Seventy (70) women entrepreneurs from Banfora, Bobo-Dioulasso, Sindou, Toussiana, Noumoudara, Nouna, and Gaoua attended a workshop in Banfora on October 23, 2014. This training was sponsored by the U. S. Embassy to Burkina Faso and focused on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and how to export to the United States. Minata Kone and Christiane Coulibaly, two Burkinabe alumnae of the African Women Entrepreneur Program (AWEP), used this opportunity to share their experiences as women entrepreneurs and advise their peers on best practices. These businesswomen are already exporting cashews and dried mangoes to U.S. and European markets. Martin Vaughan, U. S. Embassy Economic and Commercial Officer, along with U. S. Fulbright scholar Farid Sadrieh, described U.S. markets in detail and discussed resources in place to facilitate access to them. A representative from the AGOA Resource Center of the Burkina Chamber of Commerce was also on hand to explain the provisions of AGOA and provide information to the women entrepreneurs. The workshop was rich in questions and answers, but also in experience sharing, thus a great mentoring and networking event. The participants made recommendations on how to pursue their goal of accessing U.S. markets by organizing themselves and staying connected. This workshop engaged U. S. Embassy’s AWEP alumnae and directly supported the goal of spurring sustained and equitable economic growth and development in Burkina Faso.
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