Over the last decade, the role of women entrepreneurs has significantly gain in importance and it has become a frequently discussed topic in the professional circles. The entrepreneurship as the career option for women is becoming more and more natural which results not only in the economic development, but also brings a number of other social benefits. The EU recognizes it as well and sees the women entrepreneurs still as a source of untapped entrepreneurial potential that has to be more efficiently supported.
One of the initiatives to promote the establishment and development of new female businesses is to support the creation of a platform for the exchange of views and experiences of novice entrepreneurs with the experienced ones. These can provide not only an advice, but may even become their angel investors (female angel investors). A business angel is an individual investor that invests directly (or through his/her personal holding) his/her own money predominantly in seed or start-up companies with no family relationships.
Enhancing the cross-sector emergence of new women business angels across Europe
The project “CrossEUWBA” (or “Enhancing the cross-sector emergence of new women business angels across Europe”) is a two-year-project co-funded by the European Union.
The project pursues the overall objective of facilitating the funding of women entrepreneurs (WE) through women business angels (WBAs) and contributing to the creation of a sustainable base of private investment in Europe.
In order to achieve this, the project pursues the following specific objectives:
- better understand the success factors, obstacles and challenges that women are facing to become WBAs to increase the number of WBAs in Europe, particularly in countries with low participation
- increase the diversity of WBAs and the number of sectors that benefit from WBA investment
- increase the number of ready-for investment women entrepreneurs’ projects
- effectively match WBAs and WE, also through cross-border investments network, build a community and contribute to promoting a favourable and sustainable environment for the emergence of WBA networks/association/clubs
The CrossEUWBA project is structured around three activity blocks:
- “Information, awareness raising and communication activities”, that will bring about a change in mindsets and even out the current lack of awareness on existing and new WBA networks, their funding opportunities and role models.
- “Training and mentoring activities” that shall prepare novice WBA through peer-learning and practical training as well as help WE to train pitching skills and relevant business strategies.
- “Community-building, matchmaking and networking activities” under which novice WBAs will be recruited, WE and WBAs will be effectively matched (facilitating also cross-border matching), and peer-learning among WBA networks/ clubs/associations shall be enhanced for sustainable community building.
The CrossEUWBA project brings together the expertise of six entities from 5 European countries with the expertise in the women entrepreneurs:
- Active WBA club: Informal WBA club run by Fundacja Przedsiębiorczości Kobiet (FPK) - Poland;
- Chambers of Commerce and Industry:
- Italienische Handelskammer für Deutschland (ITKAM) - Germany (lead partner)
- Heraklion Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) - Greece
- Business support organizations: Slovak Business Agency (SBA) - Slovakia; Innogate to Europe (INNO) - Spain; Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) – Poland