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BizMiz - Next Generation Women Technology Entrepreneurs

Internet usage in Europe continues to grow and social networking sites are the new 'street corners' where today's digital natives 'hang out'. There is a growing 'virtual world' culture in Europe as the numbers of people signed up to social media platforms continue to expand. Europeans today utilize the Internet in every aspect of their lives facilitated by ubiquitous online access. With this access people have extraordinary opportunities to learn and earn in ways never before experienced and the ability to communicate and connect with those who share similar interests and views.

As career pathways that were 'born digital', technology careers are potentially free of any historic gendered division of labour and women in the technology sector have fared better than in traditional professional jobs, such as engineering. However ‘fared better’ still has a long way to go if gender equality in the technology sector is to be achieved. Less than 7% of technology jobs in Europe are filled by women. The technology and entrepreneurial potential of women are latent sources of economic growth and new jobs and should be encouraged. The need for policies and programmes designed specifically for women rather than relying on generic entrepreneurship and e-strategies is clear.

The State of the Union address of 14 September 2016 underlined the need for Europe to strengthen its economic recovery and invest strongly in its jobseekers, its start-ups and its SMEs. Ensuring a promising economic future for all, safeguarding our way of life and providing better opportunities for young people were also highlighted as priorities in the "Bratislava roadmap" endorsed by the Heads of State.

The BizMiz consortium believe that women have a key role to play in the economic development of the EU and the technology sector is ripe for a new cohort of women technology entrepreneurs. To achieve their undoubted potential women need bespoke entrepreneurship training resources and the building of a safe and supportive online educational environment where they can develop their business ideas, engage with like-minded individuals, and push through the ‘glass ceiling’ that pertains in the modern economy.

In response the BizMiz project will develop 4 intellectual outputs:
- a bespoke online entrepreneurship curriculum designed specifically for women
- a suite of media-rich resources to build digital and social media literacy to ensure the safety of the new online entrepreneurs
- an in-service training programme for the CPD of front-line VET and adult education professionals to enable them make full use of the resources provided
- an e-learning portal where networks of women technology entrepreneurs can congregate; build key business skills; support each other; and exchange ideas and knowledge

The BizMiz target group represent a broad cross section of women to include include women living in disadvantaged urban areas; women living in rural areas with low population density and poor access to education and training services; women with a migrant background. BizMiz will prioritise a development approach that yields policy-relevant results and will disseminate its products through existing European Networks, such as, WES and WITS.

Ballybeen Women’s Centre (UK) Coordinator
AVEVA (Portugal)
The Rural Hub (Ireland)
AcrossLimits (Malta)
Speha Fresia (Italy)
Synthesis (Cyprus)
Kaunas (Lithuania)
EduKator (Poland)