The U.S. government has announced the 2022 edition of its Academy for Women Entrepreneurs or AWE for Nigerian women. AWE is a programme that advances women's economic prospects by empowering them to create and lead successful businesses.
A Statement of Intended Cooperation to equip 250 Nigerian women with the practical skills needed to create sustainable businesses through the AWE programme was signed by the U.S. Consulate deputy public affairs officer, Jennifer Foltz; group head of Venture Garden Foundation, Tesilimi Yusuf; and president of Ascend Studios Foundation, Inya Lawal.
Venture Garden Foundation joins Ascend Studios Foundation as the U.S. government's partners in implementing the programme.
Speaking about the impact the new cooperation would bring to the programme, Foltz said: "the Venture Garden Foundation team will bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program in Nigeria. "We are confident that their contributions to and engagement with the AWE participants will result in improved leadership, public speaking, time management, self-confidence and financing options."
On her part, Yusuf underscored the need for women's empowerment towards the growth of the local and global economy.
"Technology makes business growth possible. As a technology company, our support for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs will ensure that we help prospective and emerging women entrepreneurs and business owners compete more effectively with a whole array of cutting-edge technological solutions."
Ascend Studios Foundation's president, Lawal, said that the AWE programme has graduated 520 participants nationwide over its four years of operation, noting that the 2022 programme would be training another 250 women.
She said the AWE initiative offers an opportunity for Nigerian women entrepreneurs to gain university-level business and management training, strengthen their networks, and grow sustainable businesses.
"We warmly welcome Venture Garden Foundation to the AWE family. AWE is a transformative initiative that is helping women in Nigeria build and sustain their businesses; the opportunities that come from this program are immense," Lawal said.
Applications are open until April 7th. Motivated and self-driven prospective women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners can apply at no cost by filling out the application form here.