On Thursday, a diverse group of 250 women graduated from the fourth cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) and joined 520 other Nigerian businesswomen who have benefitted from the program.
The AWE program is a U.S. government initiative that supports female entrepreneurs globally and connects them with funding opportunities that facilitate their business growth and entrepreneurial success. It was created to help women realize their economic potential.
The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs was established by the U.S. Department of State in 2019 to give female entrepreneurs access to the networks, resources, and training necessary to launch and grow profitable businesses.
The United States Mission has successfully supported the training of 770 women entrepreneurs through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program in collaboration with Venture Garden Foundation and Ascend Studios Foundation, which were both established by Inya Lawal, a graduate of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership program.
50 female repatriated irregular migrants who are at various stages of company development were participants this year.
Their productive engagement has given them the necessary knowledge and abilities to advance their endeavors while assisting in their reintegration into society.
In his remarks, James Suor, acting consul general of the U.S. Consulate, emphasized the significance of empowering women and girls for economic growth.
“When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and contributes to peace and stability,” Suor said.
He emphasized that economic integration and women’s empowerment are essential for Nigeria’s long-term economic success.
Suor expressed her deep satisfaction in the graduates, pointing out the growing market influence of female entrepreneurs as a crucial source of innovation for new job creation and economic expansion.
“Through programs like Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, our two countries are working together towards a peaceful, stable, and prosperous future for Nigeria” he added.
Inya Lawal, the founder of Ascend Studios Foundation, praised the ongoing support of the U.S. government in her remarks. This support has enabled her foundation to provide participants with the business management and networking skills necessary to start, manage, and sustain successful businesses.
The core of AWE is a demanding, three-month online course called DreamBuilder that was created by the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and the American copper mining firm Freeport McMoran.