ifempower was presented at the ‘International Conference on the Challenges and Good Practices of V4 Countries’ held in Budapest on 24 to 25 September 2019.
This 2-day international conference targeted the sharing of good practices and discussing common challenges of SMEs in the V4 (Visegrád) countries along different aspects. The participants included: academics, researchers, experts from public authorities; as well as representatives of businesses and other organizations working on various aspects in entrepreneurship. Therefore, the event represented a special opportunity to be involved in an interactive and discursive knowledge-sharing environment, also provided the opportunity to network and to formulate messages that can be channeled into decision-making mechanism.
A specific section was dedicated to initiatives and projects supporting female entrepreneurship. Seven speakers presented their initiatives or projects in the frame of a pitch session. ifempower was introduced by Virág Zsár, on behalf of HÉTFA Research Institute, as the coordinator of the project. Most of the speakers are working to provide education, training or coaching, mentorship, networking opportunities for different groups of women. The diverse groups of women, comprise of female from various backgrounds that include: students in higher education institutions, potential ‘mompreneurs’ on maternity leave, young ladies below the age of 34, women who are generally aiming to launch enterprises, and women who already launched one. Apart from the fact that supporting female entrepreneurship can optimise the potential of the national economies by the integration of women; it is also important as entrepreneurs can provide employment for job-seekers in the labour market. There will be a huge risk in the lack of employment potential for future employees, if out of all the higher education graduates; only 4 percent aim to launch an enterprise.
Participants agreed that entrepreneurial thinking and potential role models have to be promoted as early as possible, starting in kindergartens or elementary schools. Entrepreneurs themselves have to be respected. It is also important to build a supportive environment for female entrepreneurs, to enable success in their entrepreneurial operation and growth. Lastly, it has to be highlighted that the discussion on female entrepreneurship, should not solely address female experts and entrepreneurs themselves; but it is important to establish a real dialogue with decision-makers and efficiently and involve them into real discussion on the issue.
More information and follow-up materials on the conference is available here (http://hetfa.eu/v4ne-conference/).
Presentation of ifempower is available here (https://prezi.com/view/yeWjOVglMsFB0yiWco8X).