How can EMPOWA help women entrepreneurs to get involved?
In order to foster female participation in the SME tool, the project consortium is following a structured methodology to identify highly-innovative SMEs led by women. An online survey was performed to identify the needs of women entrepreneurs related to the potential submission of a proposal within the SME Instrument. The results will be used to develop appropriate support measures for the target group. A strategy was implemented to raise awareness of the SME Instrument among female entrepreneurs. Training, mentoring and advisory services will be provided to the selected SMEs. The services will be deployed in phases. Topics will be defined through a bottom-up approach. The training areas can cover information about the scope of the SME Instrument and successful proposal writing but can also include general topics such as Entrepreneurship and business management.
Women entrepreneurs can benefit from three-stage support services:
- Training events: The objective of this training will be to give potential SME Instrument applicants (i.e. women entrepreneurs) the knowledge needed to complete successfully the entire proposal preparation process.
- Mentoring events: Mentoring sessions will offer women entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet and obtain recommendations from people who have previously faced the same challenges they will encounter in their entrepreneurship venture and while preparing their SME Instrument proposal. Mentoring will be offered in group sessions focused on a specific challenge which the mentor has previously tackled (business model definition, international commercial expansion, scale-up, etc.).
- Advisory services: Advisory services will be given to women entrepreneurs who are drafting proposals; it will encompass proposal screening and possible improvements in order to enhance the competitiveness of the proposals. EMPOWA will build on existing knowledge and tools for the successful participation in the SME Instrument. Tools will be identified, screened and adapted to the needs of the women entrepreneurs interested in submitting a proposal within the SME Instrument Phase 1 or/and Phase 2.
EMPOWA partners will identify good practices and success stories and promote them through a joint campaign for women entrepreneurship. The sharing of experiences will ensure that the lessons learned will be shared with others. After identifying SME success factors for proposals of SME instrument women beneficiaries, the project partners will derive tools and recommendations to on the one hand assess their readiness and suitability for the SME Instrument and on the other hand to guide them in the preparation of a competitive proposal. A set of tools and support measures will help other Enterprise Europe Network partners to enable women entrepreneurs to participate more successfully in the SME Instrument.
If you are interested in receiving support through EMPOWA, please contact the project coordinator:
National Documentation Centre EKT