A call for proposals was opened by the European Commission (DG Growth) to increase the number of Women Business Angels (WBAs) in Europe, as well as to facilitate the funding of Women Entrepreneurs (WEs) by Business Angels.
One of the main sources of growth and job creation worldwide is entrepreneurship. Today, 85% of all jobs in Europe are created by SMEs.
In order to create new jobs and re-ignite the economy in Europe, it is necessary to start-up more enterprises in the EU. Nevertheless, Europe lags behind in exploiting its entrepreneurial potential since, according to the latest ‘Eurobarometer’, today only 37% of Europeans nonetheless prefer running a business or being self-employed rather than having a salaried job, compared to 56% in China and 51% in the USA.
In this context, an untapped source of entrepreneurial potential are Women Entrepreneurs because, even though women constitute 52%of the total European population, only 29% of entrepreneurs and one third of all business starters in the EU.
Due to various barriers such as education, stereotypes and lack of role models, women are still held back from launching their own companies. They also face several challenges in terms of work-life balance, access to information and lack of tailor-made training opportunities – together with more difficulties in access to finance and access to business networks.
With the intention to address these difficulties, unleash the potential of women’s business talents and encourage the creation of more women-led businesses, the Commission launched this call to support the emergence of more women business angels in the EU, and their networking with women entrepreneurs.
The applicants eligibility and objectives of the call
Applicants must be established in one of the 28 EU countries (EU Member States).
The selected consortia of Business Angels for Women Entrepreneurs, expected to cover at least 10 EU Member States, will form the European Community of Women Business Angels for Women Entrepreneurs.
Under this call, 9 specific objectives are covered, each one representing a Work Package (WP). The actions are applicable to the countries where each consortium will be active.
Creation of a WBAs consortium with partners coming from at least 4 EU Member States (MS).
- Perform a survey and analysis to identify the success factors, the challenges and obstacles that women are facing to become business angels, implement a strategy and propose concrete measures to tackle these obstacles and increase the number of WBA in the regions of the consortium.
- Networking and providing information about the WBAs members of the consortium and propose ways to facilitate transnational community cooperation via the European e-platform for women entrepreneurship (WEgate).
- Providing a detailed recruitment plan of WBAs, including a new member sponsor recognition programme.
- Development and delivery of training and mentoring programs for the recruited WBAs.
- Organisation of training for pitching and relevant business strategies for women entrepreneurs.
- Organisation of pitching events.
- Communications strategy.
Exit strategy – Development of Community sustainability and continuous cooperation plan.
Budget, project duration and deadline
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at €2.200.000.
The maximum duration of projects is 24 months.
Maximum EU financing rate of eligible costs: the contribution will be up to 70% of the total cost of the action.
The deadline for electronic submission is 28 July 2016 at 17.00 (Brussels time).
All information can be found on the European Commission’s website.