U.S. Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Alumni Investment Club and SACCO Launch
Kampala, August 19, 2023 – Alumnae of the U.S. Mission in Uganda’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Program launched their inaugural Investment Club and SACCO on August 19, 2023. The AWE SACCO is the first alumni savings and credit club from nearly 100 countries that participate in the AWE program.
AWE is an entrepreneurship training program designed to provide enterprising women the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch and scale successful businesses. In Uganda, 547 women from Arua, Gulu, Lira, Mbale, Jinja, Kampala, Mbarara, and Fort Portal have graduated from the AWE program since its inception in 2019. Eleven alumnae from the AWE program competed for and won funding from the National Social Security Fund Hi-Innovator Pitching Competition; and all of them attribute their success to participation in the AWE program. Additionally, the United States African Development Foundation has committed to providing up to USD 10 million in seed funds to benefit AWE graduates in Africa through 2025. U.S. entrepreneur and ACE Health Foundation CEO Pooja Chandra Pama also continued her support for the AWE Uganda program by authorizing a $3600 line of credit to the AWE Investment Club and SACCO.
Faced with the challenge of financing their enterprises, this group of alumnae decided to create an Investment Club and SACCO to perpetuate a cycle of financial empowerment. The AWE Alumni Investment Club and SACCO isn’t just about financial solutions; it’s about fostering a community of support and collaboration and makes a loud statement that women entrepreneurs are not just participants in Uganda’s business landscape, but shapers of it.
Speaking at the launch of the SACCO, Ellen Masi, the Public Diplomacy Counselor at the U.S. Embassy Kampala noted that “The innovative AWE Alumni Investment Club and SACCO demonstrates the ingenuity and resourcefulness that drive Uganda’s women entrepreneurs and serve as symbol for others that women have it within themselves to determine their own futures.”
A recent evaluation of the AWE in Uganda program showed that 64 percent of graduates increase their business earnings and 53 percent hire more staff. By giving women the tools and the confidence, they need, the AWE program is generating income and creating jobs in women-led businesses, driving local prosperity in 100 countries worldwide.
For additional information, please contact:
Strategic Communications Specialist
U.S. Embassy Kampala