US Consulate Launches Academy for Women Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

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Claire Pierangelo

Segun James

United States Consulate General in Lagos has launched an Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Nigeria.

The Academy, the US State Department-led initiative, would support women entrepreneurs around the world.

During a week-long programme, a diverse group of 100 women selected from a pool of over 6,000 applicants, would receive lessons on business management, network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors, and learn the practical skills required to create successful and sustainable businesses.

Declaring the workshop open, US Consul General Claire Pierangelo, explained that the goal of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is to teach women around the world to become successful entrepreneurs. She noted that women’s empowerment would be key to Nigeria’s long-term economic development.

“One of the US government’s goals is to promote entrepreneurship worldwide. Through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, we are doing just that by giving these ambitious businesswomen the skills they need to take their ventures to the next level,” she said.

Pierangelo described the role of women as crucial for the progress of national economies. “Women are the backbone of society no matter what country you are in. When women are working, the country is working,” she noted.

Leading local business leaders, who would help facilitate the workshop, include: Ms. Inya Lawal, alumna of the Fortune-US Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership program; Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Academic Director, Owner-Manager Programme at the Lagos Business School; Ms. Hansatu Adegbite, Executive Director at Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ); and Ms. Teju Abisoye, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.

Participants would 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.

AWE is a component of the White House Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, designed to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potentials, thereby creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.

Nigeria is among 26 pilot countries worldwide selected to participate in the AWE programme. Other African countries participating in the inaugural AWE are: Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.