The Women’s Enterprise Agency has been awarded the European Enterprise Award. The award is based on the Finnish Agency’s mentoring programme, which is designed to encourage women to become independent entrepreneurs.
The operation of the Women’s Enterprise Agency is based on the observation that women are more hesitant to start their own businesses than men. The Women’s Enterprise Agency promotes women’s entrepreneurship with a “buddy system”, with the principle “entrepreneurs help each other”, whereby a newly started entrepreneur receives support from a more experienced entrepreneur, a mentor.
The Agency has given complimentary mentoring to over 400 women all over Finland. It has organized a number of information events and training courses, as well as promoting the entrepreneurship of immigrant women. It has also implemented mentoring initiatives in Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad in Russia and in Mozambique.
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Agency was awarded in the ’Investing in Skills’- category. The jury’s best prize was given to Scarborough Renaissance Partnership –project, which concentrates on reviving entrepreneurship and culture in the north-eastern English town of Scarborough. The jury recognized the project’s impact on reducing seasonal unemployment. The four other category prizes were awarded to projects from Spain, Sweden, Germany and Hungary.
The European Enterprise Award has a purpose in giving recognition to successful operations and programmes, which support companies and entrepreneurship in general, encourage people to start up their own businesses and introduce and share information on the best entrepreneurship projects and –practices and the role of entrepreneurs in the society.
The competition was held for the third time. This year’s 350 participants represented a range of projects by public authorities and regional and local municipalities from all EU countries and Norway.