The United States Consulate General in Lagos has launched an Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a State Department-led initiative to support women entrepreneurs around the world.
A diverse group of 100 women were selected from a pool of over 6, 000 applicants to participate in the week-long programme.
Participants will receive lessons on business management, network with entrepreneurs and mentors, and learn the practical skills required to create successful and sustainable businesses.
Declaring the workshop open, U.S. Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, explained that the goal of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is to teach women around the world to become successful entrepreneurs.
She noted that women’s empowerment will be key to Nigeria’s long-term economic development.
“One of the U.S. government’s goals is to promote entrepreneurship worldwide.
Through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, we are doing just that by giving these ambitious businesswomen the skills they need to take their ventures to the next level,” she said.
Consul General Pierangelo described the role of women as crucial for the progress of national economies, adding that “women are the backbone of society no matter what country you are in. When women are working, the country is working.”
Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the workshop.
They include Inya Lawal, alumna of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership programme, Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, academic director, Owner-Manager Programme at the Lagos Business School, Hansatu Adegbite, executive director at Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) and Teju Abisoye, executive secretary, Lagos state Employment Trust Fund.
In addition, participants will receive access to DreamBuilder, a blended business-training course developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company, Freeport-McMoRan.
The AWE is a component of the White House Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, designed to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential, thereby creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.
Nigeria is among 26 pilot countries worldwide that were selected to participate in the AWE programme. The other African countries participating in the inaugural AWE cohort are Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.