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Thirty-two Academy for Women Entrepreneurs
January 10, 2020

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Thirty- two outstanding women in business graduated after 14 intensive weeks of undergoing the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) online business course. Seven of these women included enthusiastic participants who travelled into Port Moresby from Provincial centers.

United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Erin E. McKee, and ExxonMobil Limited Production Manager, Keith Killian were special guests at the graduation held on Monday December 9, 2019, at the Institute of Banking and Business Management (IBBM) ToRobert Business Training Centre. 

Ambassador McKee congratulated all participants who successfully completed the course saying “When women do better, countries do better, communities do better, and families do better.”

The AWE is a pilot program in PNG and in the East Asia and Pacific region. The Academy, in support of the White-House-led women’s Global Development and Prosperous Initiative, equips women with the practical skills needed to create sustainable businesses and enterprises. Through an inclusive learning community, participants were given opportunities to explore business fundamentals, including creating business plans and raising capital, with the goal of building a better future for their families and communities. 

The Department of State through the U.S. Embassy, partnered with Center for Private Enterprise (CIPE), through the PNG Women Business Resource Center (PNGWBRC), to administer this program. Sponsors also included Pacifika Women Network, Coca-Cola, and Exxon Mobil, which also sponsored the graduation ceremony 

AWE participants used DreamBuilder, an online course on women’s entrepreneurship developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Free-port-McMoRan. Participants engaged in facilitated lessons on business management and network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors through Ruth Undi, Janet Sios and Vani Nades.

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is built around three main goals, to provide online education resources, foster networks that support access to mentorships, and connect women through existing programs. AWE targets women of 18 years and above, who run a business established for at least 12 months, who are computer literate, with at least grade 12 education preferred, and able to attend the course in Port Moresby.