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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US Consulate General Kolkata & Contact Base support 2-day workshop on women entrepreneurship in Agartala

Date:

By TC News Desk

Agartala, 26th March 2024 :  The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata, in partnership with Contact Base, organized a two-day state-level Bootcamp of the “Academy for Women Entrepreneurs” (AWE) program in Agartala, Tripura, on March 26-27, 2024.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is implementing AWE in over 50 countries globally and has engaged with more than 25,000 women entrepreneurs worldwide.  Contact Base, a social enterprise headquartered in Kolkata, with support from the U.S. Consulate General Kolkata has been working with women entrepreneurs from Tripura and Mizoram in through the initiative “Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) 4.0”.  The program identified early-stage women entrepreneurs from the two states, and provides rigorous training in the basics of business, marketing strategies and personalized mentoring from industry professionals. The overall focus of the program is to support women entrepreneurs from the two geographical regions through U.S.-style knowledge sharing, training, and network-building.

In 2020, Consulate General Kolkata launched the AWE pilot program in India, and since then, the program has continued to reap dividends for women across the country.  AWE participants and alumni have continued to develop partnerships, built specific skills, and explored funding opportunities with the help of public-private partnerships to scale their businesses.  This includes giving participants access to the online “Dream Builder” training program, created by Arizona State University. 

On March 26and27, a two-day boot camp was organized at the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel, Agartala, with 40+ women entrepreneurs from Tripura and 5 business mentors and experts from Assam, West Bengal and Tripura. These mentors have years of professional experience in guiding start-ups and supporting their growth journey. Most entrepreneurs are early-stage businesswomen in sectors such as textiles, handicraft, handlooms, food production, sustainability and jewellery. Through personalized and group mentoring sessions, the entrepreneurs learned to develop individual business profiles, acquire a comprehensive sense of market-customer-product mapping, articulate a growth plan and identify capacity gaps. Mentors helped them refine their business cases and identify potential entrepreneurs who could be part of the next level of mentoring and capacity building. Some success stories shared by established women entrepreneurs from Tripura helped participants get motivated. Following the bootcamp, regular online skill-building and mentoring sessions will be conducted to help capacitate women entrepreneurs and grow their business.

Addressing the gathering virtually, the Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate, Kolkata and the Director of the American Center in Kolkata, Elizabeth Lee, said, “The United States believes that gender equality, equity, and access to resources is critical to our shared goals of prosperity, stability, and peace.  We, at the U.S. Consulate Kolkata, are driven to work with women to provide them the tools for economic empowerment, which will allow them and their families and their communities to live happier, healthier lives.  Congratulations to each of you here today, the organizers, the facilitators, and entrepreneurs.  You can all achieve your dreams by pursuing them with determination, perseverance, and flexibility.”

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