BY CHRIS ALEX
THE US Embassy in Honiara organized a one-day in-person outreach event yesterday to introduce the Academy for Women’s Entrepreneurship (AWE) program in the Solomon Islands.
The AWE is a U.S. Department of State program aimed at empowering women globally to establish sustainable businesses and enterprises.
The event, which was held on October 17 at the Solomon Island National Art Gallery, aimed to inspire new applicants, build a network between potential applicants and AWE alumni, and engage women entrepreneurs in Honiara in preparation for 2024 applications. It also provided free training to local women entrepreneurs.
The Solomon Islands AWE alum Donna and current participants Ender and Joy attended the event, which, according to the US Embassy, sought to raise awareness of the opportunities the program provides and inspire women to take the necessary steps to take part in this empowering initiative. They shared on the day their learning experiences and the improvements they’ve seen or experienced.
The US Embassy in Port Moresby’s project officer for public affairs, Matilda Kapipi, gave the local women business owners who attended the outreach event advice on how to make the most of the program’s potential to transform their lives.
Matilda emphasized the importance of the training for persons missing critical business networks, expertise, and abilities.
“The AWE initiative, in line with the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative led by the White House, strives to empower women both locally and worldwide via the acquisition of the practical skills required to launch and expand prosperous enterprises.
“The initiative also places a strong emphasis on connecting women through already established exchange programs, building supportive networks for mentorship, and offering online educational resources.
“Through an inclusive learning community, women entrepreneurs from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea will have the opportunity to delve into the fundamentals of business, including creating business plans, raising capital, and building sustainable enterprises,” she said.
The U.S. Department of State plans to launch the AWE official program initiative early the following year, in 2024, with the assistance of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, in order to provide women with the practical skills required to establish sustainable businesses and enterprises.
The initiative also strives to guarantee that women have the skills and resources necessary to engage in the economy and to provide ambitious women with the knowledge, networks, and access they need to develop and scale successful businesses.
The AWE initiative is committed to assisting women in the Solomon Islands in realizing their potential as entrepreneurs, according to the project officer.
“There is much anticipation for the beneficial impact the AWE program will have on women in business around the region as it is poised to debut early next year.
In addition to empowering women, Matilda’s project “promises to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the Solomon Islands’ entrepreneurial landscape.”
Women in the Solomon Islands have responded positively to Matilda Kapipi’s passionate call to action, which has raised interest and enthusiasm for the impending AWE program in 2024.
She stated that prospective female company owners are advised to get their applications ready and take advantage of this opportunity to change their organizations, families, and neighborhoods, ultimately paving the way for a better future.
“Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have been in business for at least a year, have a certificate of completion of grade 12 education requirements, and exhibit computer literacy to be eligible for the AWE program. A high school diploma, an active business license from the company house, two letters of recommendation, and a bank statement or booking records are required for entry, according to Matilda.