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US Consulate celebrates 120 Graduates of Academy for Women Entrepreneurs



The U.S. Consulate General held a virtual event this week to mark the completion of the second cohort of the Lagos Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) initiative.

The Consulate General sponsored the training of 120 women entrepreneurs chosen from a pool of over 10,000 applicants representing a diverse age group, industry, location, and market-level, in collaboration with a local affiliate, Ascend Studios Foundation, which was created by Inya Lawal, an alumna of the Fortune-US Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership program.

The graduates are now able to apply for seed money from the US Africa Development Foundation to launch or expand their companies after completing the three-month intensive business skills and entrepreneurship program.

United States Consul, General Claire Pierangelo said during the graduation ceremony that fostering women’s equality is a top priority for the US government. According to her, inspiring women around the world to reach their full economic potential would contribute to greater peace, protection, and equality for all.

“The United States supports women’s full and free participation in the global economy as they seek to thrive in the workforce, succeed as entrepreneurs, and create stability and prosperity in their communities,” Consul General Pierangelo said.

“I am very pleased to congratulate you for completing the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program and becoming U.S. Government program alumnae. Welcome to this prestigious network of professionals who will become very important as you move ahead in your career,” she added.

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2020 AWE program began virtually in November and transitioned to some in-person training in 2021. The training focused on entrepreneurship modules from the Dreambuilder online program. Participants also explored the fundamentals of business, such as preparing business plans, obtaining capital and connecting with networks of successful businesswomen.

This year’s participants included 20 repatriated irregular migrants who are in various stages of building their businesses. Their successful participation has equipped them with the requisite skills and knowledge they need to take their ventures to the next level while helping them to reintegrate into society.

AWE is designed to teach women around the world to become successful entrepreneurs. One hundred female entrepreneurs participated in the inaugural edition of the program held in Lagos in 2019. The call for applications for the 2021 AWE cohort will be announced in the coming weeks.


This content has been published for free as part of‘s commitment to youth, education, healthcare, and community development as part of our corporate social responsibility programme.

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