The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos and Ascend Studios Foundation have partnered
to implement the 2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a U.S. Government
initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world, now in its third year.
200 participants will be selected from the 17 states of southern Nigeria for the 2021 cohort.

To support the comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of returned migrants, 50 female returnees will also take part in the program. As part of this highly competitive entrepreneurship program, participants who graduate from the AWE gain automatic membership to the U.S. government exchange alumni community, providing access to a vast network of like-minded and highly regarded professionals across the country.

Women’s meaningful economic participation is integral to achieving greater security and
stability around the world. The AWE initiative is a great opportunity for Nigerian women
entrepreneurs to gain university-level business and management training, strengthen their
networks, and grow sustainable businesses.

“Women have a key role to play in Nigeria’s future prosperity,” U.S. Consulate Public Affairs
Officer Stephen Ibelli said. “As we have seen time and time again, when women do better,
countries do better, communities do better, and families do better.”

Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the intensive program scheduled to run from July to September 2021. In addition, participants will receive access to DreamBuilder, a blended business training course developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company FreeportMcMoRan.

Chief Executive Officer of Ascend Studios Foundation, Ms. Inya Lawal, said “We are delighted that the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos has partnered with us to implement this program, the largest yet. AWE is a transformative initiative that is helping women in Nigeria build and sustain their businesses; the opportunities that come from this program are immense.” Female entrepreneurs interested in participating in the AWE program can apply at no cost by filling out the application form via https://bit.ly/applyawe2021

The application portal is now open and closes on July 15, 2021.

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