Kolkata: The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata in partnership with the Aroh Foundation and Nexus Start-up Hub at the American Center, New Delhi organized a bootcamp and Shark Tank Style Pitching Event for a group of women entrepreneurs from Bihar and Jharkhand to join the U.S. Department of State’s Global Development Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative “Academy for Women Entrepreneurs” (AWE).

The two days camp was held on May 5 and 6  at the American Center Kolkata. 
AWE facilitated a selected cohort of 90 practicing women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners from Bihar and Jharkhand by providing U.S-style online education with guided facilitation from U.S. State Department alumni, local business women, and other partners. 

The finalist-participants will join an AWE network that will support participants’ access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region and in the United States. All the 90 women entrepreneurs took an online Dreambuilder course from the University of Arizona.
Of the selected 20 high-potential women entrepreneurs, at least six will receive AWS credits worth $5000, incubation support in one of the leading incubators and a stipend awards worth $6000.

Addressing the entrepreneurs, U.S. Consul General Melinda Pavek said, “I am so proud of each of you - AWE participants from Bihar and Jharkhand, and the alumni mentors from Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, who are committed to support this growing network.  I am proud of the way you have collaborated, developed co-branded products, and learned pitching techniques.  Your success in AWE motivated us to launch yet another edition - this time for West Bengal and Sikkim.”.  

AWE 1.0 (North East) which successfully concluded in 2020-21 inducted its Alumni as mentors and facilitators to AWE 2.0 (Bihar and Jharkhand) participants. At least 5 of AWE participants have raised seed funding during the last 6 months and AWE Alumni Tage Rita from Arunachal Pradesh received the Nari Shakti Puraskar this year from the  President Ramnath Kovind
National level agency Startup India promoted this initiative and State-level organizations Startup Bihar and Startup Jharkhand are supporting AWE initiatives to nurture their women entrepreneurs and help them set up innovative ventures in respective states.