A United States of America’s worldwide women’s entrepreneurship initiative, The Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), was launched in Botswana on Monday at Botho University.
One of the program’s facilitators, Sarah Mulwa told the beneficiaries that it is global initiative from the Government of the United States that provides an educational opportunity for potential women from different communities.
The launch also marked the beginning of a training workshop of the first group of beneficiaries. The young ladies showed determination as in their introductions of themselves and their businesses it turned out that they were already engaged in various fields-from digital consultancies, agri-business, film production and various service provisions. They all expressed the zeal to learn new skills and expand their businesses.
Mulwa assured them that by the end of the week they would be advanced entrepreneurs. She said in one of the career coaching trainings she facilitated with Lillian Moremi there were participants who only harboured desire to start business but lacked drive. She wanted to sell diphaphatha. Asked why she hasn’t brought the product she said she did not have the start-up capital.
But she admitted that there was flour at home…The following day she brought her product. By the end of the week she had another product added to diphaphatha. Her motivational point was that if a business plan is well done it attracts funding and ultimately market and expansion. A woman should treat a business as she does a child. She should not lose focus and there will be rewards.
Asked how they came to be facilitators of an American initiative, Moremi revealed that they are Mandela Washington Fellows- and African leaders initiative and have been engaged by the sponsors to partner with them to empower communities.
“Countries in all continents of the world have this academy. Myself and Lillian Moremi are launching it here in Botswana today. It is unfortunate that the sponsors, the United States Embassy are unable to come because of circumstances that prevailed there at their Public Relations office that are beyond their control. Hopefully they will be able to join us during the course of the week,” said Mulwa.
Priya Laya, the Botho University Vice Chancellor, Finance and Employability welcomed the initiative saying it is only natural for her institution to host AWE as their goal is to support the youth and women.
AWE was developed to support the White House-led Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which is designed to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential, creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all. The target is to reach 50 million women by 2025 by promoting an enabling environment that reduces barriers and facilitates women’s participation in the economy.