Supported by the Economic and Social Committee
12:30 – 13:00
13:00 – 14:30
Welcome and networking lunch with a twist
14:30 – 15:00
Opening of the WEgate Summit
During the opening, the partners and supporters of WEgate will welcome participants and set the stage for the day.
The WEgate Summit will be moderated by Ms Helene Banner, Founder of “Let’s Just Be Imperfect, Ladies”
- Welcome address on behalf of the European Economic and Social Committee: Ms Christa Schweng, EESC President
- Keynote speech: Mr Hubert Gambs, Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the European Commission
- Welcome address on behalf of the WEgate consortium: Mr David Caro, President of the European Small Business Alliance
- Introductory address on the topic of “Access to finance for Women Entrepreneurs”: Ms Jenny Tooth, Business Angels Europe and Chair of UK Business Angels Association
15:00 – 15:40
#WEdebate – Women Entrepreneurs’ take on finance: how to improve access to finance for women-led businesses?
Entrepreneurship is a powerful way towards empowerment, self-realization and income creation for women. Using the findings of the WEbarometer Report 2022 as a basis for discussion, this session will explore the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in accessing finance to start and grow their entrepreneurial ventures. We will look at issues such as venture capital attitudes, government support, financial literacy and other influencing factors affecting the flow of finance into women-led businesses. The session will conclude by inviting the panel members and the audience to offer suggestions regarding the priority actions that need to be taken to change the current situation.
- Moderated by Mr Thomas Cooney, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Technological University Dublin
- Ms Veronique Willems, Secretary General at SMEunited
- Ms Jacqueline Winstanley FRSA, Founder & CEO Universal Inclusion & The Inclusive Entrepreneur
15:40 – 16:20
#WEAct – Bridging the finance gap: the financiers’ perspective
Every financier has their own barriers and opportunities when it comes to promoting women entrepreneurship. In this panel, a group of leading women financiers, from angel investing, venture capital and banking, will discuss and explore what measures we can take on national and European level to boost financing of women entrepreneurs.
- Moderated by Ms Jenny Tooth, Chair UK Business Angels Association
- Ms Claire Munck, Chief Executive Officer BeAngels
- Ms Inez Murray, Chief Executive Officer Financial Alliance for Women
- Ms Anna Amati, Venture Capital Partner at Eureka Ventures and Founder of Angels4Women
16:20 – 17:00
#WEImpact – Breaking the gender bias: gender smart policies for Women Entrepreneurs
This high-level panel will dive into the actions for improving WE policy framework in Europe, presenting the recommendations of the Policy Group of the WEgate Community Council, with emphasis on the need for better framework, programmes & capacity building, and access to capital. As stated in the European Parliament Resolution on Reaching women’s economic independence through entrepreneurship and self-employment (3 May 2022): There is an obvious gap and a need for stronger empowerment of women entrepreneurs and investors. Women’s economic empowerment makes economic, business and ethical sense. Therefore, this needs to be addressed as it is crucial in order to create new jobs, boost the economy and European recovery as well as strengthen EU’s competitiveness.
- Moderated by Ms Gabriela Kostovska Bogoeska, Executive Director of the Foundation for Management and Industrial Research, North Macedonia
- Ms Lesia Radelicki, Member of Cabinet of EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli
- Ms Sophie Claessens, Director EU Public Policy at Amazon Europe and member of European Commission VAT Expert Group
- Ms Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, Co-head of EU Delegation, G20 Women20 & Director, Digital Leadership Institute
- Ms Stella Kasdagli, Co-founder @ Women On Top and member of the WEgate Community Council
- Ms Sanja Popovic Pantic, Chair of Thematic Group Women Entrepreneurship at the Enterprise Europe Network, President at the Association of Business women in Serbia and member of the WEgate Community Council
17:00 – 17:15
#WECelebrate – WEgate Awards Ceremony
Women entrepreneurs are vital contributors to the prosperity of Europe. Their hard work, innovative thinking and unwavering commitment truly help our economy grow and our society thrive. During the Ceremony, we will announce the winners of the three categories of the WEgate Awards for Women Entrepreneurs in Europe awarding women who distinguish themselves as business leaders, through passion and creativity in their ventures, contribution to advancing the status of other women in their entrepreneurial journey or through a greater social impact of their businesses.
The Winners of the WEgate Awards will be awarded by Ms Birgit WEIDEL, Head of Department, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission
17:15 – 17:30
Closing of the WEgate Summit
Closing address on behalf of the WEgate consortium by Ms Eva Merloni, WEgate Project Manager