Women in Business support growth and competitivene.. (WBC)
Women in Business support growth and competitiveness
Start date: May 31, 2006,
End date: Dec 30, 2007
The project WBC pursues to increase women participation in economy and to contribute to the establishment of a coherent environment in SMEs in the Community Member States of South Europe and in countries of the South-Eastern Mediterranean area. The Project in accordance with the Commission Guidelines for transnational cooperation between national, regional and local authorities, recognizes the importance of the existence of a stable economic and social environment in the South Mediterranean area, able to promote territorial integration across large groupings of European regions, with a view to achieving sustainable, harmonious and balanced development in the Community and better territorial integration with the neighbouring countries. In this context WBC project aims at increasing women participation in economy and contributing to the establishment of a coherent business environment in the area. The proposed project targets at Small and Medium sized enterprises that represent the major economic player in the area in question and employ a significant number of women. Another Target Group of the Project are public and local authorities, as critical players in decision making process. Last but not least, the project focuses on the female business community of the area, with an emphasis on working women and women willing to enter the labour market that face a glass ceiling in their professional development. The project pursues several objectives that should generate positive short and long term results. The short term objectives of the project are: • To raise and increase awareness of the benefits of the full inclusion of women in the economy • To identify the obstacles that prevent women from fully integration in the economic environment • To combat the aforesaid obstacles through the establishment of a Structure providing consulting services and know-how to women in order to strengthen their participation in economy • To gather good practices implemented by SMEs, public and local authorities in participating countries • To transfer these good practices in the European and South-Eastern Mediterranean business environment. The long term objectives of the project are: • To increase the percentage of active participation of women in business • To increase business competitiveness from womens impact • To create a coherent environment in SMEs in South Europe and in countries of the South-Eastern Mediterranean area, through the transfer of know-how, in regards to women balanced participation in economy. The project consists of four main activities as presented herein: Elaboration of a study mapping the professional environment of women in participating countries. The purpose of the Study is the identification of the main factors preventing them from playing an active role in business and economy. In addition to the study all partners will contribute to the collection of good practices and the publication of a Good Practice Guide. The outcomes of the study and the Good Practice Guide will contribute to the development of the second action of the project that is the establishment of a supporting structure at the disposal of women in the whole territorial area. The purpose of the Structure will be the provision of consulting services through the organization of seminars, the internet (via an e-forum) and the conduct of e-learning courses to provide training to all interested parties (women, SMEs, officers of public/local authorities etc.) on business issues. The Structure will be in pilot operation during the project implementation and after project completion the National Chamber Network of Women Entrepreneurs will undertake its sustainability. The third activity of the project is the exchange of know-how among project partners. The exchange of know-how will be attained through the conduct of e-learning courses, as well as the organization of awareness raising conferences in Greece. These events will be addressed to all interested bodies, whereas special attention will be given to the participation of business delegations from all the countries involved for the maximization of the project results. The fourth activity of the project is the Information and dissemination campaign, which will be carried out during the whole project period, since the dissemination of each phase results contributes to the preparation and maturity of each next phase. The information/dissemination activities enclose the publication of information material, the organization of dissemination events and the development of audiovisual promotion material (coverage of events by television, press releases, etc). The expected results of the project are identified with the social benefit derived from the project, that is awareness raising of the main economic players on the benefits entailed to full inclusion of women in business, change of attitude of business community towards women participation in the labour market, as well as the viability of the supporting structure and its promotion as a good practice. The direct beneficiaries of the project will be working women and women willing to enter the labour market in all the countries of the South European and Mediterranean area and the targeted SMEs.
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