Local group helps women of city in Rwanda
Oklahoma City and Kigali, Rwanda would seem to have nothing in common. But for women struggling to make it in their own businesses in Oklahoma City or around the world in an African city like Kigali, they have one big factor in common: They're both seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Paving the road to female entrepreneurship in a developing nation is what we're accomplishing in Oklahoma City at the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women. This nonprofit organization provides training every year to 60 women from Afghanistan and Rwanda, to help them start businesses. Half of the 60 students are selected to travel to the United States business and leadership training. They'll be in Oklahoma July 14 for a week of one-on-one mentorships.
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Being able to control their own destiny in the business world can become the way out of a life of oppression for many women. After all, just look at the far-reaching impact that women-owned businesses have on national economies. Nearly 10.4 million businesses in the United States are owned by women, generating nearly $2 trillion in sales, according to the Center for Women's Business Research. What we've learned as women is that we're all much more alike than we are different. I believe that women everywhere share the desire to succeed and overcome the odds; all they need is someone to believe in them along the way.
Terry Neese, Oklahoma City
Neese is the founder/CEO of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, based in Oklahoma City.
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