U.S Consulate launches academy for women entrepreneurs

-By sdnonline-

United States Consulate General in Lagos has launched the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a State Department-led initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world.

During a week-long program, a diverse group of 100 women selected from a pool of over 6,000 applicants, will receive lessons on business management, network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors, and learn the practical skills required to create successful and sustainable businesses.

Declaring the workshop open, U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo, explained that the goal of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is to teach women around the world to become successful entrepreneurs. She noted that women’s empowerment will be key to Nigeria’s long-term economic development.

“One of the U.S. government’s goals is to promote entrepreneurship worldwide.  Through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, we are doing just that by giving these ambitious businesswomen the skills they need to take their ventures to the next level,” she said.

Pierangelo described the role of women as crucial for the progress of national economies. “Women are the backbone of society no matter what country you are in.  When women are working, the country is working,” she noted.

Leading local business leaders will help facilitate the workshop. They include: Ms. Inya Lawal, alumna of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership program; Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Academic Director, Owner-Manager Program at the Lagos Business School; Ms. Hansatu Adegbite, Executive Director at Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ); and Ms. Teju Abisoye, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.

In addition, participants will receive access to DreamBuilder, a blended business-training course developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.

The AWE is a component of the White House Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, designed to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential, thereby creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.

Nigeria is among 26 pilot countries worldwide that were selected to participate in the AWE program. The other African countries participating in the inaugural AWE cohort are Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Women, youths have prime place in my administration – Agbedi, Bayelsa Guber aspirant

-By Funmi Falobi-

Honourable Frederick Agbedi, a governorship aspirant and member of the House of Representatives, representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State, has declared that women and youths have prime place in his government when he eventually becomes the governor of the state.

He also said that there is agenda for the grassroots people where his administration would ensure social inclusion at the grassroots level and cater for the welfare of the people through robust economy.

The present political dispensation in Nigeria has relegated women to the background both at the federal and states levels without achieving the 35 percent affirmative action on political position to women. However, Agbedi, a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State stated that his administration would identify competence among women and youths to run the oil rich state effectively.

“If you have been following my campaigns, there is no time women are not at the forefront making comments, raising supports, speaking on political issues and defending the campaigns. It is a matter of identifying competence. If you identify competence and you know the competent women you bring them to play. It is not just women but it is a matter of identifying competence.

“The question you are asking is like the question of saying the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. They are not leaders of tomorrow, they are leaders of today. It is the ability and capacity of the leaders to identify the youths who have the capacity to deliver. That is why I tell people, look, at River State when Diete-Spiff was made the Military Governor, all those who worked with him as commissioners were all youths and nobody has broken that record.

“It is the ability of the leader to identify competent hands that he would bring into governance that will deliver with their knowledge, agility and with their educational background. For me women are in the prime place as well as the youths in our administration,” he said.

Agbedi, who has four decades of experience in politics stressed that the grassroots people as well as the Bayelsans in general, are yearning for infrastructural development and socio-economy that would raise their standard of living and that he is ready to listen to them.

“The grassroots people are not outside the state, they are within the state. The grassroots people want employment, they want something to do that will put food on the table and give them income. They also want things that will bring infrastructure in terms of roads, electricity, improving the education system. That is what they are looking for because once you have a robust economy everybody will tap into it and then the issues of environment will be improved,” he said.

The politician explained that he would run the state differently as an experienced hand in a way that would improve industrialisation and build refinery to enhance the business environment of the state.