Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a US government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs in Kaduna has graduated 30 women trained in entrepreneurship, just as the Kaduna state deputy governor Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balaraba has urged them to consider women at grassroots.
Working with ICT Hub, the 30 women were trained on the AWE programme, which centred around a three-month rigorous online course called DreamBuilder, developed by Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and the U.S. copper mining company Freeport McMoran.
Dr. Hadiza commended Mrs Amina Lawal and her team for the opportunities given to women in Kaduna, noting that she was impressed with the enthusiasm of the participants and the expertise of the trainers, while congratulating those who received business grants.
She however, urged AWE to go down to the grassroots and get more local businesswomen involved in the programme.
Dr. Hadiza tasked the participants that their successful participation has equiped them with the requisite skills and knowledge they need to take their ventures to the next level and reintegrate into society.
The President, National Council of Women Societies, Kaduna state council, Barr. Zanaib Hassan, said with the quality of training impacted on the participants, the sky should be their limit in their business ventures.
Speaking at the graduation, the training coordinator, Mrs Amina Lawal, of Toe to Heel Initiative, said the programme, which is in the second cohort, was designed to cultivate entrepreneurial know-how, on Kaduna women.
She said AWE helps women entrepreneurs connect with funding opportunities, enhance opportunities for business expansion, and increase the likelihood of entrepreneurial success.
Amina stressed that AWE participants come from different backgrounds and levels of business expertise, adding that the benefits of the AWE initiative will continue long after the program ends, as the participants apply the skills learnt to their own businesses and become part of a robust network of women business leaders.
The American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, explained that the US government supports women’s full and free participation in the economy as they seek to thrive in the workforce, succeed as entrepreneurs, and create stability and prosperity in their communities.
She expressed great pride in the graduates, acknowledging their commitment to the successful completion of the programme despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Mary welcomed the AWE graduates to the US government exchange alumni community, a prestigious and vast network of like-minded and highly regarded professionals across the country.