November 10, 2022
In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2022, the Embassy is proud to highlight the amazing work being done by alumni of the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs in Bulgaria. Follow us on Facebook to learn about these inspiring Bulgarian women.
The State Department established the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in 2019 to provide women with the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch or scale a successful businesses. AWE (https://eca.state.gov/awe) is a flexible educational opportunity that combines localized coaching and mentoring with the online platform DreamBuilder, created through a partnership with Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School for Global Management and the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. Cohorts of approximately 30 women meet online and in-person to learn core business skills such as strategic planning, marketing, and finance, then discuss the material with local facilitators, business leaders, and U.S. exchange alumni mentors. AWE reinforces peer-to-peer learning, networking, and cohesion among the graduating classes of women entrepreneurs, while also driving local prosperity and business growth.
The U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria seeks to empower independent entrepreneurs, who are a key driver of any free and thriving economy – and on that metric, the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs in Bulgaria has been an unqualified success. Ninety women from across Bulgaria have completed the Academy and 26 more are currently in the program. We have distributed more than $25,000 in seed money to support women-owned enterprises.
Our first AWE cohort was formed in the Black Sea city of Burgas in 2020; this was followed by a second cohort in Sofia, and then a third program in the northeastern city of Dobrich. Our fourth AWE cohort in Ruse is still in progress, and the Embassy plans to announce a new cohort in the coming months.
We hope to have more information on our next academy soon. In the meantime, all women who are interested can take the DreamBuilder course individually. This course is at the core of the program. It is free and available in English (and Spanish) at https://DreamBuilder.org. We wish all Bulgarian women success!”