W-POWER aims for equal growth and increase in the contribution of women to regional economy in sparsely populated Northern and Arctic communities, as women leaving the North is one of the main challenges to beat in the region. All project partner regions suffer from similar challenges caused by peripherality, which creates a strong argument for transnational cooperation. Project makes a difference for rural businesses by providing transnational learning and capacity building possibilities, but also creating new business concepts and support mechanisms. W-POWER creates new start-ups, helps to take the next step of maturity from start-up, and supports the growing phase of existing SMEs. In addition, business advisory bodies will get new tools for gender-sensitive coaching and diversity management. Project objectives include capacity building of women entrepreneurs, improvement of gender-related business advisory services, and encouragement for self-employment in sparsely populated communities. Development work of W-POWER is based on actual needs, joint collaboration and close engagement with key stakeholders in a quadruple-helix manner. Project partnership is versatile and covers most of the NPA regions. Perspective of the project development work is far beyond the project lifetime, thus resulting longlasting outputs. As a result, greater understanding of regional and transnational barriers which impact negatively on women entrepreneurs will be reached, as well as mechanisms to overcome the barriers. Project implementation is divided to four work packages: T1: Improvement of regional business environment T2: Transnational learning T3: Gender-sensitive coaching concept T4: innovation platform for new pre-startups W-POWER supports the implementation of key EU and national policies related to empowerment of women entrepreneurship. Project also takes into account the Arctic Dimension and horizontal principles.
Expected Results (EN):
Conditions for start-ups in remote, sparsely populated areas
Expected Outputs (EN):
Project's contribution to the programme result is POSITIVE. W-POWER aims for the improvement of start-up conditions and prerequisites for women entrepreneurship and competitiveness in remote, sparsely populated areas. Project TARGET GROUPS include both potential new start-up entrepreneurs in rural communities, existing part-time or full-time entrepreneurs willing to develop their businesses, and successful entrepreneurs seeking for an access to global markets. Special emphasis is put on young women who tend to leave their rural home communities either for studies or for a job after graduation. Also, self-employment of indigenous women (Sámi) and vulnerable groups (immigrants) will be contributed as specific cases to promote. In addition, business advisory bodies will get new tools for gender-sensitive coaching and diversity management.
The GOAL of the project is to promote women entrepreneurship in the partner countries following the European and regional goals. Both at European and NPA region level, the female creativity and entrepreneurial potential are an under-exploited source of economic growth and jobs and should be further developed. Transnational learning and share of successful business models has been recognized to be a tool to reach the goal, and are central element in W- POWER implementation. As a RESULT, greater understanding of regional and transnational barriers which impact negatively on women entrepreneurs will be reached, as well as enhanced business support ecosystem for start-ups and small businesses which helps to address these barriers.
W-POWER project aims for (1) Capacity building of women entrepreneurs, (2) Improvement of gender-related business advisory services, and (3) Encouragement for self-employment in sparsely populated communities. These objectives are supported by the well-targeted structure of the work packages, activities and deliverables, careful selection of experienced partner organizations throughout the project regions, and engagement of the key beneficiaries and stakeholder groups to the project implementation already in the planning stage. Thus, project will result joint development at grassroot level in regional and transnational hubs, end-user driven co-creation of the project outputs, and thus high adaptation and impact of the project outcomes. Main OUTPUTS include (1) Regional forums for empowering women entrepreneurship, (2) Transnational learning programme for women entrepreneurs, (3) Gender-sensitive coaching concept, and (4) Innovation platform for new pre-startups.
Evaluation of the impact and quality of the project implementation and output achievement is a crucial part of the project management process. In W-POWER, the Quality Assurance process is coordinated by LP and Quality Assurance Plan compiled in the beginning of the project (D.M.1.3). Steering Group work and semi-external evaluation by transnational stakeholder group will support the quality management.