Find out the highlights from the FEM-Up study on female entrepreneurship and STEM in 6 countries.

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Between March and April 2024, 150 women over the age of 18, from 6 European countries, (Slovenia, Turkey, Italy, Malta, Greece, Spain), participated in a Female entrepreneurship and STEM study, through an online survey, as part of the FEM-Up project (Erasmus + Project).

The results of this analysis constitute the preliminary step to identify the needs of female entrepreneurs and propose adapted training contents within the framework of the FEM-Up entrepreneurship academy.
Thus, the research, led by the University of Istanbul (TR), was designed to collect first-hand information on the current situation of women in the following areas:

  • Entrepreneurial skills,
  • Problems and obstacles they face in participating in entrepreneurship,
  • Skills needs,
  • Problems with gender inequality

Women from different socioeconomic backgrounds who were either already entrepreneurs, had a business idea, or were working or looking for a job without being entrepreneurs participated in the research.

Examining the prominent findings, the needs analysis reveals that, despite recent increase in entrepreneurial support and initiatives, 55.80% of participants had never received entrepreneurship training before (1 in every 2).

Additionally, nearly 3 out of every 4 respondents have not previously received STEM education. This situation shows that the targeted statistics for both entrepreneurship education and stem education at European and national levels have not yet been reached.

Furthermore, the research revealed the following details about the women who appeared interested in and willing to start a business:

  • Lack of knowledge when it comes to turning business ideas into concrete ventures,
  • Need for upscale their hard skills in areas such as market research skills, business model development, and innovation management, especially in relation to funding access and management of financial resources.
  • Need to improve their soft skills in terms of communication or teamwork.
    Examining the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurship pathway, it appears that the lack of confidence and difficulties in Accessing financing opportunities are the major ones.
    The frequency distribution graph showing the barriers faced by women in entrepreneurship is as follows.

According to the field research, women participants also face significant challenges related to gender inequality, particularly in the workplace, education, and family. Furthermore, the field research also revealed that respondents typically expressed a limited understanding of their capacity to address gender inequality.

Considering these summary results, FEM-UP project activities will have substantial impact in addressing the relevant fields of female entrepreneurship, fostering women’ empowerment. Accordingly, the FEM-UP academy will offer special and inclusive modules to meet the entrepreneurial needs of young female entrepreneurs to upscale their skills while also strengthening their potential to combat gender barriers.

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