Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

WeHubs Report Summary

Project ID: 645497
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WeHubs (The European network of Women web Entrepreneurs Hubs)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

WeHubs is a 2-year project financed by EC DG Connect aiming at providing a strong support to existing and potential women web entrepreneurs and coordinating existing web entrepreneur’s ecosystems to provide dedicated services to women. This will be achieved through the constitution of the first European Network of Women Web Entrepreneurs Hubs.
WeHubs has a significant impact on, business ecosystems, women entreprenurs in the digital domain and policy orientation, by strengthening the existing web entrepreneurs ecosystems through networking and complementary services, by supporting the emergence of a dynamic European ecosystem for women web entrepreneurs contributing to the formulation of relevant policies and by promoting the implementation of Startup Europe initiative and the wider enforcement of the European digital sector.

The focus on digital and particularly on women in digital is important if Europe wish to become the world leader with high productivity and growth. It is estimated by McKinsey that for every job destroyed by the adoption of digital technologies, 2.6 new jobs have been created. Digital technologies have become a key driver for economic modernisation and prosperity. The biggest obstacle to European success in the digital economy is a lack of entrepreneurial culture which is even more present for women web entrepreneurs. They represent only 19% of digital entrepreneurs in Europe, compared to an average of 33% in the USA.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

WeHubs's aim is two folded. On one side it aims at 1) providing a strong support to Women web entrepreneurs (existing and potential) in Europe and 2) coordinating existing web entrepreneurs’ ecosystems to provide dedicated services to women. Project will foster the creation and scaling of web start-ups created or co-founded by women (impact on women), strengthen the existing web entrepreneurs ecosystems through networking and complementary services (impact on ecosystem) and support the emergence of a dynamic European ecosystem for women web entrepreneurs contributing to the formulation of relevant policies, support the implementation of Startup Europe initiative and the wider enforcement of the European digital sector (policy impact).
This aim was to be reached through the achievement of 3 main objectives:
1. To increase the participation of women in web enterprises;
2. To strengthen, encourage and guide existing web entrepreneurs’ ecosystems around Europe to support women web entrepreneurs and actively participate in WeHubs;
3. To inform women entrepreneurs about existing ecosystems and their benefits.
While the first objective was the main focus of the consortium during the first year of the project, the second and the third ones took most part of the efforts spent by partners in the second year. Thanks to the constant communication flow with Startup Europe advisors and the first inspirational review meeting, the consortium has been busy since January 2016 to narrow the focus and build a reliable network of business support organisations willing to or already providing tailored services (T2.3, T3.1, T3.2) and trained mentors (T3.4) to women web entrepreneurs, existing or potential ones. The consortium is confident that WeHubs will impact concretely the business path of many women in the web/digital sector.
While narrowing our focus, the consortium didn’t forget of course the most important players - the entrepreneurs. And if indirectly, we hope most of our activities will be of great benefit for women web entrepreneurs, two of them have been entirely dedicated to them: the launch of a call for app ideas for the web (T3.5) in order to showcase women creativity and talent in software design and web services; and the success stories promotion (T4.2) showcasing successful women entrepreneurs in the digital sector and the stories behind their success.
Results achieved so far:
• Number of women’s associations/networks that will be involved in the project: 145
• Number of organizations supporting/promoting web entrepreneurship that will be involved: 1021
• Number of women web entrepreneurs that will be involved in the project: 776
• Number of success stories promoted: 8
• Number of Women attending the WeHubs Ideas competition: 96
• Number of business ideas submitted in the ideas competition: 48
• Number of nodes connected to WeHubs network: 825
• Number of links/partnerships (in the form of common events/actions) established between different nodes through WeHubs encouragement: 36
• Number of existing nodes that provide targeted support to women: 61
• Number of nodes expressed their interest to support Women: 181
• Number of identified nodes that provide support to women: 98
• Number of links between women associations/networks and WeHubs partners to promote web start-ups by women and scale up their businesses: 41
• Number of mailing & social media campaigns to inform women associations and individual web entrepreneurs on WeHubs services and already existing good practices for supporting women: 28
• Number of advisory board meetings: 3
• Presence of WeHubs in relevant EU activities of Startup Europe: 12
The dissemination results achieved so far are:
• 637 registered users in the WeHubs online community.
• 353 registered women web entrepreneurs interested in developing synergies with peers and business support organisations.
• 113 business support organisations as members of the WeHubs local nodes in 15 partner countries, offering or interested in offering dedicated services to women web entrepreneurs.
• More than 100 participants during WeHubs Final Conference.
• 215 members on LinkedIn
• 626 followers on Twitter
• 2.971 likes on Facebook
• More requests for nodes and the request for sustain the network after the project completion

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The project aims to get more women into digital jobs and web entrepreneurship in order to benefit the digital industry and decrease the high unemployment rates and make the European economy more competitive. The information indicated on section 2.1 of the DoA is still relevant. The WeHubs project is contributing to the following impacts:
• To support the emergence of dynamic European ecosystems for women web entrepreneurs that also contribute to shaping future web entrepreneurship specific policies, in particular for the implementation of Startup Europe EU initiative.
• To provide new and innovative environments including services that will help women web entrepreneurs in their process of starting up and scaling up their start-ups.
• A European environment, fora and stakeholders, for women web entrepreneurs to reflect and share experiences, easily replicate successful example, consider failures as valuable experience and where web start-ups can be confident in getting support.
• To contribute, together with other relevant initiatives of the Commission, to a positive impact across the continuum of actors for entrepreneurship.

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