ExxonMobil and Africare have announced that they have commenced work on a $1.75 million three-year project designed to empower rural women in southern Chad by developing their entrepreneurial capacity in small business development and income generation projects, obtaining micro-credit, and accessing markets. The project will be the largest single contribution to-date under the ExxonMobil Foundation’s Educating Women and Girls Initiative for a women’s economic development project.  “We launched the Educating Women and Girls Initiative because an extensive body of research demonstrated that expanding education and resources for women and girls is one of the most effective ways to promote health and economic development,” said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer, Exxon Mobil Corporation. “As one of the largest direct foreign investors in Africa, ExxonMobil understands it makes sense to foster economic growth and improve health on the continent. It is good for our employees, our neighbors and our customers.”  The goal of the project in Chad is to strengthen the capacity of women’s associations to initiate priority income-generating enterprises, increase access to micro-credit and train rural women in entrepreneurship, financial management and marketing skills. This project exemplifies the Educating Women and Girls Initiative’s focus on providing women with the training, access to financial resources and support structures to improve their economic livelihoods and strengthen economic development in the communities where ExxonMobil does business.