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US Consulate signs tripartite agreement for women entrepreneurs

The United States (US) Consulate yesterday signed a Statement of Intended Cooperation to equip 250 Nigerian women with the practical skills needed to create sustainable businesses through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program.

The Consulate Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz; Group Head of Venture Garden Foundation, Tesilimi Yusuf; and President of Ascend Studios Foundation, Inya Lawal, were signatories to the agreement, which was held at the American Corner in Ikeja.

The program is in line with the US Government’s commitment to supporting women’s full and free participation in the Nigerian economy as they seek to thrive in the workforce, succeed as entrepreneurs, and create stability and prosperity in their communities.

The collaboration will also support the implementation of the 2022 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, a US Government program that advances women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

In her remarks, Foltz said the successes recorded with the AWE program in Nigeria illustrate how targeted US Government-sponsored training can change lives, take enterprises to the next level, create employment and empower women entrepreneurs.

She 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 stressed the importance of helping women to fully participate in and contribute to 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,” Yusuf added.

AWE is a transformative initiative that is helping women in Nigeria to build and sustain their businesses; and the opportunities that come from this program are immense.

Similarly, Lawal informed that 250 participants will be selected for the 2022 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, a highly competitive entrepreneurship program. Now in its fourth year, the program has graduated over 520 participants nationwide.

She noted that 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.

Lawal said: “We warmly welcome Venture Garden Foundation to the AWE family. AWE is a transformative initiative that is helping women in Nigeria to build and sustain their businesses; and the opportunities that come from this program are immense.”

Participants, who graduate from the AWE gained automatic membership to the US Government exchange alumni community, providing access to a vast network of like-minded and highly regarded professionals across the country.

Meanwhile, applications are open until April 7th. Motivated and self-driven prospective women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners can therefore, apply at no cost.

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