“Entrepreneurship is a key driver of innovation and growth across society” (2020 study commissioned by the European Union). Europe is steadily moving in this direction, however women remain underrepresented and underfunded in this process. EIT Food aims to “future proof” the food system, which includes building an inclusive and innovative community. Part of this is about supporting female entrepreneurs through education and network building. EIT Food actually had a specific programme dedicated to women entrepreneurs: EIT Food EWA - Empowering Women in Agrifood.
Aleksandra Niżyńska, Diversity and Inclusion Officer at EIT Food explains: “Empowerment is about making women stronger, more confident and ready to achieve the most of their potential. In EIT Food we help female leaders to grow, not only to become the best version of themselves, but also to make our food system even better than we can imagine!”.
The EWA programme was set up to provide training, mentoring, business coaching and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector. In this year’s edition, 130 female entrepreneurs from across Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Turkey started their journey into entrepreneurship with the EIT Food EWA Programme. These participants benefit from access connections from industry, tailored online training programmes, mentoring and dedicated online platform to boost their entrepreneurial potential. They also have the chance to win up to 10,000 euros per country. The support is available in their own language.
“The EWA programme has been a real catalyst for our agriculture business. The programme helped us to organise ourselves, to put our thoughts in order, to take time to evaluate ourselves. But most importantly, it motivated us to get results. And we pushed hard to get them during the programme. And the biggest gain was the mentoring and networking experience. Priceless!” - Cosmina Dinu (Co-Founder at ROMO) - EWA 2020 winner, Romania
The participants of the programme apply through an open call each year, each applicant presenting their innovation entrepreneurial ideas. The projects that will be developed through the programme cover all elements of the food value chain, from precision farming to healthy and sustainable products provided to consumers.
“The EWA programme changed the way I looked at my entrepreneurship. At first I just wanted to have a small Spirulina farm that would allow me to work as a biologist. Now I have realised that I can do my bit to create a sustainable future and make this extraordinary food available to everyone” - Inés Carballo Tomé (CEO and Founder of Aitana Espirulina) - EWA 2021 winner, Spain
There will be future calls for EWAs, so follow them
- Publication date
- 12 October 2022
- Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
- Innovation, knowledge exchange & EIP-AGRI