Thank You for a Great and Impactful 2023!

As we wind down the year for a well-deserved break, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for being part of an engaging and impactful 2023 and share key highlights.

Our AWIEF2023 Conference and Awards in Kigali, Rwanda was a huge success! It is a testament to the power of unity and shared commitment towards the economic empowerment of women and underlines the important role of the AWIEF platform for supporting and celebrating women entrepreneurs and making their voices heard.

Thank you to the 500+ women (and men!!) from 48 countries, 39 from Africa, who participated in AWIEF2023. Connecting and networking with fellow African entrepreneurs, business leaders, thought leaders and policy makers, and the exchange of knowledge, ideas and insights was truly exhilarating.

We extend our deep appreciation to this year’s phenomenal faculty of speakers. Thank you for the time and dedication you gave to AWIEF2023.

We hosted a powerful fireside chat with Fatma Samoura, one of Africa’s most iconic women of the 21st century and the recipient of the inaugural AWIEF Lifetime Leadership Award. As the first African and first woman to serve as FIFA Secretary General, her words and nuggets of leadership resonated deeply.

Big thanks to our esteemed AWIEF2023 sponsors and partners for making it possible. Special thanks to our Diamond Sponsor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and to AGRA, Ecobank, Flutterwave, Jasiri, Rwanda Ministry of ICT & Innovation, Rwanda Convention Bureau, APO Group and BPN Rwanda, amongst others.

You can access AWIEF2023 pictures here.

Click here to watch the AWIEF2023 highlights video 


This year has been a resounding success for us at AWIEF as we consolidated existing program relationships and partnerships and forged new ones. Key highlights are:

  • Partnership with global brand Victoria’s Secret on it’s The Tour Impact Fund aimed at driving gender equality in the arts and advancing economic empowerment. We are one of ONLY four organisations worldwide partnering with Victoria’s Secret on this initiative.
  • Launch of the WITH project: Boosting Women Entrepreneurship Education in Tourism and Hospitality in Sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with European and African institutions and funded by the European Union.
  • Continued our program with the African Development Bank (AfDB) within the framework of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative to boost access to finance for women entrepreneurs.
  • We rolled out another edition of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, in partnership with the U.S. Mission to South Africa and expanded this program beyond South Africa to Lesotho and Eswatini.
  • Our flagship AWIEF Growth Accelerator Programme, for investment readiness, implemented since 2018 in partnership with Nedbank, continues to be much sought after by women entrepreneurs, many of whom have successfully raised capital to scale and expand their businesses.

Congratulations to all our 2023 program graduates. Our Alumni numbers have surpassed 5000!

Best wishes from the whole AWIEF Team for a great end of year celebrations and see you in 2024!

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