As part of the Spain as an Entrepreneurial Nation Strategy

Industry launches the first edition of the Female Entrepreneurship Attraction Programme 'The Break'

News - 2022.9.27

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The objectives of this programme are to contribute to reducing the gender gap in entrepreneurship, to learn about and improve the projects of the women entrepreneurs taking part, and the creation of a European network of women entrepreneurs, the breaker community, to create business and opportunities.

After sharing experiences in their innovation projects, the entrepreneurs will develop them in twelve local communities where an entrepreneurial ecosystem will be generated, in addition to synergies and alliances that will allow them to promote business models towards a regenerative economy.

The welcome ceremony was attended by the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs, Raül Blanco; the Director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Spain as an Entrepreneurial Nation, Carolina Rodríguez; the Director General of the School of Industrial Organisation (EOI), Nieves Olivera; the CEO of Impact Hub Madrid, Antonio González; Eva Curto, head of the project at EOI; and representatives of the twelve entrepreneurial communities that will host the entrepreneurs during their stay in Spain until 23 October, where they will acquire skills and contacts to enrich their projects.

Raül Blanco highlighted the role and the work that women entrepreneurs will take on in our country. For Blanco, the programme will mean that "over the next few weeks, all of you can accelerate your projects, look for feasible solutions to real challenges and involve all the agents of the community in which you are staying, so that you will never forget your stay in Spain".

The Break aims to create one of the most active communities of women entrepreneurs in Europe, with the goal of continuing long after the programme and the NextGenerationEU Funds have ended. "The aim is to create an ecosystem of mutual assistance, where collaborations flourish to promote a more distributed economy", explained Eva Curto, head of the project at EOI.

For her part, Nieves Olivera encouraged European women entrepreneurs to become the leaders that European society needs. This step forward "will contribute to the creation of more inclusive professional and personal networks, and to weaving communities that are fully aware of their environmental and social impacts," she said.

Likewise, Antonio González, CEO of Impact Hub Madrid, highlighted that The Break programme "is unique, not only for its dimensions but especially for the creation of bonds and shared knowledge between people who are committed to achieving transformative results. Entrepreneurship has the potential to create the new models of impact economy that we need for a better future," she added.

The Director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Spain as an Entrepreneurial Nation, Carolina Rodríguez, explained that "among the priority measures that we presented in the Spain as part of the Entrepreneurial Nation Strategy in February 2021, is the implementation of an international programme to attract women's talent. With The Break, this measure becomes a reality, and it does so by intentionally focusing on female entrepreneurship and territory to address two of the gaps that persist in the innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Spain: the gender gap and the territorial gap".

Programme for European women entrepreneurs

The programme, funded by NextGenerationEU funds, is part of the government's Recovery and Resilience Plan and has a budget of 10 million euros until December 2023. The Break aims to benefit 833 women entrepreneurs so that they can learn first-hand about the Spanish business ecosystem and establish business relationships with Spanish entities and invest in our country, while contributing to the resolution of sectoral challenges in favour of Spanish local development. The programme also aims to encourage the return of Spanish female talent.

In this first edition, 22 European countries are represented at The Break. Germany is the country where the programme has had the greatest impact, with 24% of participants residing there, followed by Italy (11%), the Netherlands (9%) and France (7%).

The community of women entrepreneurs is also diverse in terms of sectors of activity: social entrepreneurship (26%), digital and telecommunications (16%), energy and ecological transition (13%), health (13%), industry (12%), tourism, culture and cultural heritage (11%), finance (4%), agri-food (2%) and rural development (2%). The projects vary in maturity, with many of them in early to mid-stage and about a third are ready to scale.

The organisations that will accompany the Breakers in their process of generating synergies and alliances in Spain are: Consorcio Zona Franca (Vigo, Pontevedra); Roberto Rivas Foundation (Silleda, Pontevedra); The Social Circle (Villasevil, Cantabria); Impact Hub Donostia (Donostia, Basque Country); Biko Consulting (Kuartango, Álava); Rooral (Artieda, Zaragoza); Pandora Hub (Tivissa, Tarragona); European Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Burgos); Genion (Petrer, Alicante); Impact Hub Málaga/La Noria (Málaga); Almanatura (Arroyomolinos de León, Huelva); and Pueblos Remotos (Agaete, Gran Canaria).

Non official translation