How COSME supports women entrepreneurs

Did you know that only 10% of tech start-ups in Europe are started by women? The European programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) is working to close the gap.

We look at two COSME flagship initiatives:

personalised support offered by the Enterprise Europe Network
WEgate, the women entrepreneurship portal

An expert group on women entrepreneurship

The Enterprise Europe Network helps small businesses innovate and grow internationally. Within the Network, a group of international experts is supporting business-minded women.  

“We support the development of new business ideas, and the reshaping of existing ones,” says Antonella Cappelletti, from Azienda Speciale I.TER, in Udine, Italy. Antonella is a member of the Enterprise Europe Network sector group for women entrepreneurship. “Digitalisation is one of the areas we focus on to close the gap of women in tech,” she explains.

Sanja Popovic Pantic, from the Mihajlo Popovic Institute in Serbia is the chairperson of the group. “We help women understand how to develop and fund their innovations. This is really important as female entrepreneurs mostly run small and micro businesses – they need support to scale,” she says.

Building a community around women entrepreneurs

For Sanja, networking and peer-to-peer learning is what helps female entrepreneurs thrive. The European Commission has recognised the importance of networking. This has led to the creation of the European Gateway for Women entrepreneurship, WEgate. WEgate is an online community for women entrepreneurs and support organisations.

WEgate aims to provide information and inspiration to female entrepreneurs. It offers extensive and in-depth information on starting, building and growing a business.

EASME supports women in business

“Supporting women entrepreneurship is a challenging task. We have come a long way but there are still opportunities for development,” says Rebeca De Sancho Mayoral, COSME Project Adviser in EASME. “It is an area with untapped potential. At EASME our priorities are to fight prejudices and build a safe space for women-owned businesses to grow.”

EU Funding: