On August 31, the U.S. Mission launched the fifth edition of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Nigeria, in partnership with Ascend Studios. AWE will provide 120 women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, networks, and access needed to launch and scale successful businesses. The participants were selected from among over 3,000 applicants, represent all regions of Nigeria, and already have start-up businesses focused on either technology, agriculture, or the creative industries.
Launched in 2019 by the U.S. Department of State, AWE has assisted over 25,000 women in more than 80 countries over the past four years, including 770 Nigerian businesswomen. Participants acquire entrepreneurial skills and join a strong AWE network that helps boost their companies and create jobs. The annual six-week program combines facilitated online business courses, via the DreamBuilder platform, developed by Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, with mentoring from established women entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the virtual launch, Chargé d’Affaires David Greene congratulated the women participants and urged them to “take what you learn from this program to grow your business, improve your lives and contribute to the growth of Nigeria.”
Describing how the AWE program helped them grow their businesses, expand their networks, and access funding, three AWE alumnae also spoke at the virtual launch event: Adesola Adesakin, CEO Smart Stewards Financial Advisory Ltd; Habiba Rabiu, Founder of Arty Makers Nigeria Ltd; and Adebiso Odeleye, CEO of Moore Organics.
AWE Nigeria is implemented in partnership with Ascend Studios, led by Inya Lawal, an alumna of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Program.