The U.S. Consulate General, this week, hosted a virtual event to mark the completion of the second cohort of the Lagos edition of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) programme.
Working with local partner, Ascend Studios Foundation, founded by Inya Lawal, an alumna of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership programme, the Consulate General supported the training of 120 women entrepreneurs selected from a pool of over 10,000 applicants representing a diverse age range, sector, location, and business level. Following the completion of the three-month intensive business skills and entrepreneurship training, the graduates are now eligible to compete for seed money from the U.S. Africa Development Foundation to start or grow their businesses.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, United States Consul General Claire Pierangelo explained that promoting the empowerment of women is a priority of the United States government. According to her, empowering women worldwide to fulfil their economic potential will help create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all. “The United States supports women’s full and free participation in the global economy as they seek to thrive in the workforce, succeed as entrepreneurs, and create stability and prosperity in their communities,” Pierangelo said.
“I am very pleased to congratulate you for successfully completing the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs programme and becoming U.S. Government programme alumnae. Welcome to this prestigious network of professionals who will become very important as you move ahead in your career,” she added. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2020 AWE programme began virtually in November and transitioned to some in-person training in 2021. The training focused on entrepreneurship modules from the Dreambuilder online programme.
Participants also explored the fundamentals of business, such as preparing business plans, obtaining capital and connecting with networks of successful businesswomen.