Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Final Report - FEMSTART (Fostering the public debate on university support of female scientists to start a business)

Project ID: 36538
Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY


Entrepreneurship now enters European universities through curricula and start-up support systems. Women represent around 50 % of students at universities but are very much un-represented in terms of scientific or entrepreneurial careers. Which specific problems prevent women in science choosing this career? Why are entrepreneurship support structures in universities unable to encourage women to think about an entrepreneurial career?

FEMSTART aimed to foster public debate on this issue based on the experience of the EU Network ProWomEn, which investigated the promotion of women entrepreneurship in general but could not consider the issue of women scientists starting a business in detail. Public debate on women entrepreneurship is very controversial as common opinion is that there is no need for special support structures for women. But statistics on the number of women starting a company or receiving start-up support show a vast underrepresentation of women compared to their part in the working world and similarly for women in science and female scientists starting a company.

The final report is proud of it achievements and notes that since the project started, FEMSTART partners have been invited as speakers to conferences or workshops in order to give their feedback about experience and results of the FEMSTART project for example at the annual scientific conference in Faculty of Agriculture of Lasi, Romania in October 2008, at the conference of the German National Agency for Start-ups and Women Entrepreneurs in February 2009 in Berlin, Germany or during the meeting of the European Centre for Women and Technology in February 2009.

Similarly, the good practice support programmes have also been invited to attend other conferences since their participation in one or more FEMSTART conferences. Even after the project has finished partners continue to transport the results of FEMSTART to other congresses, working groups and projects, etc.

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