The overarching goal of EMPOWA is therefore to identify women entrepreneurs, raise their awareness of the SME Instrument and support their successful participation in the Programme. The project brings together experienced Enterprise Europe Network experts, Key Account Managers, National Contact Points for the SME Instrument-Access to Risk Finance programmes and members of the Enterprise Europe Network’s Women Entrepreneurship Sector Group in order to unlock the full potential of women entrepreneurs in the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument calls for proposals.
EMPOWA will identify and map women entrepreneurs with their own innovative companies and the potential to submit successful applications within the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument (WP1).
Success criteria: Short-listing of 150 women entrepreneurs from partners’ regions/countries to participate in focused training, mentoring and advisory services.
The SMEs identified will be approached with the purpose of awareness raising, using successful EEN channels, tools adapted to the needs of women entrepreneurs and events dedicated to women in research and innovation (list in WP2).
Success criteria: 3000 women entrepreneurs reached through awareness-raising measure
The training, advice and mentoring services will be based on the input from the identified women entrepreneurs (WP1). EMPOWA will seek to utilize knowledge and experience from EEN colleagues, SME Instrument evaluators, coaches and successful applicant of the SME Instrument. Women that qualify to apply will be supported in the proposal preparation. Women that have potential but still need to invest in their capacity building will be signposted to EEN services.
Success criteria: At least 10 women entrepreneurs will apply for the SME Instrument programme.
EMPOWA will document the lessons learned in best practices/success stories and share them with all Enterprise Europe Network partners. A “train-the-trainers” toolkit will be developed for EEN colleagues. Efficient methods for peer learning between women entrepreneurs will be identified (without excluding male entrepreneurs in the same field of activity). In collaboration with the Communication Champions of the participating regions/countries, the partners will produce short videos and stories for promoting the successful participation of women entrepreneurs in the SME Instrument. Success criteria: 10 good practices and success stories developed/published. EMPOWA will establish a simple and sound management structure and a number of tools to ensure timely project implementation on the desired scale and within the budget, monitor and mitigate risks, provide a mechanism for efficient consortium communication, conflict prevention and resolution of any disputes. Quality control measures will apply, following the principles of the Enterprise Europe Network.
Partners in the project are leading organizations from Greece, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Lithuania.