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US mission begins training of 250 Nigerian women entrepreneurs

Vivian Chime

The US Mission in Nigeria, in partnership with Ascend Studios Foundation, has commenced the training of 250 female entrepreneurs under the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).

The AWE is a US government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world.

In a statement on Tuesday, the US mission stated that the 250 women entrepreneurs were selected from over 15,700 applicants, representing a cross-section of industries from fashion to health and agriculture.

Kathleen FitzGibbon, US embassy chargé d’affaires, explained that the AWE was designed to empower female entrepreneurs to fulfill their economic potential, and create conditions for increased stability.



FitzGibbon expressed the US government’s commitment to supporting women to break barriers, gain financial independence, and create pathways to prosperity.

“When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, strengthening the social fabric of society and education and skill levels of the workforce.  This multiplier effect spurs economic growth and enhances stability,” FitzGibbon said.

Jumoke Olowookere, a 2019 graduate of the academy, shared her success story with the new participants.  


“The AWE programme connected me to the right networks and resources and my dreams grew bigger. Today, as an upcycling entrepreneur, I am the founder of Nigeria’s first waste museum,” she said.

Over the next three months, participants will have access to the DreamBuilder platform, a blended business training course developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, and Freeport-McMoRan, a global copper mining company.

In addition, participants will connect with business leaders, women entrepreneurs and mentors, who will facilitate lessons related to business management such as preparing business plans and raising capital.

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