The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Nigeria, in partnership with Ascend Studios, has offered 120 women entrepreneurs the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, network and access required to establish and expand successful businesses.
The U.S. Mission-backed programme, which is in its fifth edition, has participants carefully chosen from a pool of over 3,000 applicants, representing all regions of Nigeria and are already engaged in startup businesses within the technology, agriculture or creative industries sectors.
AWE was initially introduced in 2019 by the U.S. Department of State and has, over the past four years, empowered over 25,000 women in more than 80 countries, including 770 Nigerian businesswomen. The programme equips participants with vital entrepreneurial skills and integrates them into a robust AWE network, which aids in the growth of their enterprises and job creation. The annual six-week programme combines guided online business courses, utilising the DreamBuilder platform developed by Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, with mentoring from accomplished women entrepreneurs.
During the virtual launch event, Chargé d’Affaires David Greene extended his congratulations to the women participants and encouraged them to “apply the knowledge gained from this programme to expand your businesses, enhance your lives, and contribute to Nigeria’s growth”.
At the same event, three AWE alumnae shared their experiences of how the AWE programme had played a pivotal role in the growth of their businesses, broadening their professional networks and facilitating access to funding. The alumnae speakers included the CEO of Smart Stewards Financial Advisory Ltd, Adesola Adesakin; the founder of Arty Makers Nigeria Ltd, Habiba Rabiu and the CEO of Moore Organics, Adebiso Odeleye.
AWE Nigeria is being implemented in collaboration with Ascend Studios, under the leadership of Inya Lawal, an alumna of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Programme.