A Guide for Policymakers: The Voice of Female Entrepreneurs in Rural Areas

Dear reader, 

This Policy Guide is made with a simple goal: to encourage policymakers to assist female entrepreneurs in rural areas, by introducing them to the results of the FREE project and giving them some ideas on how to encourage and support these women. The target group for FREE were women living in rural areas who were in the process of starting a business, or who had established a small business in their community and were trying to develop their knowledge and skills, build bigger networks and get access to support and funding for their business. 

This guide was prepared for policymakers who make decisions at a national and local level to promote the importance of making enterprise support available to female entrepreneurs in rural areas. It is essential to ensure that more women in rural areas across Europe can set up their own businesses and live their dream of being an entrepreneur, creating successful companies and wonderful products and services. We find that Lifelong Learning is in constant need and is especially desirable for entrepreneurs and leaders in the community. Being open towards education, sharing and networking is a crucial quality and a requirement to become a successful entrepreneur. 

The FREE project partners together from rural areas in Bulgaria, Croatia, Iceland, Lithuania and the UK have created innovative learning tools and a methodology, which has supported female entrepreneurs in the partner countries, women who are on a life journey of entrepreneurship or thinking about starting their own business. The same model can be replicated widely in other EU countries. 

The FREE partners believe that teaching, virtual business training modules and a coaching academy, a unique exchange of ideas and experience among women, networking, mentoring and available support are important on the pathway to entrepreneurship. 

All this has been applied as a methodology in the FREE project. We have been listening and learning from the women who participated in the project, and by listening to their needs and feedback, we have made a unique and holistic program, strong in education, peer mentoring and networking. In this Guide, you will find recommendations gathered by project partners from evaluation forms and focus groups implemented in all partnership countries. 

Last modified: Friday, 6 July 2018, 4:39 PM