The European Commission promotes women's economic empowerment and women entrepreneurship. Based on the needs expressed by women entrepreneurs, the Commission has encouraged networking and exchanges of good practices, as well as initiatives that help women build confidence in their remarkable abilities.
To help women create and run successful companies, we launched the Europe-wide online platform WEgate, continuing to support women entrepreneurs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
WEgate unites all initiatives supporting women entrepreneurship into one platform dedicated to women entrepreneurs and their needs related to starting, financing, and managing their businesses. The intention is to create a hub for connecting women entrepreneurs with support organisations at local, regional, national and European level, thus facilitating their access to mentoring and business networks across Europe.
The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) has a women entrepreneurship group on Facebook that gathers 21 partner organisations in 14 countries. The group connects women entrepreneurs to the network's business and innovation support activities and provides concrete services, such as business partnering, access to foreign markets, cooperation with local networks, as well as access to EU funding.
We are working to encourage the emergence of more women business angels in the EU and increase access to alternative sources of funding, by setting up a European community of women business angels and women entrepreneurs. Four pilot projects covering 14 EU countries ran until mid 2019 and achieved their goal of raising awareness of business angels, training women who wanted to become business angels and helping women entrepreneurs to present their business ideas to potential investors. These projects also helped women business angels to join ‘mainstream’ business angels networks, thus enabling them to reach a critical mass, better share risk and have more business opportunities.
As announced in the SME Strategy, the Commission is launching a gender-smart finance initiative under the InvestEU programme, to stimulate funding for female-led companies and funds