Assistant Secretary of State, Marie Royce (second from left) with U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan (first right) after unveiling the logo for the AWE
About 2000 Ghanaian women entrepreneurs have been given the opportunity to benefit from a skills development and support programme following the launch of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Ghana.
The initiative by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is designed to empower Ghanaian women entrepreneurs to fulfill their economic potential, and in doing so create conditions for stability, security and prosperity for all.
Through the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Centre in Accra, the AWE would promote collective economic prosperity and stability by creating a holistic and inclusive learning community to advance the development of women with brilliant ideas into successful entrepreneurs.
Officially launching the pilot programme at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Marie Royce, said the programme would provide a new educational opportunity for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
“AWE is part of the White House’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative which seeks to reach 50 million women by 2025. Ghana is one of 10 African countries piloting AWE this year,” she said.
She said societies that empower women in civic and economic life are more prosperous and more peaceful, adding that although Africa has only 5 per cent of its CEOs being women, their positive impact on leadership is clear.
“Businesses in Africa with women on their boards often have operation profit of over 20 per cent more than the industry average,” she added.
Madam Royce, therefore, noted that last year the ECA spent $25 million to reach 150,000 women across the globe with specific programmes to empower women and girls.
Ms. Shola Safo-Doudu, Project Lead AWE Ghana, in her remarks, encouraged women to apply for the programme in order to gain access to online materials which teache women to create their own business plans, understand how to raise capital, and connect with networks of successful business owners.
“Through a combination of facilitated online and in-person learning sessions, AWE participants will further their business skills, network with mentors, and be guided to put their business ideas into practice,” she said.