The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, World Learning organized the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) on “Strengthening the Business Climate for Women Entrepreneurs in South and Central Asia.” 

The Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES) took place in Kathmandu, Nepal from Monday, December 5 to Friday, December 9, 2016. The seminar convened 40 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs from nine countries in South and Central Asia who are working in the fields of agriculture, banking, economic development, digital technology, finance, microcredit, small business development, social enterprise and women’s entrepreneurship.  Subject matter experts and U.S. government officials shared best practices and challenges related to strengthening the business climate for women entrepreneurs in countries in South and Central Asia. The event provided the opportunity to establish a cross-border network of business leaders, entrepreneurs and their allies; learn how to mobilize small business enterprises; examine national and regional policies that promote women’s entrepreneurship, and develop business and entrepreneurial teaching skills to empower others.  


The seminar served the dual function of being both a professional development workshop and a practical thematic seminar. Alumni not only provided with knowledge about the steps to take to strengthen the business climate for women entrepreneurs in South and Central Asia, but also learned practical skills on how to mobilize small and medium enterprises. Through a variety of panel discussions, learning labs, small group discussions and site visits, alumni shared initiatives that promote women’s entrepreneurship in the region and strategize how to create business climates for women to succeed. Arif Nezami founder of Preneur Lab Limited was invited from Bangladesh in the event.

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