Drivers of the Economy: African Women's Entrepreneurship Program

September 12, 2012

Drivers of the Economy: African Women's Entrepreneurship Program

Secretary Clinton: We understand something that the rest of the world is only beginning to understand and that is that women hold the key to economic growth in Africa, just as they hold the key to economic growth around the world.

Recognizing that women are drivers of the local, regional, and global economies, the U.S. Department of State kicked off the 3rd Annual African Women's Entrepreneurship Program this week in New York with a conversation with world-renowned fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist, Diane Von Furstenberg.

Tanya Gabriella: She’s real and she really speaks all our truths, you know.

Diane Von Furstenberg: I will tell you what my mother told me: fear is not an option. Just go for it. There are challenges every day. I take it on. Whatever obstacles happen, I just face them and turn them into something that works.

The African Women's Entrepreneurship Program is an outreach, education, and engagement initiative that works with African women entrepreneurs to promote business growth, increase trade both regionally and to U.S. markets through the African Growth and Opportunity Act, create better business environments, and empower African women entrepreneurs to become voices of change in their communities.

Francesca Brenda Opoku - Ghana: I think it’s just like a wonderful experience. I have so much to share with other African women entrepreneurs and probably for other American women entrepreneurs, who are wondering what’s happening on the other side of the globe.

For three weeks, 47 African women entrepreneurs from 37 countries who hail from the fashion and textile industry, agribusiness, and home décor will engage in professional development training and networking opportunities with their American counterparts.

Stay tuned for updates.