SUVA – The U.S. Embassy signed a grant with the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) to run the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program for the third year in a row. The US$20,510 AWE grant will fund trained facilitators from WEBC and the Makoi Women’s Vocational Center to guide 130 women business owners through a training and mentoring program. The facilitators, who are also local business experts, provide training and knowledge about key business topics and skills and adapt this information to Fiji’s local context.
Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Rebecca Owen said, “This AWE grant will expand opportunities for local businesswomen to increase their skills and assist them on their journey to success. We are grateful for the support of our implementing partners, WEBC and Makoi, and know this initiative will continue to blossom under their care.”
Under the AWE program, seven facilitators will lead groups of 15-20 women each. Participants typically have a range of backgrounds and levels of business expertise and come from across the country. Beyond what the women learn in AWE workshops and training sessions, they will also have the opportunity to share, learn, and network with other members of their cohort. The benefits of the AWE program continue long after the program ends, as it provides participants opportunities to apply skills learned through AWE to their own businesses and become part of a robust network of women business leaders. Up until now, 225 women entrepreneurs have graduated from the program and continue thriving.
The facilitators will incorporate DreamBuilder online training in their workshops. DreamBuilder is a free online entrepreneurial training module that teaches women the skills and knowledge to start and grow their own businesses.
WEBC, a member of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) will manage the grant. The AWE facilitators from WEBC and the Makoi Women’s Vocational Center have received virtual training from the AWE team in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Embassy is proud to work with both organizations to promote local economic development. Chargé D’affaire Tony Greubel signed the grant document on behalf of the U.S. Embassy, and WEBC Chair Eseta Nadakuitavuki signed for FCEF and Shazna Khan for Makoi Women’s Vocational Center.