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Frontpage News 2015 Fostering female entrepreneurship in Spain

Photo credit: National Focal Point of Spain (Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations, General Directorate of European Funds)

Fostering female entrepreneurship in Spain

  • Lola has designed a device for clothes identification, Ana, an interactive tourism app, and Blanca, a new housing concept for international students. These are just three of the 22 successful projects that received support from the 'Women Entrepreneurship Project'.

    Twenty-seven female entrepreneurs with 22 projects took part in the scheme in Valencia, run by the Incyde Foundation. The aim was to support female enterpreneurs in sectors where women are traditionally under-represented, through business training and mentoring.

    Over the course of eight weeks, they received face-to-face and online training from everything related to developing business plans, as well as personalised tutoring - the real added value of this programme according to the participants.

    “As part of the personalised tutoring we evaluate their projects, sometimes transforming their ideas to improve their chances of success or sometimes just shaping them,” explains the Valencia course director, Bernardo Hernández. "And when the programme finishes, participants will continue to receive up to two years of guidance support."

    Extra push

    The programme in Valencia finished in December 2014. To date, five of the participants have created their own companies. Take for example Ana Martínez. Ana has developed an interactive tourism app which turns a visit to Florence (Italy) into a real adventure:

    “The EEA Grants project has allowed me to translate my idea into a business,” explains Ana.

    Or Lola Ibáñez, a finalist at an Entrepreneurship Contest organised by Emprende Madrid and the Spanish magazine Yo Dona with her design–patented device for clothes identification:

    “More initiatives of this kind are necessary because there are plenty of women with great ideas who needs an extra push,” points out Lola.

    Or Blanca Dómine, who is developing a new housing concept for international students: 

    “Taking part in this programme has helped me not only to develop a business plan but also taught me to not back away from challenges,” says Blanca.

    “The assessment of the project by the participants is very positive, learning achievements are high and the objectives are actually being achieved so we can say the EEA Grants are public funds well spent,” adds Bernardo Hernández.

    Valencia is not the only city where this entrepreneurial training has been carried out by Incyde Foundation. Twenty Spanish cities have been covered by the the project, with over 500 women benefiting from the entrepreneurial skills training and guidance.


    Women Entrepreneurship in Emerging Sectors Project is one of the pre-defined projects within the Gender Equality and Work-Life Balance Programme. Over 70 projects have received funding under this programme which aims to foster gender equality in the labour market, improving gender balance on boards, fight against gender-based violence and promote the socio-labour integration of vulnerable women.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Entrepeneur women in selected economical sectors

    Project number:


    Priority sector:

    Human and Social Development


    € 680000



    Project promoter:

    Institute of Creation and Development of Business (INCYDE)

    Type of Institution:


    Project duration:

    30 months

    Project cost:

    € 941,176

    Grant from:

    EEA Grants

    Due to the high female unemployment rate, increasing female entrepreneurship is one of the priorities of the PO. The Project will promote female entrepreneurship through a study on women in high value sectors followed by workshops and training to encourage entrepreneurial activity. It is intended to improve conditions for female entrepreneurs through structural changes, as well as organizational and individual networking and capacity building. The objectives of the project are to increase female entrepreneurship in emerging sectors, to promote funding of companies in these sectors lead by women, to develop training and support programs specifically designed to help the achieving of the above objectives and to facilitate the access of entrepreneur women in these sectors to the funding resources for the creation and development of their businesses. 20 training programs all around Spain are expected with, at least, 500 beneficiaries. One coaching program for female directors, with 25 women, is also expected as a pilot project. For a broader dissemination, specific communication materials and a website will be designed and developed.