Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote
Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Networking Breakfast
U.S. Embassy, Lusaka, Zambia
August 16, 2019
(as prepared for delivery)
Good morning. On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I congratulate you—the first 31 Zambian women selected to participate in the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs! More than 1,000 women entrepreneurs in Lusaka applied for this program. Your selection is a testament to your exceptional creativity and purpose.
We know that entrepreneurship creates a culture in which business innovation and creativity lead to original solutions to economic and societal challenges. In Zambia, women entrepreneurs are finding these solutions and helping Zambia overcome its challenges. The success of women-owned businesses plays an important role in diversifying Zambia’s economy, which remains an urgent need.
The United States is committed to women’s economic empowerment and participation, which is an important step in creating jobs and promoting stability and prosperity for all. This is what the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is all about. It is designed to provide the knowledge, networks, practical tools, and mentorship required to realize your business dreams.
The AWE program is just one of the many programs supported by the United States to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Zambia. Since 2015, the U.S. Embassy has worked with WECREATE to co-host the Zambia Entrepreneurship Summit, which connects entrepreneurs, with lenders, investors, business associations, and other organizations for possible partnerships and deals.
Also since 2015, the embassy has collaborated with BongoHive on a series of entrepreneurship bootcamps that helped young Zambian entrepreneurs refine business start-up ideas. I am pleased to see that both WECREATE and BongoHive are now simultaneously partnering with the embassy on this new initiative. Thank you! Thanks also go to program mentors, facilitators, and other partners for helping these dynamic and innovative women fulfill develop their business plans.
I wish you all the best during your AWE program as you embark on this exciting journey of starting or developing your business dream.