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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors

female entrepreneurship ambassadors - © European Commission

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors was inaugurated on 5 October 2009 during the Swedish Presidency with a conference at Stockholm.

Around 150 Ambassadors of female entrepreneurship from 10 European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden) that were selected via the relevant Commission’s call met to network and attend an induction and ceremony event. During the event's Gala dinner the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and Vladimir ┼ápidla, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities,handed to the ambassadors their diplomas.

 Ambassadors receiving their diplomas with HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Ms. Maud Olofsson, Minister of Enterprise, Energy and Communications and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, and Mr. Vladimir ┼ápidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

The second phase of the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors was launched at a conference held in Brussels on 8 December 2010. The conference wasco-organised by the Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the European Council.  During theconference another 100 Ambassadors of female entrepreneurship from 12 new countries (Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and United Kingdom) were welcomed to the Network.

The Conference consisted of a workshop on reconciliation of private and professional life for women entrepreneurs and a networking and induction session for the ambassadors.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki and Belgian Federal Minister for SMEs, Self-Employed, Agriculture and Scienctific Research Sabine Laruelle handed out diplomas to selected ambassadors from the 12 new countries that had joined the Ambassadors’ Network.

Ambassadors receiving their diplomas with Ms. Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Ms. Sabine Laruelle, Belgian Federal Minister for SMEs, Self-Employed, Agriculture and Scienctific Research. 

In their speeches, Commissioner Damanaki and Minister Laruelle stressed the importance of giving a boost to female entrepreneurship to support female economic empowerment as well as the fact that Europe needs the creativity and innovation from female entrepreneurs as an engine to European growth, job creation and welfare. The gala dinner was attended by 450 ambassadors and selected stakeholders, among them European and national policy makers and business organisations.

The day after the launching conference, December 9, a short workshop took place at the European Commission where the ambassadors got an overview of the European SME and entrepreneurship support policies and projects by DG ENTR's Director for the SMEs and Entrepreneurship, Joanna Drake.  During the discussion that followed Ms Drake's introduction, the ambassadors expressed their strong determination to strongly work on the European dimension of the network and their willingness to create opportunities for developing business partnerships under the Network's framework.

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