On Thursday, 2nd September 2021, the United States Department (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs) held an orientation for the 3rd cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Zambia. This initiative, led by USAID (WEAC) and established as an incubation program at the Martin Richenhagen Future Farm, seeks to support women entrepreneurs around the world to fulfil their economic potential.
AWE uses an online training program to teach women how to create business plans, raise capital and network with business owners. Participants also get additional opportunities to leverage alumni networks, non-governmental organizations to grow their networks and businesses. The program provides resources for women to engage in U.S-style online education with guided facilitation and localization using program alumni, local women business leaders and other partners.
The program also fosters networks that support AWE participants’ access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region and the United States. Essentially the program helps women bring their business ideas to life.
Concerted efforts are required to enable businesses to build back better post the pandemic. Mungaba Diangamo, Director Daisy Meats, and an AWE 2021 participant shares her experience at the launch.
“The workshop has been very insightful and thought-provoking. Learning is attained by choice hence it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.
We have gotten many actionable takeaways to apply immediately as we recover from the impacts of the ongoing pandemic. It has been mind-opening, refreshing and energizing. The Presenter and facilitators were amazing.” Mungaba Diangamo says.
“The Martin Richenhagen Future Farm is very conducive for learning allowing a free flow of ideas and networking. The state of the art facilities and the fantastic food made the experience more enjoyable,” She continues.
Another AWE participant and proprietor of Bwando farms shares: “The learning and mentoring is indispensable, it is provided free of charge to us and the new information acquired stays with us forever. “
“The environment in which the workshop took place was amazing. It is a very good set-up to learn and pick up new skills and networks. I plan to remain optimistic throughout this learning journey, enjoy every experience we get and note that it will be out of my input and commitment to the program that will bring about achievement and success we all desire.” She adds.