Private Educational Institution "Center for Women's Entrepreneurship Support "ProWomen BY"
A productive, professional work and meeting space that is aimed to form entrepreneurial ecosystems based on European business values, to develop women-owned enterprises, connect local businesses with European entrepreneurs and boost international collaborations. The Hub will deliver consulting and training services, mentoring and coaching; as well incubation assistance to empower women towards entrepreneurship & economic self-sufficiency and maximize their potential as change makers.
Unemployment rate in Belarus in 2015 increased by 187% comparing to 2014. Small, medium and micro enterprises become an engine of sustainable growth and the main tool for creating new jobs. Sustainable economic growth and achievement of development goals is possible only through the active participation of women, who possess a set of entrepreneur skills. The project is aimed to leverage women’s entrepreneurship, boost SMEs growth and international partnership.
To form a complete entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing women-entrepreneurs with a productive, professional work and meeting space, where they can connect with a like-minded community to collaborate and flourish, to empower women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their companies, and society, to lead Belarusian SMEs to European business standards and foster international collaborations.
The project starts with opening of the productive & innovative work-space that will serve as a co-working during workdays and a platform for education & inspiration during evenings and weekends. Having own platform for events will give the opportunity to make them free, providing access to knowledge to people no matter of their income. A number of events we have already conducted show that speakers and experts are ready to contribute to the project and perform for free.A series of events hosted in the Hub will form a community of women-entrepreneurs in Minsk:
- lectures from European & local entrepreneurs to show best practices, form entrepreneurial mindset & inspire.
- networking opportunities to connect like-minded people.
- Consulting to assist to cope with business challenges etc.
Women age 25-45+ living in Minsk, Belarus, who have their own businesses and are looking how to grow and expand it, futurepreneurs, startups and mompreneurs who need help in idea implementation & moving to formal sector. We are targeting on small and micro businesses. In most cases women launch their businesses in so called "low income" spheres - services, beauty, fashion, design etc. To cut expenses during launch they may prefer to work in coworking, having access to mentors &educational events
There are no ongoing projects in Belarus that focus on women-entrepreneurs empowerment.The project aims to initiate a dialog with government on developing women-led businesses, provide full scope of services necessary for business development, access to markets&funds, combined in one place - an innovative & collaborative work space that forms community of like-minded people. The Hub will assist women businesses to go to international markets, for ex. for local designer to go to market abroad.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
The project duration is 7 month - 1 month of pre-launch+6 month of operation. Due to coworking residents and hosting of commercial events, it’s planned to reach the project’s break even point in 6 month after the launch.The main expenses include premise rent 3600 EUR for 6 month, furniture and equipment 4400 EUR, staff salaries (3600 EUR total). The budget also include flights & accommodation for 6 speakers from Europe.
Any feedback is welcome! As well as ideas on women who can contribute to the project with an interview or a business article posted on our website or a lecture in the frame of the project. We will be glad to exchange experience, ideas and insights with organizations in the field of women empowerment, entrepreneurship development and startups.