Over 90 Women entrepreneurs graduates from Uganda’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program
By Evans Najuna
KAMPALA — In a significant boost to female economic empowerment, a total of 99 women entrepreneurs from the Districts of ; Kampala, Lira, and Fort Portal, successfully graduated from the 7th cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Program on friday last week.
This remarkable achievement, supported by the US Embassy in partnership with SHONA Group. The underscores of their collective commitment to promote women’s empowerment in the fields of education, agribusiness, healthcare, and tourism.
The AWE Program, an initiative of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and facilitated by the U.S. Embassy, is conducted in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and the global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.
The program aims to equip women entrepreneurs with the necessary resources, knowledge, and networks to initiate and expand their businesses.
More so, the program participants learned from U.S. business development models and are now eligible for grant funding opportunities from the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and business loans ranging from UGX 3.5 million to UGX 35 million through SHONA Capital.
The graduates also join the prestigious network of U.S. government exchange program alumni, expanding their access to global opportunities and networks.
Speaking to the women graduates, Ellen Masi, the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Counsellor, said: “I am inspired by the Uganda women entrepreneurs who are also AWE alumni. As the Embassy, we encourage the alumni to organize themselves and create opportunities so that we can support them beyond the training and the Dream Builder program.”
Joachim Ewechu, SHONA Group co-founder and CEO, reflected on the program’s success, stating: “By investing in their growth, we are contributing to the economic development of Uganda while impacting livelihoods in our communities. Our commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs remains steadfast, and we look forward to future collaborations with the U.S. Embassy in Uganda” said Ewechu.