The Bayat Foundation announced a 2010 Bayat Foundation Empowering Women Grant in the amount of US$10,000 to the Business Council for Peace (BPeace) to support the Mazar Fast Runner Initiative, focusing on nurturing Afghan women business owners who are creating jobs for others.
One of three inaugural 2010 Bayat Foundation Empowering Women Grants, these funds will help to provide female Afghan entrepreneurs in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif with the skills needed to start or expand businesses, create significant employment opportunities and expand economic development. Consulting and coaching, including help gaining access to markets and capital, will be provided by BPeace volunteers.
BPeace is an international network of business professionals who volunteer to help entrepreneurs in conflict-affected countries expand their businesses, create jobs and build peaceful ventures and cultures within their communities.
At this point, 28 Afghan women in the BPeace program have already created 1,328 jobs that support 9,419 family members. More than 755 of their employees are women who work from home and would otherwise have no source of income. In operation since 2004, BPeace previously received three grants from the U.S. Department of State.
Bayat Foundation Chairman Ehsan Bayat and President and Executive Director Fatema Laya Bayat issued a statement saying, “We share a common vision with BPeace CEO Toni Maloney who believes that creating jobs is a necessary step towards peace, and believe that it is vital that women are empowered in the process.”