Women only account for 34.4% of the self-employed in Europe. To raise this share, successful businesswomen will assist women entrepreneurs who established a new enterprise two to four years ago.
The mentors will give these new entrepreneurs concrete advice on how to run and grow their enterprises in this early, critical phase of the businesses as well as help them to develop the necessary soft skills and coach them.
The network will cover 17 European countries; 170 mentors will participate in it.
Entrepreneurship fits well with women's life choices in particular giving them flexibility regarding the reconciliation of private and professional life, specifically concerning the time and place of work.
Further, due to the economic crisis, many women that became unemployed could use their skills and knowledge, start-up their own company and create their own job.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Enterprises, said: “It is clear that female creativity and entrepreneurial potential are the most underexploited source of economic growth and new jobs that should be further developed in Europe. In a time of crisis we cannot afford to forgo this potential. Having more women entrepreneurs will economically empower women and contribute to growth.”