80 talented women entrepreneurs from countries with modest to moderate innovation rates (check countries here) will participate, during 6 months, in EWA, a Top entrepreneurial programme tailored to identify and solve the specific challenges in the agrifood business regarding entrepreneurship and gender. After this period, they will have the required knowledge, confidence and support to meet and exceed their aspirations, leading them to successfully start and develop sustainable businesses.
Why a project for women entrepreneurs?
According to a June 2020 study commissioned by the European Union, entrepreneurship is a key driver of innovation and growth across society. While Europe is making steady progress towards these principles, women remain underrepresented and underfunded, even as an increasing number of European citizens express the desire to launch their own businesses. In Europe, Only around 30% of women account top positions in agricultural and livestock farms in the European Union, with a remarkable low rate amongst women from RIS regions.
Additionally Rural women still face serious disadvantages, compared not only to rural men, but also to urban women. Despite policy efforts to reduce these differences, results of recent studies and reports show that progress remains insufficient. Is a fact, therefore, that female leadership and entrepreneurial potential are an under-exploited source of economic growth that should be further explored.
The European Commission is working with EU countries to overcome these challenges and encourage more women to start their own companies, Following the most recent report form the EU parliament.
“More business education and training focusing on making business plans, developing leadership skills and bookkeeping is needed for women in rural areas. Personalised coaching tailored to the needs of women is more important than traditional classroom teaching” EIT Food’s objective is to “future proof” the food system, which includes building an inclusive and innovative community to “foster innovation at all stages of business creation”. Part of EIT Food’s inclusivity goals include supporting female entrepreneurs through education, network building, and dedicated programme resources- that is EWA- Empowering Women in Agrifood mission.
- Launch of the call for women entrepreneurs: End of April
- Selection of Women and their mentors: End of May
- Start of the programme: June- Welcome Community open!
- Matchmaking: June
- Capacity building workshop: September
- Networking and pitching competition: November
Selected entrepreneurs will bennefit from an 6 months of tailor-made trainings on specific business and entrepreneurial topics and access to resources to improve your skills.
More than 20 hours of personalised mentoring, from experts in business, agrifood and successful entrepreneurs. EIT Food Startup Guide will be offered free of charge.
Power of community
Participation in entrepreneurship and networking events with high-level stakeholders. All applicants will have access to our community www.womeninagrifood.eu will benefit from their network and direct access to over 200 mentors and female entrepreneurs within the agrifood ecosystem.
Beneficiaries will have the chance to win up to 10,000 euros per country, discover other EIT Food programmes and access investors, business angels and corporatives to take their businesses to the next level.
- To be a women entrepreneur with passion for the agrifood sector and a business idea
- To be located in a RIS (Regional Innovation Scheme) region from these countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, *Poland, Portugal, Romania, *Spain or Turkey. Check all RIS regions here
- To have founded the company a maximum of 2 years ago
- To have received less than EUR 30,000 in public and private financing
- Commit to participate in the program and participate in its events