Marking Global Entrepreneurship Week, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan delivered remarks on November 17, 2020 at the graduation ceremony of the U.S. Department of State’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) second cohort.
Hosted by the Embassy’s implementing partner, the event took place at the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center located in the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.
AWE follows the DreamBuilder course developed by the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. This online program provides flexibility to budding women entrepreneurs, who follow the course at their own pace, with supplemental sessions facilitated by experienced women entrepreneurs and subject matter experts in finance, marketing, and logistics.
AWE provides online education resources, fosters networks that support access to mentorships, and connects women through existing U.S. government exchange programs. Participants from the second AWE cohort included entrepreneurs from the agricultural, food and beverage, cosmetics, personal care, and textile sectors.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Sullivan applauded the 48 cohort members and encouraged them to remain resilient and determined saying, “All of us here today know how much women business owners, both in the informal and formal sectors, contribute to and drive Ghana’s economic prosperity.
In addition to boosting economic growth, investing in women produces a multiplier effect because women reinvest a large portion of their income in their families and communities.”
AWE is a part of the U.S. Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a whole-of-government effort to advance global women’s economic empowerment, established in February 2019.
Since the program’s inception, 78 Ghanaian female entrepreneurs have completed the AWE program. AWE was a pilot program in 2019 in 26 countries, including 10 in Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Since then, the program has expanded to over 50 countries and has trained over 7,000 women. For more information about the State Department’s AWE program, please visit www.eca.state.gov/awe.