July 25, 2017

IESC has released its first formal annual report since 2009. The years separating these two reports represent a significant period of transformation for IESC. Eight years ago, times were tight, and IESC was competitive in a rather small arena. Today, there is no doubt that IESC is a stronger organization by every measure. Our total revenue was approximately $45 million, and our home office staff has nearly quadrupled. IESC has upgraded…

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March 7, 2017

Let Women Show You Who They Are, and Change Will Happen
By Victoria Barone

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Tarana Amini, the human resources manager for IESC’s Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises Program in Kabul. Tarana has been with the ABADE Program since it started in 2012. In 2016, IESC honored her with the Tarek Nabhan International Achievement Award, which recognizes team members in the field who…

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March 3, 2017

by Riamny Méndez

Narcisa Bautista recalls that in 1981, when she began working as a secretary at a produce export business in La Vega, Dominican Republic, there were no women in charge of such export companies.

Eighteen years later, when Narcisa became owner of the same company at which she began as a secretary, there were still no women in charge of similar companies. Narcisa grew her career and developed leadership skills in a…

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March 3, 2017

Workforce Development for Women in Nigeria Requires a Cultural Shift

By Udunopa Abalu

One day while visiting my native country Nigeria over the holidays, I was out with some friends in Abuja, and I saw a large billboard advertising Maggi seasoning. The Nigerian-made bouillon cubes are often crumbled and sprinkled into dishes to make them more flavorful.

This billboard showed the image of a proud and smiling Nigerian woman on one…

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March 2, 2017

By Tom Miller

At IESC, we work around the world to strengthen the private sector, guided by a mission to improve people’s lives by expanding access to economic opportunity’for everyone. In many of the places we work, women still struggle to achieve full participation in the economy, and therefore have a hard time improving their lives and those of their families. To exclude the talent, labor, intelligence, and creativity of half the…

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March 1, 2017

By Julissa Almanzar 

The smell of chocolate in the air is heady, even a bit distracting, as I sit down to talk with about 10 women who run Chocolala and Chocal, two factories in the northern Altamira region of Dominican Republic. They came together to tell the history of their businesses and how hard they have worked to build them, persevering despite significant personal and societal obstacles, and how their economic empowerment is in turn…

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