The U.S. government is committed to supporting women’s full and free participation in the Nigerian economy as they seek to thrive in the workforce, succeed as entrepreneurs, and create stability and prosperity in their communities.
A collaboration between the U.S. Consulate General Lagos, Venture Garden Foundation and Ascend Studios Foundation will support the implementation of the 2022 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, a U.S. government program that advances women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
On Monday, U.S. Consulate Deputy Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Foltz, Group Head of Venture Garden Foundation Tesilimi Yusuf and President of Ascend Studios Foundation Inya Lawal signed a Statement of Intended Cooperation to equip 250 Nigerian women with the practical skills needed to create sustainable businesses through the AWE programme.
Delivering remarks during the agreement signing ceremony hosted at the American Corner in Ikeja, Foltz underscored that the successes recorded with AWE programme in Nigeria illustrate how targeted U.S government sponsored training can change lives, take enterprises to the next level, create employment and empower women entrepreneurs.
“The Venture Garden Foundation team will bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program in Nigeria,” Foltz said. “We are confident that their contributions to and engagement with the AWE participants will result in improved leadership, public speaking, time management, self-confidence and financing options.”
Yusuf, the Group Head of Venture Garden Foundation, highlighted the importance of helping women to fully participate in and contribute to the local and global economy.
“Technology makes business growth possible. As a technology company, our support for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs will ensure that we help prospective and emerging women entrepreneurs and business owners compete more effectively with a whole array of cutting-edge technological solutions,” Yusuf added.
Lawal, President Ascend Studios Foundation, said 250 participants will be selected for the 2022 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, a highly competitive entrepreneurship programme. Now in its fourth year, the programme has graduated over 520 participants, Nigeria wide.
She noted that 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.
“We warmly welcome Venture Garden Foundation to the AWE family,” Lawal said. “AWE is a transformative initiative that is helping women in Nigeria build and sustains their businesses; the opportunities that come from this programme are immense.”
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.