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US consulate launches course for NE women

The embassy's satellite office in association with Asian Confluence will provide entrepreneurship training
Marie Royce
Marie Royce
Sourced by The Telegraph

Jhinuk Mazumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 21.11.20, 02:38 AM

A woman from Assam counsels those in need of mental health support and provides them with a “non-judgemental platform” to share their stories and challenges.

A woman from Arunachal Pradesh produces organic kiwi wine. She has set up a facility in the Ziro valley to produce 60,000 litres of the wine in a year and she employs more than 25 people in the Ziro valley.

A woman from Manipur has returned to her state after travelling to several countries to start a business of making herbal and fruit infusions from indigenous plants.

On Friday, women entrepreneurs from five Northeastern states — who have been selected for a entrepreneurship training programme by the US Consulate Kolkata in association with Asian Confluence, a non-profit think tank based in Shillong — shared their business ideas.

Celebrating the global entrepreneurship week 2020, the US Consulate and Asian Confluence on Friday launched the White House-led “Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)” project through an online event “Unlocking the North East — building resilience and entrepreneurship capacity in the face of Covid-19”.

“The US believes strongly in women’s empowerment through entrepreneurship and stands firmly for women’s equality and inclusion in all public endeavours.... This year the Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed a complex... global crisis with long-term implications for public health, economic security, political stability and international relations,” the US Consulate’s acting consul general Monica Shie said at the launch.

Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state, bureau of educational and cultural affairs, US department of state, said in a video message: “Your AWE cohort represents the highest number of applications” for an entrepreneurship programme in the Calcutta consulate district in the past decade.

“On the business front the pandemic has led to disruptions in commerce, supply chains, transportation, cross-border travel and international trade, all resulting from necessary measures taken to control the pandemic. These are challenging times indeed but an opportunity for us to show the strength and depth of our bilateral relationship,” Shie said.

“Keeping in mind women, in particular, face increased challenges during these times… we have stepped up our effort to support and mentor women entrepreneurs.”

The 150 women have been selected from 253 applicants from the Northeast.

Given the present economic slowdown, it is important to find ways to bounce back with effective policies, projects and initiatives, K. Moses Chalai, the secretary of the North Eastern Council, said.

The two-year project’s maiden launch in the country brought together 150 women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners from Nagaland, Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh.

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