Winter/Spring Schools


Two international intensive study programmes (winter/spring schools) will be held within ifempower project for selected students who accomplished the courses in the university partners.  

The students will receive: 

  • in-depth training for the launching of their own entrepreneurship;  
  • additional skills on how to sell their idea and attract investors; 
  • ECTS for attending the training program.  

The schools will be in English.

When will the Winter/Spring Schools take place?

Online Winter School – 31/01/2021 – 06/02/2021
Online Spring School – 07/04/2021 – 13/04/2021

What is the content of the courses of the Winter/ Spring University?

The Winter and Spring School will be built up from thematic days, each will consist of a specific topic, a keynote session, a self-awareness-based group discussion, group work and networking events.


Focus on the self instead of the business project/idea. Elaborating roles, skills available and lacking resources.

Contextualisation of the person and the project. Focus will be on social capital, social networks, on family, culture and society the individuals live in. Special attention will be given to the challenges of the corona-crisis, the climate change – sustainability, non-growth, local instead of global.

Look out of the box: Innovation in business projects.

Communication of growth and failure will be under the radar, Narrative formulation to various audiences, digital technologies and communications channels will be discussed.

Formulation of the self-narrative will be the focus of the day, special attention will be paid to online (self-) branding and pitching.

Networking skills and best practices will be discussed.

Sustainability – Gender specific self-awareness: how not to burn out and learn to delegate, wrap-up, lessons learnt.

Which are the teaching methods applied in these courses?

The Winter and Spring Schools will rely on the toolkit of Design Thinking, a user-centric approach used for practical and creative problem-solving. Instead of the teaching material or the problem it focuses on humans, seeking to understand people’s needs and come up with effective solutions to meet those needs.

With selected design thinking techniques, such as writing love or a break-up letter to one’s business plans, students create transference and discover self in the project idea development process. Besides, the preparation of a personal navigation plan, translation of their progress and results to various audiences and contexts, presentation of „out-of-the-box” narratives in the classroom sets the scene for in-depth conversations about business foundations, cultural and social embeddedness, necessary skills and standards of doing business in the changing world of today and tomorrow.

What is the value added of the Winter/ Spring University courses compared to the two ifempower courses?

Through workshops with stakeholders and intensive knowledge sharing, 12 female students in each semester will get an insight into the entrepreneurial mindset and have the chance to build a strong international network with young women with similar interests and stakeholders with long experience in the field of entrepreneurship.

The international intensive study programs will complement the academic training held during the academic year at the home universities. They will focus on (1) practical skills on how to launch an enterprise, how to sell an idea, and attract investors, (2) will focus on gender-specific self-awareness.

In addition, during the devoted special networking sessions the young women will be able to arrange meetings with media representatives and experts from various countries and ask for professional counselling relating to their inquiries on launching and managing enterprises, with a special view on potential problems deriving from the professional and family life of women entrepreneurs.

Although Winter and Spring Schools on business and entrepreneurship can be found in the countries of the European Union, the ifempower Winter/Spring University will be unique for various reasons:

  • Firstly, because its content will be evidence-based (stemming from the research results on lived experiences of entrepreneurial women and their supporting organisations in seven European countries).
  • Secondly, because the Winter and Spring School will complement the courses offered at the participating higher educational institutions.
  • Thirdly, the thematic days of the Spring and Winter Schools will rely on three pillars: entrepreneurship, gender studies and self-awareness, and will incorporate digitalisation strategies.
  • Fourthly, students interested in entrepreneurship will not only learn theory and develop skills during the seven days of the intensive programme, but due to the parallel running multiplier event of the ifempower project, they will be able to present themselves and their entrepreneurial project ideas to representatives of the media, business partners and mompreneurs.

What else?

The Winter and Spring University provides a unique opportunity of meeting with students from different countries and specialising in various fields. Speakers of the intensive weeks will also have diverse backgrounds (list of speakers will be published), which will provide the basis for fruitful discussions, skills development and development of a broad network.

Do you have any question left? Please get in touch with the local ifempower coordinator:


Mariia Lenherr

Winter School Contributor

Mariia Lenherr received Master Degree in International Economics and Psychology in Ukraine and Master Degree in Psychotherapy as a Science in Vienna, Austria. She is a licensed psychoanalyst. Currently she works on her
PhD dissertation on transgenerationality and conducts a Study Reflection Group at Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. She is the author of a number of psychoanalytical articles.

She works as a psychoanalyst in a private praxis in Vienna and Bad Vöslau, Austria. Her fields of professional interests include dreams analysis, politics and group dynamics.

Francine Beleyi

Digital & Change Strategist

Francine Beleyi is an award-winning digital & change strategist specialised in Personal & Executive Branding. She is on a mission to help purpose-driven entrepreneurs to position themselves as the authority in their field, easily attract their ideal clients and impact thousands globally.Francine is the author of the book ‘Personal Branding in a Digital Age: How to become a known expert, thrive and make a difference in a connected age.’ She is the founder of nucleus of change and has trained, consulted and mentored hundreds of organisations, individuals and senior government officials across the world at critical moments in their lives. Francine is a sought-after international speaker and host of the Meaningful Work, Meaningful Life Podcast.

For more information, visit

Jürgen Raizner

Director, Steinbeis Transfer Center EAST-WEST Joint-Ventures

Juergen Raizner, German, has established his first company in age of 27 – a basis for his current group of enterprises. He has proven experiences in business development and in managing major consulting projects. Coaching young people in any aspect of starting a business is a priority concern of Juergen Raizner. For almost 20 years he is lecturer at University Nuertingen and was awarded with its Medal of Honor in 2013.

Jury Members

Eszter Szabó – Founder and first President of Women/Business/Angels (2017). With more than 15 years’ experience of Corporate Communications, PA & GR at regional executive level in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with GE (1996-2015) and with the government. An Honorary Professor at Budapest Business School, the leading business school of Hungary. Since 2016 a member of Krynica Economic Forum’s Program Council (Poland) and co-chair of the Hungarian Female Leadership Roundtable.

María Nieto Fajardo – As a manager and entrepreneur, she has participated in the start-up, restructuring, professionalization and development of companies in sectors as diverse as FMCG, international distribution, real estate, healthcare and renewable energies. She has experience as a consultant in conceptual and economic feasibility analysis, design of the organizational structure and business processes, identification of strategic partners, designs of implementation actions, creation of international commercial networks and in-company trainings.

Katalin Czirjék – Community builder, event organizer, entrepreneur, (public speaker/communication expert) Founder Transylvanian Women Entrepreneurs, Vice-President Transylvanian Art and Trade