Female Entrepreneurs: Mentoring and Lifelong Learning across Europe
VITECO participates as partner in the Fe:male Lifelong Learning Programme project, which supports potential women entrepreneurs across Europe, particularly those facing extra challenges such as being from a BAME (black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) background, over 50 alone parents or long‐term unemployed.
Women entrepreneurs are under-represented across all of the European countries represented in Fe:male. Research indicates common barriers at the core of this under-representation including lack of confidence, work-life balance concerns and anxiety about risk-taking. Barriers are amplified for women facing ‘double-disadvantage’ (DD) i.e. being a woman over 50, BME-Black & Minority Ethnic, Migrants or lone parents. This leads to a European labour market where women are excluded from a major source of economic activity: entrepreneurship.
The Fe:male network helps women to increase self‐confidence and life skills in order to develop their business ideas and become successful women entrepreneurs. Fe:male is run by a consortium of organizations across five European countries that work together to support and develop female entrepreneurship across Europe.
The target group of female adult learners (focusing on those facing double-disadvantage) will increase in confidence, self-efficacy and entrepreneurial inclination. Trainers are trained to deliver a wider repertoire of innovative training methodologies; training others in their countries (cascade method) and sharing knowledge across Europe.
Project impact is on VET and guidance practices within a European framework aimed at women entrepreneurs, providing innovative training materials and methodologies to foster women’s self-efficacy and motivation for learning about entrepreneurship to enter/re-enter and reduce risk of exclusion from the labour market. These innovative methodologies could transfer to other target groups for essential soft skills, including men, asylum seekers, career changers and young people.
VITECO is technological expert in the Fe:male project, leading the development of the ” E-Module Women Entrepreneurs Learning Online” work package, starting from the development of the elearning exercises and online courses, the development of the website and of the online Social Network/Learning Zone, providing an online space for women to create a network with women entrepreneurs from the partner countries.