Applications to join Academy for Women Entrepreneurs now open

The US embassy in South Africa has partnered with the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum to implement the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) South Africa programme.
The US embassy in South Africa has partnered with the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum to implement the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) South Africa programme. 
Image: 123RF/ ALEKSANDR DAVYDOV

The US embassy in South Africa has partnered with the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum to implement the 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 said: “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.”

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 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 CEO, said: “We are excited that the US embassy in Pretoria has partnered with AWIEF to implement this important 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, their communities, and the economic development of South Africa”.

The eight-month-long programme 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 is at no cost to the applications and selected candidates will receive no-cost entry to the programme, 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 programme, please follow this link: http://bit.ly/AWIEF_AWEinSouthAfrica. For more information email: info@awieforum.org


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