Entrepreneurship programme launched to support businesswomen

Last Updated on Thursday, 1 September, 2022 at 11:36 am by Andre Camilleri

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is being launched for a second time to aid and empower businesswomen once again. Following the success of the first entrepreneurship program by AWE, a second programme has been launched, which has received even more interest from a larger cohort of women.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise, and Industry has partnered with the US Embassy to implement the second iteration of this global entrepreneurship programme.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce Enterprise and Industry called a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to announce the launch of the programme at the US Embassy Residence. The US Charge d’Affaries Gwendolyn Green welcomed over 80 women who applied for this programme to express their gratitude and their excitement to get started with the course.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) was established in 2019 by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to support women and expose them to networking opportunities and knowledge to help them start a business or to expand their already established businesses.

The AWE is also supporting the U.S. National Strategy for Gender Equity and Equality by giving women the opportunity to participate in the economy.

The President of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Marisa Xuereb, expressed that “The Malta Chamber partnered with the U.S. Embassy because they know the fundamental role that women in business can play for the growth of the economy and development of their wellbeing.”

AWE is found in nearly 90 countries and it has aided over 16,000 women entrepreneurs to develop them into better businesswomen.

AWE also conducted an evaluation in 2021 which revealed that 74% of women who complete the program earn more money in their business and 29% hire more people. Also, more than 90% of AWE graduates say that they have gained more confidence from the skills they acquired.

“I am incredibly proud to launch this global entrepreneurship program in Malta for the second year running following the great success of last year’s program,” Green said.

“Women entrepreneurs like you are a growing market force and have a critical role to play in building dynamic, innovative economies. This is what the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is all about,” Green added.

This year the AWE will be welcoming over 80 women who applied for the US Department of State’s 2022 AWE. The program is free of charge for these women and it is all funded by the US department of state.

The women were selected for this program based on their responses in the application process. The participants targeted must have a post-secondary level of education or higher and they must be women aged around 25 or older. These women do not need to be established businesswomen but they can be anything from someone aspiring to start a business to someone who has just begun a business.

Throughout this course, the women will have the opportunity to engage in competition against each other to try and pitch the best business plan they can, using the knowledge they acquired from the program. The winners of this competition will be applicable for Seed funding for their businesses which is also funded by the US department of state. First place will receive $10,000 and second place will receive $5,000.

The program begins next Monday 5 September with a physical session of around 3 hours and these sessions will continue up until 7 November. Before the final session where they will pitch their business plan, they will also experience a speed mentoring session where the women will have the opportunity to seek knowledge from experienced businesswomen. They also have 13 online sessions that they need to attend in their own time until 17 October.

They emphasised the importance of having these physical sessions this year to promote networking further.

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