Remarks from Ambassador Laura F. Dogu for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Kick-off Event

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is already accepting applications for the next edition.

We are growing and women entrepreneurs in the communities of La Esperanza, Santa Barbara, Tocoa, and Roatán can now participate for the first time.

And we are opening the program again in San Pedro Sula, Santa Rosa de Copán, Siguatepeque, Juticalpa, Choluteca, and Tegucigalpa.

In 2019, Nayely Moreno from Santa Cruz de Yojoa, the owner of Yojoa Chocolate, had a cacao farm and was producing chocolate.

But she could not reach new markets due to the lack of quality, marketing knowledge and access to financing.

Today, her products are sold in the national and international market.

And she has received international awards for the high quality of her chocolate.

She was able to access a loan to improve the Yojoa Chocolate production process.

And she also created more than 5 new jobs for women in her community.

The best part of this story is that Nayely is not the only one.

There are 495 women who are now better able to support themselves and their families.

And that they have created 340 jobs for other Hondurans in their communities.

The successes of the AWE program have been possible thanks to our implementing partner UTH and the partners that support the program such as Grupo OPSA and Televicentro.

Also thanks to the dedication of the facilitators in each city and of course, to the commitment of the AWE graduates.

I’m excited to see all of you women entrepreneurs.

And knowing that we share the conviction that entrepreneurship is an investment in the future.

When women are able to start their own businesses, we see that not only they, but also their families and their communities benefit just like Nayely’s example.

That is why we are here.

Today begins the program of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2022.

This program will benefit 300 women over 10 cities this year.

We know that it is not easy to have a business and it is especially difficult for women.

Therefore, AWE prepares women entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges involved in running a business.

And I want to share some examples of what women are achieving through AWE:

First, Jenny Arias from El Progreso.

She converted her former garage diner to a “Captain Chicken” restaurant and is now in the process of franchising it.

Also, Daniela Castillo in La Ceiba.

She “technified” her company “Doña Pan” with the knowledge and seed capital that she received to meet the demand for her artisanal bread.

Finally, Britteny Bennet has been able to continue educating and preserving the culture, stories, and customs of her native Roatán through her company “Britteny’s Island Art”.

AWE women know what this means.

They can earn extra income for their family.

They can provide more for their children.

They have the opportunity to channel their energy and passion.

They can take pride in creating something new and improving the lives of those around them. But the AWE program is also an opportunity to develop personally.

An opportunity to create solidarity and to build the necessary networks to achieve their goals together.

And more importantly, an opportunity to continue breaking barriers and continue creating economic equality for Honduran women.

Thank you, UTH, for being our partner in this great project and for sharing our commitment to the economic empowerment of Honduran women.

The environment they have created has fueled the success of AWE entrepreneurs.

And it will continue to stimulate the growth of the 300 women we expect this year.

So I invite all the talented entrepreneurs that are in the ten cities named to apply to participate.

And through AWE they will continue to lead, innovate, and enable their businesses to grow, their incomes to grow, and new jobs to be created in their communities.

Go ahead, women entrepreneurs!

Many thanks.