Suva, Fiji – U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu Marie C. Damour launched the 2023 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program on June 22, 2023. AWE is based on a model of peer-to-peer learning and local mentorship, which helps participants build their own businesses and seek innovative scaling opportunities.
“The U.S. Embassy is proud to support a prosperous Fiji. The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent identifies economic development as one of its key thematic areas, and we join your leaders in our commitment to empower women to be active participants in economic life,” said Ambassador Damour.
She thanked the Embassy’s partners, the Women Entrepreneur’s Business Council (WEBC) and the Makoi Women’s Vocational Centre, for their collaboration through AWE to equip women with the skills, knowledge, and networks necessary to start and expand businesses that contribute to Fiji’s economic growth.
The Ambassador also commended WEBC and Makoi for their successful leadership of AWE, which has enabled an AWEsome community of over 300 alumni across Fiji’s main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu since its start in 2020.
Continuing its momentous run, the AWE program received a record number of over 1,500 applications from women across Fiji to participate this year, and the implementers selected the over 200 emerging entrepreneurs who gathered in Suva today to celebrate the start of their business journey.
“To these new participants, I encourage you to be bold and talk with as many people as possible to build the support network you will need to reach your goals and overcome the setbacks that every entrepreneur inevitably faces in their journey. Make the most of this chance to learn skills in marketing, branding, financial management, networking, and leadership. We are excited to welcome you, 2023 AWE Cohort! Your success is our priority, we support your learning and laud your achievements.”
The AWE program is an educational opportunity for women entrepreneurs that uses a facilitated online course called DreamBuilder. AWE is designed for energetic and enterprising women with an entrepreneurial mindset with a flexible training schedule of two days a month over seven months.