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20 returnees, 120 others to participate in US Academy for Women Entrepreneurs

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By  Elizabeth Osayande

Lagos—The United States Consulate-General in Lagos, on Tuesday, announced a call for applications for the 2020 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a US government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world.

While the second annual AWE will see the selection of 120 female entrepreneurs from across southern Nigeria receive virtual and in-person training and mentoring, the Consulate noted that in support and reintegration of returned migrants, 20 female returnees will be selected for the programme.

During the intensive programme scheduled to run from November 2020 to March 2021, successful applicants will receive lessons on business management, network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors, and learn the practical skills required to create and run successful and sustainable businesses.

Speaking on the event, United States Consulate Acting Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz, explained that the goal of the Academy for women was to teach women around the world to become successful entrepreneurs.

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According to her, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy, the U.S. Consulate-General aims to work with the AWE participants to develop their businesses.

“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 ambitious businesswomen the skills they need to take their ventures to the next level.

“For this year’s programme, we encourage motivated and self-driven female entrepreneurs to apply,” Acting Public Affairs Officer Foltz said.

Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the workshops. 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 US Consulate-General has partnered with Ascend Studios Foundation to administer this programme.

Speaking on the partnership, Chief Executive Officer of Ascend Studios Foundation, Ms. Inya Lawal, said: “We are excited that the U.S. Consulate-General in Lagos has partnered with us for the second time to implement this important programme tailored for women’s economic empowerment.

“With the challenges and opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, a lot more women are looking for new ways to pivot their businesses, and AWE is on the lookout for such women.

“Female entrepreneurs interested in participating in the AWE programme can apply at no cost by filling out the application form via shorturl.at/bqGT6.Application closes on November 8.

“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.

“The first edition of the programme was held in Lagos in September 2019.”

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