Student and Alumni Affairs Department (SAAD) continues its engaging and educational programmes, as they recently hosted a graduation ceremony for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Program (AWE). The momentous occasion hosted both physically and virtually was to also celebrate some of the BU students and graduates who participated in the AWE program. In attendance were representatives from US Embassy in Gaborone, facilitators Ms Sarah Mulwa from Now For Them Trust and Ms Lillian Moremi from Career Coaching. The week-long training aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs saw 48 trainees graduate.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Finance and Employability, Dr Priya Iyer in her welcome remarks was delighted to see some BU students graduating from the AWE programme, which was in line with BU’s mandate of producing employable graduates. She further shared that one of the initiatives of BU in supporting entrepreneurs was BU Entrepreneurship Incubator Lab for budding businesses for a period of a year.
Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Botswana is supported by the U.S. Government through the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone. AWE gives young entrepreneurs the knowledge, network and resources to either launch their business or to scale up their businesses through the facilitation of AWE in Botswana by Now for Them Trust and Career Coaching Botswana, the programme has over 200 alumni since its inception in 2020.
“It was not until I started facilitating AWE that I realised Botswana has a rich youth, powerful enough to see this country grow, powerful enough to create jobs and innovative enough to deserve a seat at the big table, as giant companies when they knock on your doors with their products and services. We should give them a chance to be the ones that can reduce our import bill, by buying products/services from them,” said one of the facilitators, Ms Sarah Mulwa.
Ms Faith Sibanda, one of the AWE graduates, who runs a natural hair business noted that the programme was a truly enriching experience and equipped her with the tools to take her business to the next level as it covered various aspects of running a successful business.