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  • Ondrea Li

Drivers of Economy Strengthening Women Entrepreneurs: A Project for Pakistan Program Recap

From June 1st to 4th, we hosted an IVLP delegation, “Drivers of Economy Strengthening Women Entrepreneurs: A Project for Pakistan” in eastern Iowa. The program welcomed five representatives from Pakistan and three liaisons. Throughout the program, the visitors engaged with local entrepreneur organizations and community leaders including Kiva and NewBoCo.

The delegation at South of 6 Business District Market

The delegation arrived at their hotel where they were greeted by Global Ties Iowa Executive Director Amy Alice Chastain, and Program Fellow Lexi Passno. After settling in, they then had the rest of their evening to rest and check out dinner options downtown in Iowa City.


The next morning, Amy Alice accompanied the delegation to NewBoCity Market in Cedar Rapids where they interacted with Interim Executive Director of the New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) Jill Wilkins, NewBo City Market Executive Director Julie Parisi, and NewBo City Market Director of Equitable Business Development Matt McGrane. Together, they discussed how NewBoCo and NewBo City Market have created a Hub for Iowa that provides help to underserved communities to support small businesses and entrepreneurship.

The delegation with John Achrazoglou at South of 6 Iowa City Business District office for meetings.

Following their meeting at the NewBoCity Market, the delegation had a break for lunch and then headed to the South of 6 Iowa City Business District Office for meetings and a tour where they were accompanied by Global Ties Iowa board member John Achrazoglou. Their journey continued to the South District Market where they toured the five small businesses and met with the Executive Director of the South of 6 Iowa City Business District Angie Jordans, and co-founder of the Diversity Market and the South of 6 Business District Marlén Mendoza. Their discussions revolved around their entrepreneurial careers and policies that strengthen underserved communities.


After their meeting at the South District Market, the delegation went back to their hotel and had the rest of the evening to explore food options in Iowa City and the Iowa Arts Festival that was occurring in downtown Iowa City.

Members of the delegation meeting with Angie Jordans, Marlén Mendoza

On Saturday, the delegation had the morning and afternoon to immerse themselves in the Iowa Arts Festival events. In the evening, they went to Stone Wall Brick Oven Pizza and were accompanied by Amy Alice, and her exchange daughter Maria Ounap. At Pizza on the Farm, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with the owners of the farm, listen to live music and eat pizza made on a mobile wood-fired brick oven.




The next morning, the delegation departed Iowa and boarded the bus for Madison, Wisconsin.


We extend our appreciation to our volunteers, Lexi Passno, John Achrazoglou, Amy Alice Chastain, and Maria Ounap for making this delegation’s time in Iowa City special! Your efforts are greatly appreciated. We would also like to thank NewBo City Market, Kiva, the New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative, South of 6 Iowa City Business District Office, the South District Market. and Stone Wall Brick Oven Pizza for their enthusiastic engagement with the delegation!

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