On 19 and 20 September EIT Food held the ‘EWA Masterclasses’ both onsite in the EIT Food South Headquarter in Bilbao and virtually. During these two-day event, women entrepreneurs had the opportunity to participate in round tables, conferences and group dynamics, where they listened to success stories and delve into the tools for leadership and entrepreneurship.
This meeting was part of the EWA (Empowering Women in Agrifood) programme which aims to motivate early stage female entrepreneurs to harness their power, understand their innate ability to succeed and overcome any obstacles, equip them with the appropriate knowledge, confidence and networks to successfully start and develop sustainable businesses.
The first day of the event could be followed both onsite and online and was attended by Begoña Pérez Villareal, EIT Food South Director. Sasha Correa, strategic communication expert and project management at the Basque Culinary Center, opened the conference talking about ‘Conceptualizing ideas and creativity’, “conceptualizing means transforming crazy ideas into real ones; into viable and meaningful ideas" explained Correa.
She was followed by the round table discussion ‘Joining forces, generating social impact’ where Leire Zaballa Larizgoitia, Entrepreneurship and Territory Management at Hazi, Amaia Aguirre, Head of Innovation & Corporate Quality at Ausolan, Miren Gabantxo, Director at Boteretu and Sasha Correa exchanged ideas. The day ended with Alicia Ro’s presentation, communication expert specialised in personal branding, who gave the participants tips such as: “use persuasive verbal language and pay attention to your body language”.
The following day focused on entrepreneurship, leadership and women empowerment. The session began with a talk by Luca Venza, Director of Innovation, Technology Transfer and Acceleration at IESE Business School, on 'Business Mind and Lean Entrepreneurship'. The entrepreneur Beatriz Magro explained how she set up her project 'Konbucha Komvida', a factory producing this green tea-based drink in her home town, Frenegal de la Sierra (Extremadura). In addition, Sol Aguirre, author of the blog 'Las Claves de Sol' shared her point of view on the keys to female empowerment and leadership. Lara Rodríguez, EWA Project Leader, conducted a group dynamic around the question: What are we taking home? which led to the final reflections.
The encounter provided the ideal space to reinforce their entrepreneurial leadership, improve their skills and network with female entrepreneurs within the agrifood ecosystem. This programme counts upon the collaboration of the Basque Government.