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250 Nigerians graduate from US consulate academy for women entrepreneurs

250 Nigerians graduate from US consulate academy for women entrepreneurs
December 06
16:09 2021

A total of 250 Nigerians have graduated from the US consulate Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).

The AWE, an initiative of the US government which provides support to female entrepreneurs across the world, runs for three months online and participants take part in DreamBuilder, a course developed by the Thunderbird School of Global Management of the Arizona State University and Freeport McMoran, a US copper mining company.

The AWE offers opportunities for funding as well as support for businesses through skill acquisition for female entrepreneurs.

According to a statement issued by the US consulate on Sunday, the AWE participants, who comprised persons drawn from varied backgrounds, were able to learn skills to become business owners.

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The initiative was done in collaboration with Ascend Studios Foundation founded by Inya Lawal, an alumna of the Fortune-US department of state global women’s mentoring partnership programme, and according to the statement, “the U.S. Consulate has successfully supported the training of 470 women entrepreneurs through the AWE program to date with plans for future cohorts”.

“This year’s participants included 50 repatriated irregular migrants who are in various stages of building their businesses,” the statement reads.

“Their successful participation has equipped them with the requisite skills and knowledge they need to take their ventures to the next level while helping them to reintegrate into the society.”

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The participants in the third cohort of the programme, who began their training in September, graduated on Friday.

Speaking at the event, Mary Beth Leonard, US ambassador to Nigeria, said said the initiative is to promote more opportunities for women to contribute to meaningful development.

She commended the graduates for their efforts and commitment despite the challenges associated with the COVID pandemic.

“We have been impressed with the enthusiasm of the program’s participants and the expertise of the trainers,” Leonard was quoted as saying.

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“I know that you will carry this training forward, become leaders in your own right, and increase the success of your businesses and those of other women.”

She also welcomed the AWE graduates to the US government exchange alumni community.

“I encourage you to take advantage of the exchange alumni group to continue to grow and support each other,” she added.

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