Women entrepreneurship is the largest unexploited source of economic growth and yet it is being neglected and sidelined. There is an urgent and real need to encourage women entrepreneurship both at governmental levels, with educational programmes and straightforward access to financial support and at a societal level, with the need to boost entrepreneurial culture and make entrepreneurship an attractive, sound business option for women. An increase in female entrepreneurs means an increase in economic growth.
Our action is based on five pillars which represent five areas of women’s entrepreneurship which need to be encouraged, supported and promoted:
More government involvement at both European and Member State level is necessary to ensure equal opportunities for women and men in the context of self-employment. At EU level, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform will advocate and build strategies to improve the situation of women entrepreneurs through a facilitated conciliation between work and family life, lighter administrative procedures, etc.
The race to remain competitive has a significant impact on women entrepreneurs. Innovation and adaptability are the only way women-led businesses stay afloat. Thanks to the exchange of good practices and access to constantly updated information that the Women Entrepreneurship Platform offers, women entrepreneurs can be inspired to innovate in their businesses
Access to finance
Women need equal access to finance. We consider that it is not acceptable that today women face gender-based discrimination when they apply for a loan. These unequal practices have to be fought and women need to have easier access to funding and loans, which will not only enable them to set up their own business, but also help them to succeed.
More entrepreneurship education should be available to women in two stages: for girls who are still in schools, and to women who are already self-employed. Entrepreneurship education should be proposed to schoolgirls at an early stage in order to help them discover other career options than those which are traditionally male-dominated. It would also help their empowerment and boost the self-confidence of a whole generation. Self-employed women to increase their skills about business and marketing strategies, IT, or accountability in order to boost their self-confidence adapt to the changing labour market and allow the sustainable growth of their business.
Women find strength in numbers. It is essential to increase the visibility of successful women entrepreneurs. The more you see, the more you believe in the possibilities. This is the reason why the Women Entrepreneurship Platform aims to gather national associations and organisations representing women entrepreneurs and to give them better visibility on the European scene. By creating a European Platform, we give these women the possibility to share their experience, and to teach and learn about the experience of others. They pursue a common goal and have common principles.