/Initiatives to achieve those
IEEW’s PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Program is
preparing for the Leadership Development portion, where the top
women from each in-country class will come to the U.S. for the
month of July for training, mentorship, and networking
opportunities. An International Women’s Economic Summit is being
held at the United States Institute of Peace, July 23rd through
24th, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Graduation will be held the
evening of July 24th, 2012.
Favorite Holidays/Special Dates
International Women’s Week in early March
International Women’s Economic Summit (IWES) provides an
opportunity for PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® students to turn their
attention to 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®
program graduates to their Ambassadors. The PEACE THROUGH
BUSINESS® Graduation gala, attended by more than 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.
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