Opportunity: US Consulate announces application for 2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs

THE United States Consulate General in Lagos and Ascend Studios Foundation have partnered to implement the 2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a U.S. government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world, now in its third year. 

Two hundred participants will be selected from the 17 states of southern Nigeria for the 2021 cohort.  To support the comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of returned migrants, 50 female returnees will also take part in the programme.


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As part of the competitive entrepreneurship programme, participants who graduate from the AWE gain automatic membership to the U.S. government exchange alumni community, providing access to a vast network of like-minded and highly regarded professionals across the country.

The AWE initiative is an opportunity for Nigerian women entrepreneurs to gain university-level business and management training, strengthen their networks, and grow sustainable businesses.

“Women have a key role to play in Nigeria’s future prosperity,” U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli said. “As we have seen time and time again, when women do better, countries do better, communities do better, and families do better.”

    Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the intensive programme scheduled to run from July to September 2021. In addition, participants will receive access to DreamBuilder, a business training course developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.

    Chief Executive Officer of Ascend Studios Foundation Inya Lawal said, “We are delighted that the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos has partnered with us to implement this programme, the largest yet. 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.”

    Female entrepreneurs interested in participating in the AWE program are expected to apply at no cost by filling out the application form via https://bit.ly/applyawe2021.

    The application portal is now open and closes on July 15, 2021.

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