The role of women in the economy and the need for more support for gender equality and equity issues to be debated in Brussels

  • The Finnova Foundation headquarters in Brussels hosted the event ”Building tomorrow’s Europe with today’s women” on Tuesday 7 May.
  • The event boosted the visibility and empowered the role of women in the economy, business, science and innovation.
  • A full day of synergies through workshops, round tables, networking and exchange of experiences and ideas.

Brussels 8th May 2024. On Tuesday 7th May, the Finnova Foundation’s headquarters in Brussels hosted the event “Building tomorrow’s Europe with today’s women”. More than one hundred people attended the event, where different synergies were created through workshops, round tables, networking and exchange of experiences and ideas between entrepreneurs, companies, young people, administrations and business associations with the aim of promoting female entrepreneurship and fostering innovation.

In the European Union, more and more attention is being paid to female entrepreneurship, recognising the importance of women in the economy and implementing various initiatives and policies to support and encourage female entrepreneurship. The meeting addressed various initiatives that support women’s entrepreneurship and innovation in STEM careers.

The day began with a welcome by the CEO of the Finnova Foundation, Juanma Revuelta, who presented various projects and initiatives focused on entrepreneurship such as FU-TOURISM ”Future-Ready Business support ecosystem for Tourism SME Transition to green and digital resilience”, a project co-financed by the European Union through the SMPEU programme with a budget of 4 million euros and a duration of 3 years. FU-TOURISM aims to support tourism SMEs, startups and scaleUps in their green and digital transition across Europe. On the other hand, he also talked about ”The Second Chance” initiative focused on giving the opportunity to bona fide debtor entrepreneurs in financial difficulties to carry out a preventive restructuring in order to continue their business activity. In addition, he presented European projects focused on entrepreneurship in the women’s and textile sector by showcasing initiatives such as CircoAx and Textil4all.

During the inauguration, the CMO of the Finnova Foundation and CEO of the Founders Association, Lola Bordás, together with the European project manager of the Finnova Foundation, Carla García, presented the European project Erasmus+ 100 Women Plus and the catalogue of female entrepreneurship. Afterwards, Elisabeta Katiaj, vice-president of the Albanian Chamber of Commerce of the Diaspora and general director of Porto Romano Consolidation HUB, informed about a network of women in order to promote collaboration between women within the business environment. The event was moderated by talent acquisition and branding specialist Ermelinda Hajdari.

Another of the topics discussed during the day were the European Union’s support for employment, inclusion and equality, a vision provided during the day by Andriana Sukova, acting director general at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL), who highlighted the importance of inclusion and equality of women in employment, and the promotion of entrepreneurship among women. In addition, Stefan Moritz, Secretary General of European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME, shared the main challenges of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The day continued with a round table discussion with Gold Butter co-founder and business coach Wendy Agyin; Fulvia Nannini Business Angel and strategic advisor of Angels for Women (A4W); Lorena Billi, founder of Furt’Her, and Patricia Trejo Zamorano, head of Communication and Institutional Relations at the Permanent Delegation of the CEOE to the EU, who discussed various approaches to women’s leadership and entrepreneurship.

The Mayoress of Puçol, Paz Carceller was in charge of presenting ”TAS – Turismo Activo Sostenible” an innovative proposal that seeks to revitalise local tourism through sustainability and technology, and which has won the challenges of the European Girls4tech project promoting the role of women and young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Carceller was accompanied by the five winners from IES Puçol. After the presentation, a group of young students from IES Alba Plata de Fuente de Cantos (Extremadura), winners of the Finnova Technovation Girls – CV 2022 challenges, presented their winning project ”Helium”, focused on promoting tourism in the hollowed-out Extremadura using unused buildings.

To conclude the day’s event ”Building tomorrow’s Europe with today’s women”, the skills of the future were discussed. Policy assistant in the Digital Education unit, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission (DG EAC) Leonie Bultynck, highlighted the importance of digital skills, and insisted on the need to work on the gender gap in ICT.

The new professional profiles for the interconnected industry was another of the topics addressed. At this point, Alberto Navarro director of training and HR and Eduardo Mercado IT director of Finnova Foundation presented together with the Director of the project ‘Multilevel Hybrid Learning’ and director of the international area and cooperation of San Valero Group Nieves Zubález and the expert in technological innovation projects Luca Galeasso senior expert in technological innovation projects of the environmental technology park of Turin Envipark, the new 36-month European Erasmus+ Multilevel Hybrid Learning project aimed at addressing the changing demands of the labour market and supporting people in acquiring and developing key skills. Its main objective is to boost employability in new specialisations, skills and professional profiles associated with the rapid transformation of the labour market. This project introduces an innovative approach combining vocational education and training (VET), university education and business experience to respond to new emerging professional profiles.

This event held in the European capital promoted the visibility and empowered the role of women in the economy, business, science and innovation. A number of specific needs were addressed such as greater support for equity, boosting women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, fostering cultural understanding and, above all, embracing the diversity of women’s entrepreneurship.

About 100 Women Plus

100 Women Plus: Cooperation and understanding to promote women’s entrepreneurship and leadership, co-funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme and led by Finnova, in collaboration with the Cabildo de Fuerteventura and the Founders Association, is a project in favour of cooperation and understanding to promote women’s entrepreneurship and leadership.

100 Women Plus, which has been designed to improve the channels of collaboration and dialogue, proposes a series of learning activities, exchange of experiences and transfer of results that will contribute to establish new mechanisms for female participation, strengthen the ecosystem of women entrepreneurs in the participating countries and create networks and generate alliances between institutions.

About Girls4tech

The GIRLS4TECH project is presented as an opportunity to encourage the participation of young people in the development of their own municipalities through the identification of the challenges they face and the search for solutions based on innovation and technology. With a total budget of 29.914 EUR, which includes the cost of the project, event grants and mobility activities, Girls4Tech brings together a total of 60 young people between 13 and 18 years old divided into groups from the municipalities of Benaguasil, Puçol and Albal, with the predominant participation of girls who will be at least 60% of the participating youth, with the support of the Youth Councils of the participating municipalities and Finnova experts, through a full and active participation as they will work together with the young people in the project.

About Technovation Girls – Finnova Challenges

Technovation Girls is an entrepreneurship and technology programme that aims to inspire girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 18 to become leaders and innovators. Led in Valencia by María José Valero, CEO of Talent Growth Management and ambassador of Technovation Girls Comunidad Valenciana, the programme aims to reduce the technological gender gap that currently exists. The aim of this competition is to create groups of girls and young women who, with the help of a mentor, develop a mobile application (app) that helps to solve a social problem that is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. In this way, in a fun and didactic way, the girls learn about programming concepts, app development, the development of a marketing plan and market research, in addition to learning about the social problems that affect their communities.

About Finnova Foundation

Finnova is a Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship at EU level. Based in Brussels, it operates through collaborations and partnerships in all EU countries. Finnova’s expertise in leading European project communication and dissemination activities is combined with a strong proven track record in start-ups and business support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and ceremonial event selection and awarding.