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The importance of investing in women's economic empowerment

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs virtual event will be held Jan. 13


AWE is expanding around the world.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is expanding around the world. Image credit: U.S. State Dept.

January 12, 2021

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and the U.S. Department of State will host a virtual panel discussion on the importance of investing in women’s economic empowerment at 1 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Jan. 13.

Marie Royce, assistant secretary for educational and cultural affairs, and Kelley Currie, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues will be featured speakers. Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird will serve as moderator for the panel of public and private sector leaders who support the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), one of the Department of State’s signature programs in support of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. 

During the discussion, participants will explore the important role of the business community in supporting AWE and the positive impact it has on achieving their corporate objectives.

The ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has shed light on the growing need for investment in women’s economic empowerment. AWE provides female entrepreneurs around the world with the resources, skills and networks needed to start and scale successful businesses. By investing in AWE, partners and sponsors support women who create a significant impact on the ground in local communities — creating jobs and improving their financial standing. 

During its inaugural year, AWE was launched in 26 countries and reached more than 2,000 women. In 2020, AWE expanded to more than 50 countries through U.S. embassies and consulates and reached more than 5,000 women. In 2021, the goal is to implement AWE in more than 70 countries and reach over 7,000 women worldwide.  

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) was able to launch AWE because of the support of its partners and sponsors, especially ASU, Freeport-McMoRan, Amazon Web Services, The UPS Foundation, and the United States African Development Foundation. ECA recognizes that more can be achieved by working together with the public and private sectors on shared objectives.  

Register for the virtual event.

For press inquiries, contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at eca-press@state.gov. Follow #AWEnergize on social media for updates and event highlights. 

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