Marylhurst alum Haoua Cheick Seip ’13 travels often to Africa, offering business know-how to woman artisans creating goods for export.
Haoua Cheick Seip is a woman who clearly embodies the West African qualities of strength, determination and support. Born and raised in Mali, Haoua left at the age of 22 for Ivory Coast, where she earned a degree in chemistry. She emigrated to the United States and started working as a management consultant. Haoua had always been inspired by the vibrant West African women who started businesses from nothing and grew them into successful enterprises.
Since 2004, Haoua has volunteered with International Executive Service Corps six times, traveling to Ghana, Benin, Swaziland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Lesotho. She has trained artisans to access markets and to develop export-quality products. In 2012 in Sri Lanka, for example, she worked with the Sri Lanka Peace Collection, an initiative to assist war widows in traditional hand-loomed textiles and creating a competitive brand for international markets.
For her upcoming assignment in Mali, Haoua will work with IESC’s project team in Bamako to design a women’s entrepreneurship mentoring program, facilitate the first meeting of mentors and their mentees, and plan for the long-term growth of the program.
Haoua is eager for the opportunity to work one-on-one with women business owners to get to know their real problems and figure out how best to assist them.
“They need to figure out how to grow their businesses and then they need money to move forward—and understand the best ways to use it,” Haoua said.
Haoua’s unique knowledge of the challenges women entrepreneurs in the region face will ensure that the IESC mentoring program responds to women’s real world needs and positions them for long-term success.
International Executive Service Corps is a nonprofit organization dedicated to equitable, sustainable economic growth in developing countries. IESC strengthens businesses and public and private institutions in the areas of trade and enterprise, information communication and applied technologies, financial services, tourism, and public sector and business enabling environment. IESC has completed more than 25,000 projects in 130 countries.
This news item is an excerpt from an article by Marissa Germain published on IESC.org. » Read the full article
Haoua Cheick Seip earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Marylhurst University in 2013.