A two-day boot camp for 25 selected women entrepreneurs from Northeast commenced today at the American Centre, Kolkata as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
Organised by the U.S. Consulate Kolkata, in partnership with, Shillong-based non-profit Asian Confluence the camp is held under the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA),
AWE is being implemented in over 50 countries globally and has engaged with more than 5,000 women entrepreneurs despite pandemic challenges.
The U.S Consulate General Kolkata-led AWE program marks the first AWE in India, which has supported 150 early-stage entrepreneurs and business owners from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Nagland through a structured online education from the University of Arizona’s Dreambuilder course.
Addressing the gathering, Consul General Melinda Pavek said, “The United States believes strongly in women’s empowerment through entrepreneurship, and stands firmly for women’s equality, and inclusion in all public endeavors. These are challenging times indeed, but an opportunity for us to show the strength and depth of our bilateral relationship. I am proud of the way we at Consulate Kolkata have continued to adapt our programs to support entrepreneurs in our region. Keeping in mind that women in particular face increased challenges during these times, we have stepped up our efforts to support and mentor women entrepreneurs.”
The program, which kicked off in November 2020, has so far provided Dreambuilder certification to 80 women entrepreneurs.
The Dreambuilder online course was developed by Freeport-McMoRan in partnership with Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, a world leader in international management education.
While the program had to shift to a virtual platform, three in-person workshops were held in Dimapur, Shillong, and Imphal with strict adherence to Covid protocol and safety measures.
The grand finale brings together, for the first time, 25 top entrepreneurs from the northeast who will participate in a shark-tank styled business pitch session which will be evaluated by a jury panel. Top performers will be awarded seed funding and/or entry slots as part of the January 2022 cohort of the Nexus incubation program at the American Center in New Delhi.