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News Release

U.S. Department of State - Office of the Spokesperson

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce a collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU) and its Thunderbird School of Global Management as well as the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation in support of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) to advance women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, Arizona State University President Michael Crow, and Freeport-McMoRan Foundation President Tracy Bame signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) February 5 in Phoenix. The Memorandum of Understanding represents a commitment to developing the skills of prospective women entrepreneurs, through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, by utilizing the DreamBuilder course, which was jointly developed by Freeport-McMoRan and Arizona State University. 

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In 2019, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs created and implemented the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs to support the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. In its inaugural year, the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs was implemented in twenty-six countries across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Spain and Papua New Guinea, to reach over 2,000 women. the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is designed as an educational opportunity for prospective women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners that uses the DreamBuilder platform to teach fundamental business skills. 

Participants form cohorts that meet in person to network and learn from one another. Facilitators, chosen from successful the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs alumni, business leaders, or other experts, lead sessions to localize business principles and ensure the application of lessons learned in real-time. In each country where the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs exists, trade fairs, expositions, additional training, and other relevant engagements build on the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs-experience to foster business development and momentum for future growth.  

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