On April 21, thirty women representing the first cohort from Trinidad and Tobago graduated from the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program. The entrepreneurs, ages 17 to 45, successfully completed lessons on business management through the DreamBuilder course, an online curriculum on women’s entrepreneurship developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Management and U.S. global mining company Freeport-McMoRan.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy Port of Spain Megan Kelly said, “As we all know, when women succeed, communities thrive.” She challenged the graduates, saying, “Now it’s your turn to pay it forward. I ask you to multiply your gains from this investment by spreading the opportunities you have received to the generation of girls and women who will follow you.”
AWE is a U.S. government-funded program that provides women entrepreneurs with the skills, resources, and networks needed to start and grow successful businesses. The United States Department of State administers AWE programs in almost 80 countries, reaching more than 7,000 women.
The U.S. Embassy Port of Spain and the Trinidad and Tobago Entrepreneurship Hub (E-hub) launched the AWE program in June 2021 and recruited 64 female entrepreneurs. This graduating cohort represents the first time Trinidad and Tobago has been included in this global initiative. The second cohort of 34 women is slated to graduate at the end of May. Young Leaders of Americas Initiative alumna Deidre Lee Kin and E-hub member Leah White facilitated the training under AWE for the U.S. Embassy. The AWE program will continue to provide ongoing support and monitoring to ensure participants achieve their long-term goals of entrepreneurship.
The next iteration of the AWE program opens for registration in May 2022. Women entrepreneurs may visit www.awett.org for information.