Applications open for women’s entrepreneurship programme

Own Correspondent

The United States embassy has partnered with the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) to implement the 2020-2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) South Africa programme.

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.

Embassy public affairs officer Maureen Mimnaugh  “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,” Mimnaugh said.

She noted that in a post-Covid -19 world, the tools for successful entrepreneurship will be more important than ever, and this programme aims to support women in a recovering economy of innovation.

AWE is an initiative of the US 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. It 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 centred 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.

AWIEF founder and CEO Irene Ochem said the US fmbassy in Pretoria has partnered with AWIEF to implement this programme, tailored for women’s economic empowerment.

“Participating in the AWE programme will not only help the selected 125 female entrepreneurs, but will also benefit their families, communities, and the economic development of South Africa,” Ochem said.

The eight-month-long AWE programme will take place at American Spaces in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

South African women entrepreneurs are invited to apply until September 30, 2020.

To submit an application use the link:

For more information email:



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