About AWE

Academy for Woman Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Iceland

Let's harness the innovative powers of women!

The University of Iceland participates in Academy for Woman Entrepreneurs (AWE) in collaboration with the American Embassy in Iceland.

It has never been more important to increase the number of start-up companies and strengthen innovation in the Icelandic economy and at the same time increase the share of women in the field.

The aim of the AWE programme is to support women in developing their business ideas, offer education and know-how and strengthen social networking.

Other collaborators are the Association of Business Women in Iceland (FKA), Young Professional women (UAK,) and Women of multicultural ethnicity network in Iceland.

What is AWE?

Academy for Woman Entrepreneurs (AWE) is an initiative from the United States and is offered all over the world. AWE comprises the online training program DreamBuilder organised by Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, and workshops organised by the University of Iceland in collaboration with the Association of Business Women in Iceland.

The online training program is free of charge for participants and consists of 13 lectures accessible at a time that is convenient for each and every one.

In addition to the online program are workshops organised by the University of Iceland to better adapt the program to Icelandic circumstances and strengthen participants as entrepreneurs and business owners.

Over 5,000 women in over 50 countries participated in AWE in 2020.

AWE kort. Blár litur sýnir starfsemi frá 2020. Appelsínugulur starfsemi frá 2019

What is the advantage of participating in AWE?

Academy for Woman Entrepreneurs supports women in developing their business ideas and provides tools to facilitate starting a company based on them.

AWE is also designed for women who already own companies to develop them and improve the conditions of operation.

This creates a knowledge-based community where participants are mentored by experienced women in innovation and entrepreneurship in building businesses, networking and strengthening work development and professional competence.

Who can apply?

Women of all ages can apply to participate and 40 -45 participants will be selected from the applications. Both individuals as well as teams of 2-5 women can apply.

Applicants are not required to be or have been students at the University of Iceland.

It is preferable that applicants have a business proposal that will be developed throughout the course, or have recently started a company that would benefit from going through the program.

The AWE program is ideal for entrepreneurs who are taking their first steps and can make use of their participation to form ideas and implement them.

Companies registered in the last two years are applicable or as long as their total revenue in the past year from the date of registration does not exceed 5 million Icelandic krona.

Please note that there is a possibility of a travel grant for participants in regional Iceland.

  • The application deadline is 17. January 2022.

All applications are confidential.

What is the AWE timeline?

The programme begins on 3 February and ends on 7. April. It comprises: 

  • The online program DreamBuilder and 
  • Four on-site or online workshops 

The online program is based on 13 lectures that can be watched at any time anywhere and cover around 25 hours in total. In addition there is one trip to Akureyri.

The workshops add tips and practical advice to the online program on:

  • Marketing
  • Starting companies in Iceland
  • Networking
  • Funding
  • Social media
  • Intellectual property

…and other practical matters that prove useful when starting and developing a business.

The women selected for participation obligate themselves to go through the online course curricula and take part in the workshops.

The University of Iceland offers its support to AWE participants as:

  • Fida Abu Libdeh, CEO and co-founder of GeoSilica, and
  • Sandra Mjöll Jónsdóttir Buch, Product Marketing Manager at Florealis, share their act as mentors throughout the program.

In addition the University Career Connection and a representative from The University of Iceland Counselling and Career Centre also offer participants their support during the AWE programme.

Other experts within and outside of the University of Iceland will add to the expert knowledge in the course.