AWEC Business Academy is Open

December 4, 2019

The AWEC Business Academy is a new way for African business women to develop skills and join a network of leaders, in a condensed amount of time. Unlike the flagship year-long AWEC program, Business Academy courses are designed for African women entrepreneurs to develop specific business management skills in just one month.

The pilot course, Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Culture, featured Dr. Sherif Kamel, Dean and Professor of Management at the School of Business at the American University in Cairo.  

Much like the Cooperative, the Business Academy has incredible diversity in industry, geography, and experience. Learners hail from across the continent with representation from Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zambia. They lead businesses providing a wide range of goods and services including all natural foods, custom made clothing, landscaping, home health care, and event planning. This diversity in experience and backgrounds meant that learners were able to go beyond the course’s key takeaways and really learn from each other. This was further reflected in the high levels of engagement within the learning community where learners fostered meaningful connections within the digital learning platform and thoughtful conversations and connections in their live Peer Sessions.  

This inaugural course pushed learners to think outside the box and develop an entrepreneurial mindset as they continue to grow and develop their businesses. Course assignments pushed them beyond their comfort zones, better understand their customers by soliciting feedback, and seek out mentors in their industries or communities. Learners rose to the challenge of the accelerated pace of the AWEC Business Academy, with 91% receiving a certificate of completion at the close of the four-week course. One learner even said, “This course has me invigorated. I did not feel 100% ready but got the courage to do what had to be done! I am inspired to learn more, do more even if fail more and stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.”

About the AWEC Business Academy

Every year, AWEC receives approximately 2,000 applications from women who hope to join the year-long flagship cohort. This program is highly competitive and we are only able to take 200 entrepreneurs each year. To enable us to impact more entrepreneurs and to provide continuing education opportunities to our alumnae, we created the Business Academy as a short-term, yet high-impact way to fill this gap. 

The AWEC Business Academy is not your typical online course. Our model provides an opportunity to learn through a combination of watching, doing, discussing, and reflecting. This applied learning model provides not only the opportunity to build knowledge and skills, but also to create community and a network of peers. Learn more about the AWEC Business Academy here

What’s Next for the AWEC Business Academy?

As with any new program, we will apply lessons learned from this pilot course to subsequent courses that we plan to offer in 2020. We will announce new courses in our newsletter and through social media. Follow us on Twitter, IG and LinkedIn and subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated. 

Are you interested in teaching a course? Send us a message at awecbusinessacademy[at] 


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