THE United States embassy on Wednesday launched its 2023 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Zimbabwe to help them start and scale up successful businesses.
The programme promotes entrepreneurship in women, while teaching them how to access economic opportunities and ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources to participate in economic activities.
US embassy chargé d’affaires Meg Riggs said AWE was established to directly support gender equality efforts.
“AWE Zimbabwe was established in 2019 to directly support gender equality efforts in partnership with Pulse on Point and the USADF,” Riggs said.
“The United States has over 60 programmes in Zimbabwe and AWE is a valued programme that elevates the status of Zimbabwean women to a new level.”
United States Africa Development Fund country programme coordinator Doreen Chimwara said AWE was created at the right time for Zimbabwean women.
“The United States government established AWE to assist women mostly because women have challenges in accessing financial support and other associated services such as business training, financial literacy and networks. AWE was created at the right time and we are witnessing the power of little funding and what it can do,” she said.
One of the 2023 successful participants, filmmaker Rutendo Mahofa, said she was excited to be part of the programme.
“As a young woman coming up in Zimbabwe, trying to set up a business is not an easy task,” she said.
“I am excited to be part of AWE and I am looking forward to networking, getting business practical skills such as financial literacy, human resource management and full circle so that I can manage a sustainable business.”