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U. S. Consulate opens entry for 2021 Women Entrepreneurship Academy


To Select 200 Nigerian Participants, 50 Female Returnees

For women to have meaningful economic participation, security and stability, the United States (US) Consulate General in Lagos and Ascend Studios Foundation have partnered to implement the 2021 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a free U.S. Government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world.


Participants who graduate from this year’s AWE, scheduled to run from July to September 2021 will gain automatic membership to the U.S. government exchange alumni community which will provide access to a vast network of like-minded and highly regarded professionals across the country.

Being the third edition, the highly competitive entrepreneurship programme will have 200 participants selected from the 17 states of southern Nigeria for the 2021 cohort. Also, as a way of supporting the comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of returned migrants, 50 female returnees will also take part in the programme.


Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the intensive programme and 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.

U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli said 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. As we have seen time and time again, when women do better, countries do better, communities do better, and families do better.”


In her remark, 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 programme.

AWE is a transformative initiative that is helping women in Nigeria build and sustain their businesses, and the opportunities that come from this programme are immense.

Female entrepreneurs interested in participating in the AWE programme can apply at no cost by filling out the application form via The application portal is now open and closes on July 15, 2021.”


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