125 women with unrealized enterprise ideas or whose businesses are in an early stage, and who are motivated to launch or further build their enterprises, are selected to join the 3rd cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program in South Africa. An online program, initiated by the U.S. Government, which offers female entrepreneurs business and management training, and helps them strengthen their network and grow as business leaders.
Only 125 women, out of more than 1000 applications, were selected for this highly competitive entrepreneurship program that is now in its third year in South Africa. AWE 2021 is a 16-week long online training program for women entrepreneurs to upskill, scale and thrive.
Today the program kicked-off with some inspirational words and advice from the U.S. Embassy in South Africa and the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), who implements the program in South Africa.
Nomaqhawe Ndlazi, Cultural Programmes Coordinator at U.S. Embassy Pretoria, started with thanking all the selected women for their courage to come on this exciting journey with them. Irene Ochem, founder and CEO of AWIEF added: “This is not only an entrepreneurial journey to grow your business, but a personal journey as well to develop yourself and your mindset, which is vital to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Our wish is that by joining this program, you will make a socio-economic change, for yourself as well as for your families and communities.”
After a valuable panel discussion with AWE graduates from previous years and the programme manager showing the roadmap for the 16-week program, Jameson DeBose, Acting Cultural Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Pretoria, gave the closing remarks. He encouraged the participants to go after their dreams. “Build today the structure of tomorrow. Or like Eleanor Roosevelt said: ‘Do the things you think you cannot do!’ We encourage you to explore now what lies inside you and who you can become.”
Five South African cities
The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is a U.S. Government initiative designed to empower 50 million women worldwide by 2025 to fulfil their economic potential. The U.S. Embassy in South Africa has partnered with the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) to implement the AWE South Africa program. The program is now in its third year in South Africa and the female entrepreneurs were selected from five South African cities: Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town.