EXCEPTION VERSUS EXAMPLE: EMPOWERING YOUNG WOMEN IN RURAL AREAS THROUGH CONVENTIONAL AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Start: 01-07-2015 – End: 30-06-2017
Participating countries: Sweden, Spain, Turkey
Sub-programme: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action: Strategic Partnerships for youth
EVE-EWRA is a project supported by the EU commission through the programme Erasmus+. This is a 2-year initiative aiming to promote method development and networking capacity of stakeholders that work with women and youth facilitation, all in their own way but all wih the same purpose: to support these groups in their entrepreneurship ambitions.
The idea of the project emerged from our experience of work with facilitation of women’s ideas as well as the way these ideas and women are treated by and in the society. The purpose and the organisation of the project reflect in high grade our values and filosophy. For instance, the name Example versus Exception points at the attitudes that business women meet every day: successfull companies led by women are often praised as an example of women entrepreneurship while it really is rather an exception, an organisation and an entrepreneur who managed to take herself through countless, even gender specific, obstacles on the way to success.
Another dimension that is very important for us is intersectoriality, and let me explain what meaning we put into it, when used as a method. In order to analyse the problem the assumption must be made, that sectors by themselves are failing to solve the social issue, but are exclusively good at handling at least one of the aspects of it. The proffessionalism in effective handling one or more of the aspects of the social issue comes from a long and thorough working process where colleagues within the same field meet and discuss the issues, so all possible relevant dimensions are problematised. The problem as we see it is that while might being extremely effective at working with a certain perspective, colleagues of this field end up in an ”interest bubble” where they reassure and confirm each others competens and conclusions. The dynamics of the discourse disappears and innovation capacity sinks, therefore even chances to come up with a sustainable solution for the initial problem. Within this project, just as in many other of our initiatives, we try to remove the membrane of the ”bubble”, inviting the representatives from different areas and with different backgrounds, each one to enter the discussion with one’s own perspective. Without a group support by colleagues of the field but only driven by one’s one interest and viewpoints, the discussion becomes truly equal and open for new insights and innovative thoughts.
In order to deepen the discussion about what obstacled young women experience in their way of entrepreneurship, and in order to find out if there are any common patterns that may repeat in other European countries, we collaborate with AEPA Alicante, a non-profit NGO for business women, Spain, and a municipality of Nigde, central Turkey. A number of women entrepreneurs as well as scientific advisors are also connected to the project. Th eactivities within the project include study visits, intern seminars and workshops as well an international seminarium in Spain.
More information about the project you may find at the EU-commission homepage.