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European Women’s Lobby launches new project on Women’s Social Entrepreneurship in Europe

On November 19TH, the United Nations Global Day on Women’s Entrepreneurship, the European Women’s Lobby will launch their latest project WEstart: Mapping Women’s Social Entrepreneurship in Europe.

The core aim of the new, privately funded, year-long pilot projectis to gain a better understanding of the situation and state of play of women’s social entrepreneurship in Europe. Focusing on ten European countries, WEstart is the first step in a longer term strategy to help foster women’s social entrepreneurship by connecting social entrepreneurs and advocating for policy change that supports women’s leadership in this growing sector.

Mapped countries include Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Sweden, Lithuania, Hungary and Italy. The initial mapping will ensure that attention to paid to providing an urban-rural balance, diversity among women social entrepreneurs (for example, include women from ethnic communities), the type of initiatives covered, the type of legal status that governs ‘social entrepreneurship’, the resources available at country and European level, the needs and gaps identified, the barriers and the strengths.

The European Women’s Lobby is excited to embark on this new project, which has already generated a great deal of interest both from member, as well as outside organizations. Joanna Mayock, EWL Secretary General remarked,

“A feminist analysis of the state of play of women’s social entrepreneurship in Europe is both vital and relevant as the European Union looks to find ways to address both mass scale unemployment and growing social exclusion. As we seek to promote a feminist economy and a new way of approaching income-generation and employment, we need to understand the risks and opportunities women-led, women-focused social enterprises present. Our position as the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU) puts us in a prime spot to do so.”

Note to editors: The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU member states and the three candidate countries, as well as to 20 European-wide bodies, representing a total of more than 2000 organisations.

For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact Emily Usher, Project Manager WEstrat, European Women’s Lobby; Tel: +32 2 210 04 40;, and see / (+32) 02/217 90 20

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