The EWA Networking Online Event 2021, organised by EIT Food within the EWA programme is an unparalleled opportunity for women to make connections with a unique entrepreneurial community and discover possibilities to develop agrifood business ideas.
The event will take place on the 9th of December. Don’t hesitate to get registered today!
EWA (Empowering Women in Agrifood) is an intuitive dedicated to supporting European women who are innovating to make our food system more sustainable and healthy with new products and services. This year, the countries selected are Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey.
EIT Food is Europe’s largest food innovation initiative to create a sustainable agrifood sector that responds to the challenges of the future. The initiative is built as a consortium of key business participants in the food market, startups, research centres and universities from all over Europe. EIT Food aims to overcome various challenges in the agrifood sector, including those posed by the lack of diversity in the foodtech sector and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Entrepreneurs identifying as female are still facing considerable barriers on their career paths to create startups and innovative companies. Despite 2021 being a year that saw the European tech sector raise a record amount of funding, the amount of funding going to all-female founding teams in CEE dropped from a high of 4.1% in 2018 to just 1% in 2020. Only 20% of agrifood startups on CEE has at least one female founder and only 3.6% of all funding to agrifood startups was raised by those with at least one female founder.
This is despite the fact that research shows that female-owned digital startups are more likely to be successful than those of their male counterparts and that investment in female-founded startups performs 63% better than male-founded startups.
The EWA programme has already supported 130 female entrepreneurs in 9 European countries Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey.
Through financing and training courses, the EWA initiative aspires to offer female entrepreneurs professional mentoring and comprehensive consulting in the early stage of their careers. The goal is to empower more women to reach their potential by providing access to knowledge and experienced industry professionals so they can successfully set up and develop a sustainable agrifood business.
Apart from the structural barriers such as poor access to funding or horizontal segregation in education, which limits the number of women in STE, there are also socio-cultural barriers that hinder women from starting their own businesses.
“The whole question is about having a balance of people working on the issue… having a balanced view of the world. Over the last 60 years, solutions have been dominated by just 50% of people on the planet.” Quoted from the report ‘Female Agrifood Tech Entrepreneurs’, published by EIT Food.
Women need to be supported to ascend in the agrifood sector. Initiatives such as this networking event are paving the way to make for a more equitable outlook. On a societal level, we need to have more diversity and greater inclusion.
In addition, in the era that we find ourselves in of climate change and food insecurity, we need to harness the brain-power of women to help us navigate through these crises and discover the initiatives that will improve the future outlook for our global society.
The EWA Networking Online Event 2021 will be divided into two parts.
Firstly, there will be a networking session open exclusively to EWA programme mentees. The programme mentees will have a chance to meet each other, cooperate, gain knowledge and share business skills. Networking will be moderated by experienced facilitators working in the field of women entrepreneurship. The networking section will be central to building a vivid community of female entrepreneurs in the European agrifood market.
Next, there will be an external section that comprises a panel discussion. A collection of agrifood and business professionals will come together to comment on female entrepreneurship in the agrifood sector.
Speakers at the event include:
- Renata Kim, journalist of Newsweek Polska
- Taryn Andersen, CEO and Co-Founder at impulse4women.org
- Shima Barakat, Director of the Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Programme, University of Cambridge
- Débora Campos, Founder and CEO at AgroGrIN Tech
- Amparo de San Jose Entrepreneurship Programme Manager, EIT Food CLC South
- Marja Liisa Meurice Director, EIT Food CLC North East
- Begoña Pérez-Villarreal Director, EIT Food CLC South
- Dilian Popov Education Director at BEC (Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center)
- Monica Sorribas Vice President, Europe Marketing Corteva Agriscience
The conference programme includes such topics as “Gender-bias in agrifood investment” and “Women as sustainability leaders”. It is designed for everyone interested in agrifood innovations, diversity and women entrepreneurship.
Sign up for the event now!