Female Entrepreneurs Unite With AWEP

awepIn a bid to unite women entrepreneurs and ensure that female businesses receive boost, the Africa’s Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) was recently launched to serve the women in the Southwestern part of the country.

The launch, which took place at Moor house Hotel in Ikoyi, witnessed representatives of various women groups, organizations and stakeholders in attendance.

National President, AWEP, Hajia Zainab Jaji noted that the organization, an initiative of Mrs. Hilary Clinton aims at supporting economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. “The AWEP initiative further advances the Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality through economic and civic participation in sub-Saharan Africa. We hope to dismantle obstacles faced by women business owners as well as eradicate poverty among women. We believe that we rise by lifting others and that is why community service is important for all of us.

“However, working within the AWEP family is to engage other Civil Society Organisations and agencies that can partner with us, we desire to reach as many women as possible.”

Art connoisseur and the Vice president in charge of AWEP South west zone Ora Ataguba who took members through its programmes for the year, noted that the initiative is an outreach programme that promote businesses, creates a better environment and empower female entrepreneurs in their communities. “We do three things basically, try to build partnerships, increase the number of women gaining access to finance and help drive the markets. By building capacity, we are working with a lot of agencies. We would be doing a lot of training and a lot of exhibitions.

“We will also loans, grants and partnerships for our women, through the help of our in-house consultants. We also have the International Visitor Leadership program (IVLP) where women’s businesses are accessed and they would be taken to the US; the women would benefit from the Business exchange platforms and we are partnering with the Ministry of Investment and Trade to make this possible.”

AWEP) is an outreach, education, and engagement initiative that targets African women entrepreneurs to promote business growth increase trade both regionally and to U.S. markets through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), create better business environments, and empower African women entrepreneurs to become voices of change in their communities.

In Africa, women are the backbone of communities and the continent’s greatest potential to unlocking economic growth as they provide the majority of labor with the least amount of resources. Reductions in the gender gap in education, health, political participation, and economic inclusion will result in an increase in the continent’s economic competitiveness.

Through AWEP, the U.S. Department of State seeks to dismantle the obstacles to business opportunities and economic participation that African women face. Launched in July 2010, the initiative identifies and builds networks of women entrepreneurs across sub-Saharan Africa poised to transform their societies by owning, running, and operating small and medium businesses, and by becoming voices for social advocacy in their communities.

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