17-19 November 2020 | online
From the 17th to 19th November the second peer-learning workshop on Female Entrepreneurship took place virtually. The workshop was hosted by the EY's InnovEYtion Hub on behalf of the European Commission where participants gathered to share knowledge, experience and ideas to advance European and national strategies for the support of women's entrepreneurship in Europe and beyond. Jun. Prof. Dr. Sue Rossano and PhD(c) Iulia Stroila were invited to take part to the workshop on behalf of S2BMRC and the FH Münster University of Applied Sciences.
The interactive workshop brought together more than 30 stakeholders representing leading representatives from ministries and governmental agencies supporting SMEs as well as businesses associations, NGOs, investors, female entrepreneurs, WE ambassadors and the European Commission. The twelve participating countries were Armenia, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, England, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ukraine. While the European Commission, the OECD and other organisations acknowledge the economic benefits of women's entrepreneurship, they urgently call for immediate action since women entrepreneurs face numerous challenges and given the current situation they are regarded as an underutilised source of economic growth and job creation. According to a latest report from European Commission and OECD (2019) the following key points need to be addressed to advance initiatives on female entrepreneurship:
- More women should be self-employed and entrepreneurs
- Female entrepreneurs face numerous challenges
- Women's careers and representation in innovation should be promoted
- Governmental strategies, cooperation, and funding for Women Entrepreneurship are insufficient in EU countries
- Female entrepreneurs need to be strengthened in the COVID-19 context
Participants in the workshop engaged in the discussions to elaborate specific solutions for four key issues in Women Entrepreneurship: education, finance, role models and umbrella organisations. Success stories of implementing Women Entrepreneurship strategies and of empowering women were also highlighted. The following key policy proposals emerged:
- Implement compulsory entrepreneurship education at schools and universities.
- Increase awareness about female entrepreneurs and promote role models.
- Develop women's financial literacy and introduce funds for female entrepreneurs.
- Implement a pan-European organisation and networks for female entrepreneurs.
Through projects like WeRIn (Women Entrepreneurs in Regional Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystems - Erasmus+ KA), Women Entrepreneurs in STEM (Erasmus+ SP) and many others, S2BMRC significantly contributes to the EU Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan and with the proposed collaborations and activities strengthening initiatives on women entrepreneurship and empowerment in the European Union and beyond.