Yesterday, a group of 14 women entrepreneurs graduated under the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) 2023 Cohort in Mutare. A White House initiative, AWE supports women entrepreneurs with the goal of building a better future for families and communities around the world.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs was established in 2019 through the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to empower women with knowledge, networks and access they need to launch or scale successful business. Implemented in nearly 100 countries, AWE has empowered an estimated 25 000 women entrepreneurs around the world with skills they need to reach their full economic potential.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) gives enterprising women the knowledge, networks and access they need to launch and scale successful businesses. By promoting women’s economic opportunities and ensuring that women have the capabilities and resources needed to participate in the economy, the AWE program directly supports the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. At a local level, AWE harnesses the power of public-private sponsors, local partnerships and U.S. Exchange Alumni networks to help women and their businesses grow, driving localized prosperity in communities in more than 80 countries worldwide

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) runs the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), an initiative supporting women entrepreneurs around the world. U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world coordinate implementation, including identifying partners, facilitators, mentors, and participants. Public and private-sector partner organizations support, supplement, and localize the AWE experience by providing networks and enrichment opportunities. Currently, AWE operates in more than 50 countries.

The key objectives of AWE is to provide resources for women to engage in U.S-style online education with guided facilitation and localization from ECA alumni, local women business leaders, or other local partners. It fosters partnerships that support AWE participants’ access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region and in the United States. AWE also enables access to a wide range of on-going programs tailored to women’s economic empowerment to expand the effects of AWE participation.

Women participating in AWE have access to DreamBuilder, an online course on women’s entrepreneurship. Participants engage in facilitated sessions on how to manage their business, attend guest presentations by seasoned creative entrepreneurs and practitioners in Zimbabwe and the USA, network with like-minded creative entrepreneurs and have the opportunity to competitively access grant opportunities. AWE is specifically designed for women taking part in a facilitated experience hosted by U.S Embassies and Consulates participating in AWE.

For the 2023 cohort, 14 graduated in Mutare, 37 in Harare and 38 in Bulawayo.