New ranks of business leaders
Thunderbird has been involved in the education of women business leaders in Afghanistan since 2004. Every year we identify the fifteen women with the highest entrepreneurial potential to be "Artemis Fellows," and we offer them an intensive training program on our campus, followed by a mentorship program with an international business women in a related industry.
In addition, as part of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women initiative, we are engaged in the on-going education of trainers at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, who are in turn providing business education to hundreds of other business women and entrepreneurs.
Throughout this process we have learned how critical it is for the reconstruction of a war-ravaged nation to not only focus on the leaders in government, but also the leaders in business and civic society. There is only so much government can do, unless there is a real tissue of businesses and social organizations creating jobs, providing goods and services, taking care of basic needs and creating a sense of opportunity and progress.
We have also learned that there are leadership fundamentals that cut across cultures, and that there is a lot leaders can learn when their own views confront the views of leaders from different cultures. Our own faculty and mentors have been challenged and transformed by their experience with these bright, courageous leaders.
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