US, AWIEF partner to train female entrepreneurs

Irene Ochem Founder and Chief Executive Officer, AWIEF
Irene Ochem Founder and Chief Executive Officer, AWIEF

The United States (U.S.) embassy in South Africa has partnered with Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), to train female entrepreneurs.

The programme, now in its second year, would see another 125 female entrepreneurs selected in efforts to implement the 2020-2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) South Africa programme for a period of eight months.

Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Maureen Mimnaugh, described AWE as a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs across South Africa to gain university-level business and management training, strengthen their networks, and grow as entrepreneurs.

Noting that the programme aims to support women in a recovering economy of innovation, said the tools for successful entrepreneurship would be more important than ever, particularly in a post-COVID-19 era.

AWE is an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

It was gathered that it is part of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative to empower 50 million women globally by 2025, to fulfil their economic potential, with the goal of creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.

Currently implemented in more than 50 countries, AWE supports the growth of women entrepreneurs by equipping them with the practical skills, resources, mentorship, and networks needed to create sustainable businesses and enterprises.

AWE is centred on DreamBuilder, an online training platform for women’s entrepreneurship developed by the Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management in partnership with the global copper mining company, Freeport-McMoRan.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, AWIEF, Irene Ochem, said: “We are excited that the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria has partnered with AWIEF to implement this important programme tailored for women’s economic empowerment.”

She added that participating in the AWE programme would not only help the selected 125 female entrepreneurs, but would also benefit their families, communities, and economic development of South Africa.

The programme will take place at the American Spaces in five South African cities of Durban/Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town. South African women entrepreneurs are invited to apply until September 30.

According to her, applications are invited from motivated and self-driven female entrepreneurs for the AWE South Africa 2020 programme and open to women between 21 and 35 years of age. Application is free to all applicants at any stage.



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