If a Woman in a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan can do it, so can you!

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week!

What does that mean?  For 1 week, across the globe in 138 countries, entrepreneurs are making startup magic happen.

In a nutshell it’s the world’s largest celebration of innovators, movers and shakers and it’s happening right now:


So in honor of this awesome event within this post  you will find :


If you’re local and are hankering to get your entrepreneurial groove on, this weekend in Elon, NC, Triad Startup Weekend still has tickets left. I will be there to facilitate and participate in all the #shenanigans. Plus as a participant, you have the opportunity  to  be a part of the great Global Startup Battle with $500k in available prizes.

Now for the Book Review –The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

I know the title of the post is a bit sensational, but that is exactly what this book made me think about. I actually said to myself, if a woman in a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan can do it, so can I!  It’s true.  When you read this book and follow the main character, entrepreneur Kamila, you can’t help but be inspired. I promise you this isn’t a chick book.  Nope … it has suspense, intrigue and war. It is so well written – perhaps because it is written by a former journalist, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, who is a well accomplished, brave entrepreneur in her own right!

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The premise of the book is this: The Taliban has taken over Khair Khana, Women are immediately required to wear the chadri or burka upon occupation. In a war-torn city quickly on the decline, women are immediately pulled from work and school.  The  men leave to find work, families are starving, strict curfews have been instituted and women are required to have male escorts when in public.  It is oppressive. It is scary.  And yet, Kamila and her sisters risk certain death to feed their family by starting a dressmaking business. They take it a step further by helping other women in their community  learn and earn for their families.

If you ever thought you couldn’t start a business, this book will help inspire you.  More than likely hunger and safety aren’t motivating you to start something, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try something small. You don’t have to quit your job to start something. You don’t have to have all the answers to start something.  You just have to start!

For those of you that don’t want to be an entrepreneur, this book is still for you. Especially since we are so close to the Thanksgiving holiday … this story is poignant in that it will make you thankful for everything you have and more.

Cheers to all entrepreneurs especially during Global Entrepreneurs Week, which aims to celebrate and inspire.

And on a personal note, bravo to entrepreneurs everywhere especially those in war zones.

After reading The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe, I have far more respect and admiration for those brave war zone entrepreneurs than ever before.

Go Kamila! You inspire me.

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

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  1. Top 98 Reasons to go to Triangle Startup Weekend - Women

    […] A Dressmaker in Afghanistan, can start and grow a business with the Taliban so can you. AND you don’t have to do it […]

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