Women as entrepreneurs in the EU: future opportunities and perspectives

 

What can women entrepreneurs find in the European Union?

What are the opportunities and skills they can invest in?

What are, above all, the perspectives for the future?

 

As a woman and professional freelancer working on EU projects, these are questions which directly involve myself and all women building their career as freelancers or entrepreneurs, or are considering starting their own new business.

 

In this article I would like to share my personal experience with you.


Search for interculturality

 

One of the most important aspects of my job is interculturality. I firmly believe that the exchange of culture is a valuable asset: over the years I have found that I can learn more from working closely with people from diverse backgrounds, applying various working methods within a team, grow a business and manage time.

 This is why I applied for the Erasmus Project for Young Entrepreneurs, which allowed me to spend six months at Cherry Pulp, a web agency based in Brussels.

My experience started in August 2018. My main task was the development of Call Up, a platform designed to promote events organized by citizens and create communities to develop social innovation projects.

My objective was to look for interculturality which I am proud to have achieved. Working hand in hand with Belgian colleagues, meeting different organizations and bodies active in social innovation, also enabling me to explore key topics for the future, such as: inclusion, climate change and Circular Economy.

 

I also took part in several meetings organized for entrepreneurs and professional freelancers, on these occasions we had the opportunity to focus on the analysis and development of our skills and how these projects can influence society.

I also had the pleasure to work with Markant, an organization which supports women entrepreneurship and hosts a start-up mentoring programme for women entrepreneurs: my Mentor, Saskia Shutt, has 20 years experience as an entrepreneur, has guided me for one year, supporting my business development.

The aim of the programme is to encourage the interaction between mentees with new business models and experienced entrepreneurs,  to enable a two way dialogue which benefits mentees and experienced entrepreneurs alike. 

The current situation of women entrepreneurs

 

 Along with improving my competences, I explored what a woman start-up entrepreneur can expect from the  European scenario. 

In this context, I discovered a greater awareness, compared to the past and a greater desire to create networks. A woman entrepreneur faces different challenges, this became apparent during the meetings I attended: for instance the leitmotifs was time management especially during maternity leave. 

Two other central themes are education and training. Serious educational gaps often result in women not being selected or encouraged to step into leadership positions, at entrepreneurial and political level. 

The good news is that the wind is changing and one of the reasons behind the change is the creation of groups where women share their experience, networking and support each other with the development of their projects. 

Women, who take on this challenge, will have a dinamic and stimulating future.

The end of a journey

 

Actually, my journey is continuing and my experience is still growing, but the results are already tangible: I learnt to focus on precise and definite aspects of my activity, understanding where I want to grow and expand and which skills I want to improve and develop. 

I resumed the work on my profile and business project with more focus, and to this end the coaching activity during the Markant project has been fundamental. 

I believe it would be extremely useful to replicate this kind of projects for the future of female entrepreneurship in Italy, helping to create a real European network.


Would you like further information about European projects for women entrepreneurs?

 

 

Feel free to contact me to arrange a meeting: I will be delighted to answer any questions you may have!  

Sara Canella

Sara Canella

EU Funding, Innovation & Marketing

I am a freelance consultant specialized in applying for and managing European funding for companies and start-ups active in the field of research and innovation.

My work includes the creation of business plans, development plans and marketing plans aiming at applying for European calls for proposals.

My objective is to provide companies active in innovation with some concrete tools to start their projects and with my know-how to convert them into real business opportunities.