Bpeace Comes to Aurora

Bpeace is a non-profit network of business professionals who volunteer their skills to entrepreneurs in conflict affected countries.  Their mission is to help create significant employment for all and to expand the economic power of women. You can view a short video produced by Bpeace here.

On Friday we were excited to host a young Bpeace entrepreneur named Shahla Akbari from Afghanistan.  Shahla lives in Kabul and manages a small shoe company of her own there, called the Afghan Women Inventive Co.  All of Shahla's shoes are handmade in her small factory in the traditional way which happens to require separate working spaces for women and men and back-up generators for the frequent power outages that occur in her war torn city. 

While their working conditions are quite different, Dave and Shahla found many similarities in their shoemaking methods and had a laugh when they thought about the irony of their opposing goals.  While Dave is committed to continuing the handmade tradition, which is a rarity here, Shahla is looking to add more mechanization, a rarity there. 

We really enjoyed meeting Shahla and were inspired by her story and her determination to forge ahead in the face of so much adversity.  You can read more about Shahla's visit to the area here and can learn more about Bpeace and how to become involved with this important organization here.


A reporter and photographer from the local paper were on hand during Shahla's visit.  You can read their article here.

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Photography by Erin Little , Ginny Sheller , Katherine Huysman .

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