Though there are more women than men in Europe, only 16% of European start-ups are founded or co-founded by women, and a mere 6% have all-female founding teams. As a result, female creativity and entrepreneurial potential are a majorly underexploited source of economic growth and jobs.
With the EU Prize for Women Innovators, the EU celebrates the women behind game-changing innovations, and the female entrepreneurs leading innovative companies. In doing so, the EU seeks to raise awareness of the need for more female entrepreneurs, and create strong role models for women and girls everywhere.
The EU Prize for Women Innovators is awarded to the most talented women entrepreneurs from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020, who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to the market. The prize is launched and managed by the European Innovation Council Executive Agency, and the winners are chosen by an independent expert jury.
In the main category, three prizes of EUR 100 000 each are awarded to the women who, in the opinion of the jury, have excelled in all award criteria and stood out amongst the other applicants.
In the second category, one prize of EUR 50 000 is awarded to a promising ‘Rising Innovator’ aged 30 or younger. Applicants eligible for both prize categories can only apply to one.
The prizes will boost public awareness of the potential, importance and contribution of women to the innovation ecosystem and create strong role models inspiring other women to become innovators themselves.