Promoting global economic security has long been a foreign policy goal of the U.S. Department of State, and in recent years, this has manifested itself in an increasing number of exchange programs intended to promote entrepreneurship and small business development. Continue
Each year U.S. missions nominate leading women entrepreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). AWEP was launched in 2010 to bolster the economic impact on women entrepreneurs during the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. This post was written by Elizabeth Barry and Mark Rebstock. Continue
Teta Isibo of Rwanda visited the United States this summer as a participant of the International Visitor Leadership Program’s (IVLP) African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP). She is the Managing Director and Founder of Inzuki Designs – a company that specializes in handmade jewelry, accessories and interior décor, fusing traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design.
Friday, August 9th saw the conclusion of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, more often referred to by its acronym, “AWEP.” 30 women business leaders from 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa bid farewell to the Meridian and State Department program planners, and to one another. This concludes their three weeks of professional meetings, workshops, cultural activities, participation in volunteer activities, and networking in Chicago, Portland, Ore., Seattle, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Washington, DC. The participants of the program are leaving the United States with a set of experiences and contacts that will contribute to the advancement of their respective careers and business ventures. They are heading back to their countries with a renewed sense of urgency and empowerment, as well as friendship and solidarity between themselves and the Americans with whom they engaged during their U.S. visit.