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Over 90 women entrepreneurs graduate from Uganda’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program

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In a significant boost to female economic empowerment, 99 women entrepreneurs from Kampala, Lira, and Fort Portal have successfully graduated from the seventh cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Program.

This remarkable achievement, supported by the US Embassy in partnership with SHONA Group, underscores our collective commitment to promoting 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. It aims to equip women entrepreneurs with the necessary resources, knowledge, and networks to initiate and expand their businesses.

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 Shs3.5 million to Shs35 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.”

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