Arts & Culture Podcasts

Inspiring stories of Afghanistan and Rwanda business women participating in the IEEW PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® PROGRAM. It chronicles their struggles and challenges of living in a developing country and owning a business as a woman.

Inspiring stories of Afghanistan and Rwanda business women participating in the IEEW PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® PROGRAM. It chronicles their struggles and challenges of living in a developing country and owning a business as a woman.


United States


Inspiring stories of Afghanistan and Rwanda business women participating in the IEEW PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® PROGRAM. It chronicles their struggles and challenges of living in a developing country and owning a business as a woman.








Ep. 34 - Mozhgan Wafiq Alokozai: Empowering Women in Afghanistan

Are you courageous? Imagine yourself walking down a street in Afghanistan. You have to be accompanied by a male relative. As you walk along, the potential of a bomb exploding is very real. How do you economically and socially empower oppressed women? Education. By arming women with knowledge, they are able to develop themselves and their households. Mozhgan Wafiq Alokozai has a passion that continues driving through adversity again and again. She’s lived under the Taliban regime in Pakistan,...


Ep. 40 - Drs. Sharifa Hesarnaee /Susan Chambers: Two Brave Doctors

Dr. Sharifa Hesarnaee of Kabul, Afghanistan, tells about struggling to maintain the OB/GYN department in a Kabul hospital dealing with both COVID-19 and a horrific terrorist attack on the hospital. Dr. Susan Chambers of Oklahoma City, OK, is her mentor who has continued to be a friend to Sharifa during all this as well as work herself in a hospital in the United States during COVID. You will get a feeling of what they mean by "security" being their biggest worry. The comparison of the...


Ep. 39 - Barbara Crain: Dairy and Beef Farming in Oklahoma

Barbara Crain, along with her husband, pioneered grass-fed dairy and beef in the state of Oklahoma. Together they have taken a tired, underproducing wheat farm and turned it into a profitable, environmentally responsible value-added grass-fed dairy farm. They began dairy farming in 1991 and built the processing plant in 2005 so they could process their own milk. Barbara oversees manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of all the products. She would like to be an example of how a small...


Ep. 38 - Michel Buthion: Restaurant Creativity!

Michel Buthion is considered a fine food and wine aficionado not just in Oklahoma, but around the globe. Other ventures have included turning a vintage theatre into a dining and event center, building and managing the first boutique hotel food and beverage concept in the City, taking over a favorite Italian eatery in town, and finally, developing and managing that long dreamed of saloon and chop house in Stockyards City. At the same time, La Baguette Bistro has grown into a full bar and...


Ep. 37-Manizha Wafeq: The Real Afghanistan Today

Manizha Wafeq graduated from the inaugural PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® class in 2007 and is currently teaching her 13th year of the program in Kabul as the In-Country Facilitator for Afghanistan. In this role, she has taught and mentored more than 400 Afghan businesswomen in Kabul and other smaller provinces. She tells us what is happening in Afghanistan with the hospital attack and the coronavirus. LISTEN to her full story on Episode 7 of Peace Through Business Podcast.


Ep. 36 - Mohsina Saqeb: Creativity in Clothing Manufacturing

Ms. Mohseni Saqeb is the Founder and President of Jama Saqeb Design and Production Company in Afghanistan. She is a skilled business woman with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Jama's products in the clothing design sector combine new, classic and local designs such as formal, local and traditional clothing, handbags, pillow covers and mobile phones with new, classic and local designs. The company now provides services in different provinces and countries in America, Australia,...


Ep. 35 - Florence Isaro: Reading in Rwanda

Ep. 35 - Florence Isaro is a passionate linguist who works as a translator with two bachelor’s degrees, one in Political Science and one in English-French translation. As an adult in Rwanda, she has seen firsthand how challenging it is for parents to get their children to and from the public library. Her very inspiring objective for her business, Books and Brains Ltd. is to create an enterprise that will not only help kids discover the power of books but will also make those books more...


Ep. 34 - Barbara Umumoza: We Are Feeding the People

Barbara Umuhoza is a pastor and the owner of Eclat Communications. She’s particularly dedicated to helping her country become a regional conference hub for east Africa. Her company has a wide spread of services, such as translation, content production, and social media usage. She talks about how COVID has changed the pastoral mission. She also has a new television station channel! LISTEN to her full episode 16 on Peace Through Business podcast.


Ep. 33-Sylvia Scott: Building the Girls CEO Connection

After a long career in the fashion industry, Sylvia Scott was ready for a career pivot. New work led her to coordinating a mother-daughter entrepreneurship summit, and it was the springboard for a desire to help teen girls find a path to entrepreneurship. Her organization, the Girls CEO Connection, offers coaching, mentoring, and regular conferences that connect girls with business leaders and training in how to own their success. Her help hasn’t stopped there, as she also has been...


Ep. 32-Cathy Cruzan: Unexpected Joy of Mentorship

As president of Funds for Learning, Cathy Cruzan leads her the consultancy in assisting schools and libraries navigate the E-rate program, a critical source of discounts on Internet services. She has a broad portfolio at the company, overseeing their various business efforts. With this experience, she was an ideal mentor for the Peace Through Business program, where she was embraced the role of guiding rising business leaders from Rwanda in how to find success and grow their business. In...


Ep. 31-Alyssa Weathers-Murphy: The Siren Call of Independence

Alyssa Weathers-Murphy knows the dread of an unfulfilling corporate job. One day, it was finally time to put her considerable skills and passion to use on her own business, striking out to launch her own marketing agency. Nearly a year later, Siren Media is growing fast with an all-female team of close-knit creatives who help small businesses tell their stories and build success. Her team offers graphic and web design, social media content, search engine marketing, and other key services to...


Ep. 30-Ginger Sloan: Learning Due Diligence

After Ginger Sloan had her first daughter, she was determined to work from home. On a whim, she answered a radio ad to become a medical transcriptionist, quickly finishing coursework and embarking on a new career. She grew a solo operation into Encore Medical Services, with a team of transcriptionists providing medical clients with rapid turnaround for their transcription needs. She’s learned the ups and downs of being a woman in the business world, gaining diligence in who to connect with...


Ep.29-Jan Hill: A Spirit Renewed Through Service

Hair Salon owner Jan Hill spent years building a successful business and helping her employees achieve success. However, after contracting an illness that resulted in the loss of using her hands, she couldn’t do hairdresser work any longer. While she could still run the business, Hill wanted to channel energy elsewhere. She was connected to the Peace Through Business program, and encountered the life-changing experience of mentoring women from Rwanda. She’s worked on helping women gain...


Ep. 28-Sonu Ratra: Two Suitcases and a Dream

Sonu Ratra embodies the immigrant dream of coming to America and seeking success. She arrived from her native India with a pair of suitcases and just the money in her pockets as she and her husband came to chase new opportunities in the 90s in California’s Silicon Valley. Ratra recounts the journey that culminated in her founding of Akraya, a leader in IT consulting and digital enterprise staffing. Her company’s Women Back to Work program also helps companies tap into the overlooked talent...


Ep.27-Angelika Coghlan: Burn the Bridge of Hope

Business success isn’t built on just hoping for the right outcome. That’s why consultant Angelika Coughlan is always telling her clients to burn that bridge of hope. Entrepreneurs must do the hard work of understanding who their customers are and what they care about. One of her most satisfying experiences with that message is extending it to women business owners in Rwanda with the Peace Through Business program. Through this mentorship she’s been inspired by how they take on challenging...


Ep. 26-Mary Ruppert-Stroescu: Making Clothing Smarter

Mary Ruppert-Stroescu believes clothing can play a role in improving health outcomes. A longtime fashion designer, she is passionate about the potential for EKG and other types of monitoring systems to be embedded in clothing, delivering better information to patients and doctors. She designed and manufactured her own clothing and owned a small boutique in Paris for years, part of her lifelong passion for fashion and design. She brings that experience to the Peace Through Business program,...


Ep. 25-Monica Smiley: Never Stop Being Inspired

As editor and publisher of Enterprising Women Magazine, Monica Smiley knows the challenges women face in business. Yet what she’s seen here in the U.S. pales to the experiences of female entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda. Their resilience and ability to succeed, however, leaves her continually inspired. Through her work with the Peace Through Business program, she’s helped mentor women through the unique challenges they face in their home country. In Afghanistan, women must still deal...


Ep.24-Karel Ford: The Role of Mentors

The Peace Through Business program provides women from Rwanda and Afghanistan with the essential skills they need to unleash their entrepreneurial potential. Karel Ford directs the mentorship side with the initiative, pairing up U.S.-based business leaders with women who are launching and building businesses, often in challenging and sometimes dangerous, circumstances. Ford describes how the women who enter the program thrive, building stronger partnerships with their American counterparts...


Ep. 23-Karel Ford: My Role in IEEW

Karel Ford wants to see women worldwide have the freedom and skills to start their own businesses. This is why she heads the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, where she and her team mentor women in Rwanda and Afghanistan giving them valuable entrepreneurship skills to help them find success in their home country. Women in the program learn critical skills to launch their business, nurture its growth, and work within their political systems to achieve lasting change. Ford...


Ep. 22-Princesse Umutesiwase: Embrace the Challenges you Faced and Use them as Fuel for your Journey

Princesses Umuntesiwase always got pushack from her brothers about how much she would be able to accomplish as a girl. Proving them wrong became paramount, and she worked hard through school to earn a scholarship at a university in Nairobi, then landing a job at the central bank of Rwanda. Yet the tug was strong for another achievement — owning her own business. With Legacy Brands, she has created a business with a vast variety of services, everything from branding and publishing to event...