The EIT Food website is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Please visit our website with another browser, like Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari, for the best possible experience.
EWA- Empowering Women in Agrifood

EWA- Empowering Women in Agrifood

Training, mentoring, business coaching and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector

The objective of this programme is 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.

Up to 50 women entrepreneurs from countries with modest to moderate innovation rates (check countries here) will participate, during 6 months, in an educational programme tailored for female-specific challenges regarding entrepreneurship. After this training 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?

Even though there are more women (52%) than men in Europe, female entrepreneurs represent only a third of the self-employed in the EU. Due to some different factors (such as reconciling business and family) entrepreneurship is currently a less attractive option for women than for men. This is worse when we move to rural areas and agrifood businesses according to the latest statistics published by the European Statiscal Office. In 2016, women accounted for 28% of the top positions in agricultural and livestock farms in the European Union, with a remarkable low rate amongst women from RIS regions.

Furthermore, the lack of representation of women in rural areas not only affects entrepreneurship, women face obstacles that prevent them from fully developing and choosing positions of responsibility in rural companies. Therefore, and specially in rural areas, female creavity 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.

With a view to keep growing in future editions, EWA 2020 will be run in Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey.

Stages

  • Education: 6 months of tailor-made free online and presential trainings and access to resources to improve your skills.
  • Mentorship/Ongoing Support: Personalised mentoring, both online and face-to-face from experts in business, agrifood and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Community building: Participation in entrepreneurship and networking events with high-level stakeholders and direct access to over 100 mentors and female entrepreneurs within the agrifood ecosystem
  • Access to finance: 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.

Programme

  • Launch of the call for women entrepreneurs: End of April
  • Selection of Women and their mentors: June
  • Start of the programme: July- Virtual Community alive!
  1. Matchmaking event : July
  2. Capacity building workshop: September
  3. Networking and pitching competition: November

Impact

  • 50 women will be upskilled on how to start their agrifood business and be successful; receiving personalised mentoring, training and becoming part of the big EIT Food community.
  • Standardised tools and materials to educate females with entrepreneurial talent in RIS regions will be developed so that the programme can scale in future years.
  • Overcome the existing gender gap in the agrifood sector with a special impact in rural areas: promoting inclusivity and diversity between business founders, and increase female founded startups.

Elegibility

Women entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector from RIS regions. 

Application

Applications open until the 15th of June. More information here.

Project Lead

Lara Rodríguez
Institution

EIT Food, CLC South

Role

RIS Project Manager

Contact details

lara.rodriguez@eitfood.eu

Related projects

MAKE-IT! An infrastructure to hack simpler and smarter food value chains 2020
Innovation

MAKE-IT! An infrastructure to hack simpler and smarter food value chains 2020

This project aims to develop these through: Using existing information and industrial challenges to inform the hackathons around specific food industry chains. Designing and delivering a series of hackathons across...

RisingFoodStars
Entrepreneurship

RisingFoodStars

The RisingFoodStars Network allows successful, impactful agrifood scaleups to scale to the next level in becoming the international gamechangers of the future.

The Regenerative Agriculture Revolution
Entrepreneurship

The Regenerative Agriculture Revolution

Reports from leading organisations, such as FAO, IPCC, and EAT Forum, state the fundamental importance of transitioning to more regenerative agriculture methods if Europe is to meet its climate change...

Related articles

Leuven is European Capital of Innovation 2020 Digitalisation

Leuven is European Capital of Innovation 2020

25 September 2020

EIT Food, A Knowledge and Innovation Community funded by the European Union, congratulates the city of Leuven, Leuven 2030 and Leuven MindGate on winning the award for European Capital of Innovation 2020.

How can we improve food system resilience for good? Consumer Behaviour

How can we improve food system resilience for good?

31 July 2020

COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of a global agrifood system that many of us have come to take for granted. Cracks that existed all along ....