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Press Release

Women's Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Partnering with Women-led Organizations in Tunisia to Train Entrepreneurs

TUNIS and SAN FRANCISCO, November 13, 2012—The Institute of International Education (IIE) Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives is partnering with eight women-led organizations in Tunisia to deliver leadership, social media, e-commerce and entrepreneurship training to emerging and established women entrepreneurs throughout the country. The new program, Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES), is funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the U.S. Department of State.

In partnership with MEPI, IIE will collaborate with private sector partners, LinkedIn, eBay, Microsoft and Craig Newmark, Founder of craigslist.org, to provide resources, support and services to eight local Tunisian women’s organizations to train 1,000 women over an 18 month period in six cities across Tunisia, including Tunis, Sfax, Kairouan, Zarzis, Sousse and Gafsa. The WES program utilizes a dual approach by building capacity in social media, entrepreneurship and leadership of both local organizations that will operate WES Training Centers and of the individual women entrepreneurs who launch, build and grow their businesses. WES’s innovative training program was developed by a cadre of experts from the U.S. and North Africa including social media expert Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog and co-author of The Networked Nonprofit, and top management and leadership consultant and President of CEO of the Center for New Futures, Barbara Fittipaldi.

“IIE is committed to empowering women around the world through the IIE Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives and honored to launch the new Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability program with generous support from MEPI,” says IIE President and CEO Allan E. Goodman. “We are eager to bring the expertise and resources we have developed administering other successful programs in partnership with MEPI, including the E-Mediat and Women in Technology (WIT) programs, to a new community of women leaders.”

WES prepares organizations to provide a menu of high quality, innovative and standardized training offerings, while developing staff as skilled instructors and coaches. The new initiative will also engage individual women entrepreneurs in dynamic activities and trainings that will contribute to the development of new businesses, more sustainable organizations, workforce development and economic empowerment for women and their communities.

WES Training Centers will open their doors to emerging and established women entrepreneurs at the end of November. WES graduates will join a vibrant network of women entrepreneurs and innovative leaders working to shape the future of Tunisia.

WES Partners
Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS Tunis)
Association of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation in Zarzis (ADDCI Zarzis)
Kairouanians for the Culture of Citizenship (KPCC Kairouan)
National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT Kairouan)
Association of Continuity of Generations (ACG Sfax)
Association of Majida Boulila for Modernity (AMBM Sfax)
Association for the Development of the South of Gafsa (ADGS Gafsa)
The NOOR Association for Human Development (ANDH Sousse)


About the Institute of International Education’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements educational and leadership training programs in 175 countries, impacting over 25,000 people annually. IIE’s San Francisco office houses the Institute’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives, which provides opportunities for women worldwide to participate in cutting-edge professional development trainings and pursue higher education. Through the Center’s programs, women develop and join networks of peers and mentors and serve as innovative leaders in the public and private sectors around the world.

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Media Contacts

Sharon Witherell
Director, Public Affairs
Tel: +1 212.984.5380
E-mail: switherell@iie.org

Maria Baum
Media Relations Specialist
Tel: +1 212.984.5360
E-mail: mbaum@iie.org