#WER19: From seed to sapling

As the Women in Entrepreneurship team prepares for the next set of roadshow events and milestone summit, in 2020, here at the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF) we wanted to reflect on the achievements of this past year.

Starting the roadshow project, with our inaugural event in March, in Madrid, Spain, with the goal to reach, connect, and build a network of 300 entrepreneurs with 30 investors across the pan-European landscape, we could not perceive the momentous impact the project would have, and is continuing to make, to the women entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Family photo from WER19 Madrid

Family photo from WER19 Madrid, Spain.

Over the past 9 months, we have nurtured and grown the Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow (WER), from seed to sapling. To date we have aided in the progress of 240 women entrepreneurs from across the European landscape, who have each received $10.000 of AWS promotional credits valid for 2 years, $5.000 of AWS Business Support and $1.600 of AWS Training offered by Amazon, a main partner in the project.

Facilitating the introductions with at least 91 top level mentors, from inside and outside the entrepreneurs’ ecosystem. Provided a platform for discussion on barriers and solutions for women entrepreneurs from 50 insightful investors. As well as building partnerships with 130 businesses and organisations to further the projects reach and create a network of opportunity.

2019 WER19 Facts and Figures

The project has been able to shed a much needed light on some of the key issues and topics currently affecting women in entrepreneurship, primarily access to finance. As well as gender-bias; pitch delivery; the investment pipeline; improving deal flow; and market saturation in some ecosystems and areas.

“I am very proud of what the team has achieved in 2019. Ideas are great, but the execution is even more important. And if 2019 is anything to go by, with the Women in Entrepreneurship generating huge interest in EYIF, the momentum is set to continue with a promising 2020 on the horizon.” – Nicholas Zyberglajt, EYIF President.

Since the start of the roadshow, multiple participants have excelled in their ventures, projects, and ideas. Participants such as, Andrea Barber, CEO RatedPower, who attended the WER19 Madrid event, and has since received a grant of 1.5M Euros from the SME Instrument, Phase 2 (Horizon 2020). Elien Van Hecke, COO Fertiga who attended WER19 Brussels, who has since received investment from Novalis Biotech Incubation; and Paula Alexandra Quintela Videira, Co-Founder Cellmabs, who attended WER19 Liston, and has since received investment by Portugal Ventures, highlight just some of the successful case studies of the project.

Along with creating local and European connections, and a strong network of pan-European Women Entrepreneurs, the project has also strengthened the transatlantic relationship between the EU and the United States. Due to our close collaboration with the United States Mission to the EU, which is helping to provide the tools and support that will allow women entrepreneurs to grow and prosper in both ecosystems.

As 2019, draws to a close, and the EYIF, and Women in Entrepreneurship team within it, reflect back on the projects beginnings and milestones, we also look forward to the future with determination and focus to continue reshaping the entrepreneurial landscape, and helping women founders to realise their potential and achieve their goals.