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SmARt villages as new place for femAle entrepreneurship

Project description

Promoting gender-oriented start-up programmes

Although women’s employment is increasing, there are still fewer women embarking as start-up entrepreneurs. What’s more, programmes implemented by innovation agencies to assist start-ups are not gender oriented. The EU-funded SARA project will support female SME innovation programmes by developing a new model that encourages innovation agencies to engage in gender-oriented activities. The project will develop a model for smart villages and involve them in promoting innovative businesses, as the call ‘for a better innovation to SMEs’ Work Programme 2018-2020 suggests. SARA, which relies on the peer learning methodology of the INNOSUP-05-2018-2020 (Twinning), will produce a Design Options Paper to support local initiatives.


"SARA project aims at improving the support provided to female SME innovation processes by testing and developing a new model in the innovation ecosystem.
In Europe, there are 23 million SMEs with an average loss of 3.1% in turnover due to low liquidity and a lack of innovative products. Women make up 52 % of the total European population but only 34.4 % of the European Union (EU) self-employed and 30 % of start-up entrepreneurs.
Innovation Agencies strive at keeping the pace of SME innovation support demand, but their programs are not gender-oriented.
Starting from the main idea “It takes a village to raise a child” (African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children to grow in a safe and healthy environment), SARA will develop a new model to support Innovation Agencies in better gender-oriented activities. SARA responds to Europe's indications to develop and test a model for smart villages (accessibility, sustainability, new entrepreneurship), and it supports the co-design of new tools for female entrepreneurship by involving smart villages as an unusual place to create innovative enterprises for a better work-balance.
Through this, promoting new forms of innovation and entrepreneurship proactively as suggested by the call “for a better innovation to SMEs”, Work Program 2018-2020.
The project will use the peer learning methodology promoted by the INNOSUP-05-2018-2020 (Twinning) involving several regional innovation agencies with complementary skills. The partners will exchange knowledge and experience and develop appropriate local case studies (achieving a ""learning by doing"" process). The joint work of the project partners together with peer learning will produce a Design Options Paper for the implementation of local initiatives to develop a "" Smart Villages an unusual place for women entrepreneurship "" and related innovation support services and will promote an improvement in the role of Innovation Agency more gender-oriented."

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Via italia 135 contrada cutura
87036 Rende

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Sud Calabria Cosenza
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (3)