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Business of Peace in the Middle East

TYO Founder and President, Hani Masri, headlined a conference at Harvard Business School (HBS) last Friday, April 9, along with Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of the Portland Trust. The conference was the second annual event on this topic, organized by HBS students and sponsored by Harvard MENA and the HBS Jewish Students Association.

HBS organizers were interested to brainstorm and publicize ways that the private sector can promote stability and peace in Israel and Palestine. Over 100 audience members represented the Harvard community (HBS and the university’s other graduate schools, including the Kennedy School of Government and the Graduate School of Education) as well as Portland Trust and TYO partners, including Ron Bruder, founder and CEO of the Education for Employment Foundation.

The discussion was varied and productive, ranging from the political climate in the region to a proposed web platform to facilitate trade between Israel and the West Bank. Participants focused primarily on innovative and effective measures to work toward a better life for those living in this troubled region, including education, trade and paying particular attention to women’s role in economic development. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently wrote:

When women are free to develop their talents and contribute fully to their societies, everyone benefits.

Inasmuch, we showcased TYO’s efforts to engage women as business leaders and build their capacity to do so.

We look forward to welcoming participants in the conference and others as mentors, donors and partners in our efforts to empower Palestinians in business – particularly the women we work with through our collaboration with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women: Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus. Meet FWEN participants Hadeel and Nehaya in their videos at these links.

Want to help? Get in touch with Project Manager Fatima Irshaid. Or donate now through Global Giving.


Business for Peace at Harvard Business School

TYO’s Founder, Hani Masri, will speak about the role of women in economic development in the Middle East at an upcoming event at Harvard Business School. Participants from TYO’s project, “Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus” will also be featured.

The event is the second annual HBS conference on the Business of Peace, and will also feature:

  • Sir Ronald Cohen of TYO partner organization, the Portland Trust,
  • an HBS case study about challenges and opportunities in trade within and between Palestine and Israel and
  • discussion in the typical HBS case study method with businesspeople with interests in the Middle East, as well as interested Harvard professors and students from around the University.

We look forward to this chance for productive dialogue with such a diverse and talented group, and are sure that it will offer great added value for our Women Entrepreneurs project, in cooperation with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. Further information about the conference is included below, for those interested in attending.



FRIDAY APRIL 9, 2010, 3PM to 6PM



Mr. Hani Masri – Founder, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization and co-founder, Palestine Note

Sir Ronald Cohen – Founder, Apax Partners and the Portland Trust

Presented by: JSA & MENA

It is our hope that this conference will continue the good work started at last year’s inaugural conference, resulting in concrete action items for follow-up. We also hope to inspire similar initiatives at other business schools around the world.

If you would like to attend the conference, please email nicktaranto@gmail.com and gshapira@mba2010.hbs.edu with your name and affiliation. Space is limited.