EUROPA: Research Information Centre

Close window  
Last Update: 2018-08-13   Source: Research Headlines
  View this page online at:

The making of more women entrepreneurs

An EU-funded project has developed an education and training programme to help more women in Europe successfully start their own businesses. This could support EU efforts to encourage female entrepreneurship, creating jobs and economic growth.


© ikostudio #133788621, 2018. Source:

Women make up over half of Europe’s population, yet only 34.4 % are registered as self-employed and just 30 % regarded as start-up entrepreneurs. The reasons for this disparity are socio-cultural, economic – but also educational.

Female creativity and entrepreneurial potential are an under-exploited source of economic growth and jobs that should be further developed, according to the European Commission, which highlights difficulties accessing finance, information, networks and training as some of the hurdles encountered by women entrepreneurs.

Training and education play an important role in fostering women entrepreneurship and need to be tailored to the particular challenges women face and the different ways they approach business, their ambitions, sector choices, etc.

The EU-funded WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS research and staff exchange project has carried out studies to better understand these differences and developed a tailored programme to boost the number of successful female entrepreneurs across Europe.

Online and face-to-face sessions

The education and training programme, which kicked off in February 2018, is based on a survey of more than 300 women entrepreneurs from Germany and Ireland.

The research, led by Käthe Schneider, professor of adult education at Germany’s Friedrich Schiller University Jena, focused on a set of fundamental competencies. These include functional and managerial skills, attitudes on competition, risk taking and innovation, and generally how women identify themselves – be it as innovators, leaders, founders, etc.

The resulting programme encompasses online and face-to-face sessions in Germany and Ireland and combines elements of competence- and capacity-building with activities to educate potential early-stage entrepreneurs and ultimately improve their overall entrepreneurial performance.

“We believe we can significantly contribute to the EU Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, with the proposed collaborations and activities strengthening the sharing of knowledge in Europe,” notes the WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS team.

The project received funding through the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions programme.


Project details

  • Project acronym: WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
  • Participants: Germany (Coordinator), Ireland, Cyprus, Austria
  • Project N°: 645441
  • Total costs: € 679 500
  • EU contribution: € 679 500
  • Duration: March 2015 to February 2019

Read Also
Project website:
Project details: