US Embassy empowers 150 women to launch entrepreneurial journeys

Islamabad: The U.S. Embassy this week launched the fourth Pakistan cohort of its “Academy for Women Entrepreneurs” (AWE) program at the Lincoln Reading Lounge at the National Library of Pakistan.

Bettina Malone, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, launched this year’s cohort of the AWE which is set to empower 150 participants from Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.

The AWE program is an entrepreneurship program that includes peer-to-peer learning and local mentorship, to help participants build their own businesses and seek innovative scaling opportunities. This worldwide U.S. Department of State training program supports women across the globe in building their own businesses, harnessing the power of public-private sponsors, local partnerships, and U.S. Exchange Alumni networks to help their businesses grow. AWE is driving prosperity in communities in more than 100 countries. In Pakistan this program is empowering women to realize their economic potential and increase prosperity for all.

During her remarks, Malone spoke about the need to support women entrepreneurs noting, “When women are successful, communities prosper, and countries thrive.”
With mentoring and guidance from established Pakistani entrepreneurs, the 150 participants in AWE 2024 will undertake a rigorous three-month online training program developed by Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and American natural resource company Freeport McMoran. Through AWE, participants learn core business skills and meet weekly to discuss what they are learning with experienced local mentors and U.S. experts. AWE is designed to cultivate entrepreneurial know-how, help women entrepreneurs connect with funding opportunities, enhance opportunities for business expansion, and increase the likelihood of entrepreneurial success.

Five of the U.S. Mission to Pakistan’s Lincoln Corners in Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi will lead AWE Pakistan 2024 with support from the Pakistan American Cultural Center. Toward the end of their AWE journey, participants will have the opportunity to compete for seed funding from the U.S. Mission to Pakistan to further grow or establish their enterprises. Upon completion, participants will join the global AWE network, which offers further growth opportunities, as well as the community of U.S. exchange program alumni.