Tag Archive for 'IEEW'

The power of entrepreneurship and liberty

Speaking of America’s founding in The Fortune of the Republic, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “We began with freedom.”

Indeed. But that freedom didn’t become useful until the Founders converted it into liberty and lasts only as long as the stewards of each generation protect and maintain it.

Freedom is a state of mind anyone can assume. But liberty is a contract we bestow upon and expect from each other. And from that contract, American entrepreneurship was born as the child of liberty.

Liberty and entrepreneurship have an interesting symbiotic relationship: You can have liberty without entrepreneurship, but you can’t have entrepreneurship without at least tacit liberty. But while liberty as a human ideal is more primordial than entrepreneurship, the latter has a political advantage that comes in handy in some places on planet Earth.

In China, for example, to pursue liberty as a foundation to entrepreneurship might be difficult – even dangerous. But since it is not typically seen as a political statement, engaging in entrepreneurship, even as a veiled precursor to liberty, is more practical and safer.

IEEW's 2012 Peace Through Business graduating class from Afghanistan

IEEW's 2012 Peace Through Business graduating class from Afghanistan

Consequently, outside of America it is possible – sometimes necessary – for the child, entrepreneurship, to precede and flourish ahead of the parent, liberty. Such is the case in Afghanistan, but only for women.

Recently, at IEEW’s “Peace through Business” conference, in Washington, D.C., I met and interviewed an Afghan woman who is a wife and mother of three small children, and an entrepreneur. Freshta Hazeq founded the only woman-owned printing company in the capital city of Kabul. In America, Freshta would be celebrated; in Afghanistan, her business has been sabotaged and her life threatened because she competes against men.

The entrepreneurial desire to create a business that could provide a living for a family actually promotes liberty without a political declaration. Over time, in countries like Afghanistan, as the ideals and values of entrepreneurship acquire critical mass, it will be discovered that liberty has flourished on the foundation of entrepreneurship.

In America we began with freedom and forged it into liberty, which gave birth to entrepreneurship. In Afghanistan, especially if you’re a woman, entrepreneurship will give birth to liberty. But, like America’s revolution, it comes at a high price.

Why is Freshta willing to pay this price? Because she has a daughter.

Liberty and entrepreneurship - powerful and symbiotic.


Click on one of the links below to hear Freshta Hazeq’s touching and inspirational story of the unique challenges she faces as the owner of Royal Advertising and Printing Press in Kabul, Afghanistan and what she is doing to improve as a professional business owner.

How Peace Through Business works in Afghanistan

Breaking the mold for women in Afghanistan

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Teach others what you’ve learned

Since those whom we manage look to us for guidance, we should think of ourselves as teachers.  We teach others what we have learned so that knowledge can be leveraged through their performance.

And don’t be afraid to show your passion for your ideas. Allowing employees to see passion and conviction in our words, actions and style is a good thing, and it’s also contagious.

The market is a rude place, indifferent to our very existence let alone whether we succeed or fail. Perfection has never been attainable by mere mortals. Excellence is possible, but only those with high standards are capable of achieving it and only as a result of positive critical evaluation of our own efforts and those we manage.

Humans work best when they know that there is a safe harbor; where redemption is available to those who fail while trying their best and where they will be encouraged to continue to take initiative in the quest for excellence.

This week on my radio show I talked with Terry Neese, President and CEO, the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, about National Mentor Month and the work she does mentoring women business owners in Afghanistan and Rwanda. Take a few minutes to click on the links below and listen to our conversation. Terry’s work is truly inspiring!

Celebrating National Mentor Month with Terry Neese

You might be a mentor without knowing it with Terry Neese

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