On Tuesday, September 7, the U.S. Embassy in partnership with the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) launched its third year of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). The six-month program provides women entrepreneurs with the skills, resources, and networks needed to start and scale successful businesses. Twenty-eight female entrepreneurs from Barbados will take part in this year’s program, joining participants in over seventy countries, including recently launched academies in Saint Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados Linda Taglialatela reflected on the success of the program since its start in 2019. She said, “I’ve seen how the women in this program have grown in confidence – confident in their business ideas, poised when explaining them to others, and self-assured that taking the risk to follow their dream was the right choice.” She continued, “The U.S. Embassy, working with our civil society partners, remains committed to realizing the full participation of women in the economy.” BYBT General Manager Cardell Fergusson likewise shared, “Through the AWE program and the business development support, offered by the BYBT, we have been able to provide the participants with the opportunity to develop and grow. We are extremely proud of their achievement and continue to walk beside them offering the help they need to realize their goals. We value our partnership with the US Embassy in Bridgetown and seek to create greater impact with their support”
AWE is a facilitated experience, utilizing the business curriculum developed by the Arizona State University Thunderbird School of Global Management. Expert speakers, business leaders, and successful entrepreneurs complement the curriculum by providing pragmatic strategies to achieve business success. More than 50 Barbadian women have graduated from the academy since 2019. The U.S. Embassy’s partnership with BYBT is part of the U.S. government’s commitment to promoting economic development and diversification in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. Equipping women with the tools needed to create and grow their own businesses, raise capital, and effectively network with other successful business owners contributes to the region’s stability, security, and prosperity.