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A pan-European network of gender-conscious investors to support female-led companies for growth and sustainability

Project description

Promoting gender equality in innovation ecosystems

European innovation performance is on the rise; however, access to investment opportunities remains unequal. Effective awareness and communication among sectors and investors are essential to bridging the gap between strong innovators in the North and West of the EU and moderate and emerging innovators in the South and East. The EU-funded INVEST-HER project aims to facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration to empower the next generation of startups, with a particular emphasis on women-led companies and gender-conscious investors. The project will identify best practices, conduct capacity-building activities, and develop guidelines to promote a more competitive EU. Project partners will establish a community-driven hub to elevate lesser-connected territories into recognised innovation hubs.


European innovation performance continues to increase, yet inequalities, particularly in access to investment, are still noteworthy. There is a need to close the performance gaps, which are still visible between Strong Innovators (North and West EU) and Moderate and Emerging Innovators (South and East EU mostly).
A major asset to successful and sustainable business growth relies upon awareness and strong communication between innovative sectors and investors on available resources, their access and interventions by public/private funders. Improving networking between innovation ecosystems is key to the success of growing businesses and driving continued economic development.
INVEST’HER’s ambition is to foster knowledge-sharing and synergies between innovation actors, existing initiatives/projects in order to support the next generation of startups, with an emphasis on women-led companies and gender-conscious investors. These interactions will notably lead to best practices’ identification, capacity-building activities and guidelines. Strengthening and broadening an interregional collaboration hub will promote a more competitive EU and a more sustainable, inclusive, diverse and resilient world.
This will be done in a community-driven, cross-functional, cross-sectoral, multiplier based way, with partners bringing together communities of experts from different deep-tech sectors from around Europe and beyond. INVEST’HER will 1) transform less connected territories into recognized and attractive innovation valleys that pool and reward investments, 2) create bridges between EU innovation ecosystems increasing access to capital and investment in less connected innovation ecosystems and allowing local start-ups benefiting from foreign investments, 3) raise the number of gender conscious investors in Europe for support to women-led companies, 4) boost women entrepreneurship, especially in Moderate and Emerging Innovators offering them access to more funding opportunities


Net EU contribution
€ 199 883,50
1000 Sofia

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Югозападна и Южна централна България Югозападен София (столица)
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
No data

Participants (9)