I had the pleasure of working with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women in Dallas, Texas last week in their Peace Through Business program. Peace through Business® trains women entrepreneurs in war torn countries in basic business practices, then goes a step further by providing mentorship with American women business owners.
These courageous women spend three weeks in class learning business basics through an entrepreneurial university. They then take that information and transfer it into real life through mentorship.
After training in their respective countries, 14 women from Afghanistan and 15 women from Rwanda attended a 10-day training session at Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas. Tomorrow they leave Texas to go to places throughout the country to be matched with a mentor, a woman business owner who has a similar business.
I did a day of marketing training with the women, including information on branding, media, networking and message development. I wanted to highlight one woman here in particular. For more information on the other women, go to http://communicationbridges.blogspot.com or www.ieew.org.
Frozan Raufi, a 30 year old businesswoman from Kabul, Afghanistan, is using her medical background to bring hope to her fellow countrymen and women.
Frozan spent the majority of her educational experience training to practice medicine. But when she married, she had to temporarily forfeit the idea. But under the encouragement and guidance of her husband, Dr. Obaidullah Raufi, Frozan has rekindled her dream.
In 2007, Frozan and her husband opened the Family Medical Clinic. Despite the skeptics, their business is booming. They have already exceeded their initial business expectations and they have even started to expand. They now are responsible for their main clinic and several other health missions in neighboring villages and provinces.
The joy of success, however, has come second to the sense of satisfaction Frozan feels from helping those who haven’t always been helped.
“I have [so] many patients and people coming to my clinic…and as you know we are [working] in a field that starts off with very little income and that is in a very poor country. I am so happy with my business and wish that one day we can help not only people in my country, but all over the world.”
She said their primary needs are to upgrade technology. Her primary “wish list” is for EKG & digital blood pressure machines. They only charge $2 per patient, but because most patients cannot even afford that, they need grants, a grant writer, or donors, so they can treat more patients. Her wish list is a grant of $10,000 so they could see about 400 patients per month.