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US Consulate to empower 200 women from Southern Nigeria at 2021 AWE

The United States Mission in Nigeria plans to select 200 women from the 17 states if the souther part of the country to participate in this year’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) programme.

In a statement on Tuesday by the US Mission, the programme on its third year was initiated by the US government to support women entrepreneurs around the world.

This year, the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos would be partnering with Ascend Studios Foundation to implement the 2021 AWE.

The statement said “200 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 program.

“As part of this highly competitive entrepreneurship program, 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.

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“Women’s meaningful economic participation is integral to achieving greater security and stability around the world,” the Mission said in the statement.

It said the AWE initiative is a great 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,” Ibelli added.

Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the intensive program scheduled to run from July to September 2021. In addition, participants will receive access to DreamBuilder, a blended 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 program, 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,” Lawal stated.

Female entrepreneurs interested in participating in the AWE program can 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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