The US Consulate General has supported the training of 120 women entrepreneurs in Nigeria selected from a pool of over 10,000 applicants, representing a diverse age range, sector, location, and business level.
The Consulate General said in a statement on Thursday that it worked with a local partner, Ascend Studios Foundation, founded by Inya Lawal, an alumna of the Fortune-US Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership programme.
It said it hosted a virtual event on March 8, the International Women’s Day, to mark the completion of the second cohort of the Lagos edition of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs programme.
According to the statement, following the completion of the three-month intensive business skills and entrepreneurship training, the graduates are now eligible to compete for seed money from the US Africa Development Foundation to start or grow their businesses.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the United States Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, said promoting the empowerment of women is a priority of the United States government.
According to her, empowering women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential will help create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.
She said, “The United States supports women’s full and free participation in the global economy as they seek to thrive in the workforce, succeed as entrepreneurs, and create stability and prosperity in their communities.
“I am very pleased to congratulate you for successfully completing the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program and becoming U.S. Government program alumnae. Welcome to this prestigious network of professionals who will become very important as you move ahead in your career.”
The statement said due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2020 AWE programme began virtually in November and transitioned to some in-person training in 2021.
It said the training focused on entrepreneurship modules from the Dreambuilder online programme.
According to the statement, participants also explored the fundamentals of business, such as preparing business plans, obtaining capital and connecting with networks of successful businesswomen.
It said, “This year’s participants included 20 repatriated irregular migrants who are in various stages of building their businesses. 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 society.
“The AWE is designed to teach women around the world to become successful entrepreneurs.”