Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Program (Funding, Entrepreneurship Training, Product / Process / Service Design Support)

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) gives enterprising women the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch and scale successful businesses.

AWE uses a hybrid model that combines the online platform DreamBuilder (developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan) with in-class mentoring and facilitation.

Through AWE, participants learn core business skills, then get together as a class to discuss the material with experienced implementers, local mentors, and U.S. Exchange Alumni. Partnerships with local NGOs, universities, and chambers of commerce offer women the opportunity to amplify their newly learned business skills and network with other businesspeople through speed mentoring and entrepreneurship fairs.

Program Goals

  • Provide resources for women to engage in U.S-style online education with guided facilitation and localization from local women business leaders.
  • Foster networks that support participants’ access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region and in the United States.
  • Provide access to a wide range of opportunities tailored to women’s economic empowerment to expand the effects of participation.


  • Successful participants will gain access to seed capital (specific to winners of the business plan competition) as well as further training opportunities at Harvard Business School in the United States and South Africa.


  • Candidates should be female entrepreneurs.
  • Application form must be filled in English.
  • Candidates must speak/read English (the curriculum is in English).
  • Candidates must be 25-45 years old.
  • Candidates must have an email account.

Deadline: December 31, 2023

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