Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and Bank of America Announce Partnership to Advance Women Entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Afghanistan

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) and Bank of
America today announced a partnership to support women entrepreneurs in
Rwanda and Afghanistan.

Since its inception 10 years ago, more than 600 women entrepreneurs from
Rwanda and Afghanistan have graduated from IEEW’s PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program.
The initiative provides training, strategic planning support and
mentorship to equip women to grow their businesses and strengthen their
communities. Since the program launched, 80 percent of the women are
still in business today, creating 13,000 jobs that preserve and bring
sustainable and profitable businesses to their communities, advancing
economic growth and stability in these regions.

“Women’s economic empowerment is a driver of economic growth around the
world that we are committed to support,” said Andrea Smith, chief
administrative officer, Bank of America. “Partnering with IEEW is
another great example of how we’re able to invest directly in the women
entrepreneurs who are doing so much to create opportunity for themselves
and their communities.”

In addition to receiving one-on-one mentoring, new trainees will attend
the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS training boot camp in Dallas July 10–16.
There, they will receive instruction on topics including applying for
loans, human resources best practices and other important business
skills. At the training, Bank of America will provide financial
management expertise to help coach the women entrepreneurs on specific
business goals and challenges.

“Partnering with Bank of America during our 10th year of global impact
provides us with the financial engine to assist more women entrepreneurs
in Afghanistan and Rwanda,” said Dr. Terry Neese, founder and CEO, IEEW.
“Their global financial focus is critical to PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS’s
mission of empowering women economically, socially and politically, and
their extensive experience in raising the status of women through
similar partnerships offers new opportunities for women around the world
and the organizations that serve them. We are proud to welcome Bank of
America to our team.”

Bank of America’s partnership with IEEW is just one example that
demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to women’s economic
empowerment and leadership through external partnerships and internal
programs for women employees including:

  • Earlier this week, Bank of America was recognized as a leader in the
    first Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI),
    reinforcing the company’s position as a global leader in gender
    equality and supporting women in the workplace.
  • In partnership with the Tory
    Burch Foundation Capital Program
    , Bank of America provided capital
    for more than $10 million in affordable loans to nearly 450 women
    business owners since 2014, and announced an expansion of $20 million
    over the next two years. These loans are administered through
    Community Development Financial Institutions in each of the program’s
  • To create economic opportunity for women entrepreneurs around the
    world, Bank of America partners with Vital
    and the Cherie
    Blair Foundation
    to connect nearly 2,000 women entrepreneurs from
    more than 80 countries with mentors – 200 of whom are mentored by Bank
    of America employees.

About IEEW
The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, started
in 2006, is an Oklahoma City based 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to
empower 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 United States and abroad who are seeking to
acquire entrepreneurial skills to help start and grow a business. IEEW
works with a network of mentors, corporate sponsors, and private donors
across the United States to accomplish its work. To learn more visit our website.

About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank
of America, we are focused on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
factors as critical to fulfilling our core purpose of making people’s
financial lives better. A commitment to growing our business responsibly
is embedded in every aspect of our company, from our policies and
practices to our services, products, governance and employee benefits.
An important part of that commitment is forming strong partnerships
across sectors, including nonprofit organizations serving community
needs, bringing our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater
impact. We’re proud of our employees’ volunteer efforts, support of
diversity and inclusion, and environmental and social responsibility.
Across our company, we’re focused on simplifying banking and investing,
advancing better money habits and making an impact in communities around
the world. Learn more at and
follow us on Twitter at @BankofAmerica.

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Reporters May Contact:
Britney Sheehan, Bank of America,
Eddington, IEEW, 1.405.517.3303