The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) recognizes that achieving progress when it comes to advancing women’s economic empowerment requires us to work in collaboration with partners. ECA partners with the private sector, academia, and other public entities where there is strong alignment to meet program objectives.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) was established in furtherance of the whole-of-government Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities and private-public partnerships. In its first year, W-GDP reached 12 million women worldwide. Such partnerships enable us to achieve more working together than we ever could working alone.

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Our Partners

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University (ASU) is a top-ranked management school in Phoenix, Arizona. ‘Thunderbird for Good’ began as program designed to provide learning opportunities for women in Afghanistan who were hungry for knowledge and opportunity. Today, the program’s outreach has spread to include non-traditional students from emerging markets all over the world. With the support of Freeport-McMoRan, Thunderbird for Good created the online course DreamBuilder®, which equips AWE participants with the practical skills and knowledge needed to start and grow their own business.

The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation originally approached Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management with a desire to support startups and the growth of women-owned businesses in the communities where they have their mining operations. Together, they developed the DreamBuilder® course, which Freeport continues to support financially and through their community development teams. Today, this commitment spans the globe, providing free entrepreneurship education in English and Spanish to thousands of women.

The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) supports and invests in AWE entrepreneurs by responding to the need to further small enterprise development in underserved communities, especially as they relate to women-owned and managed enterprises in Africa. ECA and USADF’s partnership advances W-GDP efforts through a joint-U.S. government partnership to support the most promising AWE alumnae with catalytic funding for their enterprises. Through 2025, USADF will provide up to $10 million in grants to the most promising African AWE graduates in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a proud supporter of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). They provide select AWE participants in Chile access to AWS Educate workshops, designed to equip the entrepreneurs with fundamental proficiency in cloud technologies. AWE participants explore topics including security, big data, and the internet of things which helps them to leverage cloud technology to grow their businesses.