U.S. Consulate launches AWE initiative to support women entrepreneurs - The Naija Weekly

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

U.S. Consulate launches AWE initiative to support women entrepreneurs


The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria has launched its third Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) training to support women entrepreneurs.

The announcement was contained in a statement made available to Peoples Gazette. 

The U.S. mission partnered with Ascend Studios Foundation to train over 200 women selected, based on their interests, to participate in the virtual training.

The Chargé d’Affaires Kathleen FitzGibbon said the AWE initiative empowers female entrepreneurs to fulfil their economic potentials and create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.

She said the U.S. government would continue to support women in breaking barriers, gain economic and financial independence, and create pathways to prosperity.

“When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, strengthening the social fabric of society and education and skill levels of the workforce.

This multiplier effect spurs economic growth and enhances stability,” she said.

Jumoke Olowookere, who graduated from AWE three years ago, shared her story with the new participants.  

“The AWE program connected me to the right networks and resources, and my dreams grew bigger.

Today, as an upcycling entrepreneur, I am the founder of Nigeria’s first waste museum,” she said.

Over the next three months, participants have access to different platforms for training through a partnership with Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.

Also, participants will connect with business leaders, women entrepreneurs and mentors who will facilitate lessons related to business management, such as writing a business plan and raising capital.

After their training, they will be mentored and encouraged to share, learn, and network with other AWE alumni and members of their cohort.

The first AWE program was launched in 2019 by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to augment the existing slate of projects focused on women and economic empowerment.

In 2019 and 2020, 220 women entrepreneurs participated in the AWE program.

People's Gazette

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