The U.S. Embassy and Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum announce The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Program

Applications are invited from motivated and self-driven female entrepreneurs for the AWE South Africa 2020 program

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, August 28, 2020/APO Group/ —

The Embassy of the United States of America in South Africa has partnered with the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) ( to implement the 2020-2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) South Africa program. Now in its second year, another 125 female entrepreneurs will be selected nationwide for an opportunity to receive virtual and in-person training and mentorship sessions for eight months.

“AWE is a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs across South Africa to gain university-level business and management training, strengthen their networks, and grow as entrepreneurs.” said Embassy Public Affairs Officer Maureen Mimnaugh. She noted that “particularly in a post-COVID world, the tools for successful entrepreneurship will be more important than ever, and this program aims to support women in a recovering economy of innovation.”

AWE is an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) as part of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative which aims to empower 50 million women worldwide by 2025 to fulfill their economic potential, with the goal of creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all. Currently implemented in more than 50 countries, AWE supports the growth of women entrepreneurs by equipping them with the practical skills, resources, mentorship, and networks needed to create sustainable businesses and enterprises. AWE is centered around DreamBuilder, an online training platform for women’s entrepreneurship developed by the Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management in partnership with the global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.

Irene Ochem, AWIEF founder and chief executive officer, said “We are excited that the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria has partnered with AWIEF to implement this important program tailored for women’s economic empowerment. Participating in the AWE program will not only help the selected 125 female entrepreneurs, but will also benefit their families, their communities, and the economic development of South Africa”.

The 8-month-long AWE program will take place at American Spaces in five South African cities: Durban/Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town. South African women entrepreneurs are invited to apply until September 30, 2020. Application details are below.


Call for applications

Applications are invited from motivated and self-driven female entrepreneurs for the AWE South Africa 2020 program. Entries will close on 30 September 2020. Application is of no cost to the applicant at any stage. Selected candidates will receive no-cost entry to the program which includes:

  • Enrolment in the DreamBuilder platform and expert facilitated virtual and in-person business management training and mentorship sessions
  • Networking and peer learning opportunity with like-minded entrepreneurs
  • A collaboratively developed and refined draft of your business plan
  • A DreamBuilder certificate after completing the program
  • Premium membership to the AWIEF Community
  • A delegate pass to the AWIEF2020 Virtual Conference, 2 – 3 December 2020
  • Access to a robust network of support, including follow-on opportunities, potential funders, and a vast network of like-minded entrepreneurs across the country.


Eligibility  criteria

  • Women between 21 and 35 years of age and fluent in English
  • Resident in one of the five AWE 2020 South Africa Cities: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban/Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg and Pretoria
  • Must either have a feasible business idea or have been in business for no more than 2 years
  • Ability to participate in weekly group sessions and must be able to commit 5+ hours weekly to accomplish designated tasks
  • Computer literacy and access to a computer


To submit your application for the AWE South Africa 2020 program, please follow this link:  Application deadline is 30 September 2020. Applications will only be accepted through the link above.

For  more information email: 


Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF).

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