RE-FEM partners have been busy organizing our pilot training sessions for both trainers and women entrepreneurs over the past few months! These pilot trainings are essential for testing the materials prepared by RE-FEM and improving them based on participant feedback. During these events, attendees receive an introduction to the RE-FEM project (including main activities, project results, and opportunities for engagement), learn about skills-based entrepreneurship education, and test the training materials. Each partner selected a number of modules to test from the training. These include: Digital Transformation and Digital Readiness, Access to Finance and Innovation, Servitization and Innovation, Sustainability in Times of Crisis, Personal Resilience, Well-being, and Gender Implications of Being a Woman Entrepreneur.


Highlights from Recent Pilot Trainings for Trainers

In the following, we share some highlights and testimonials from the training sessions RE-FEM partners organized for trainers. Pilot trainings were conducted in local languages and each lasted about 8 hours. A key aspect of these training sessions is reflection time, where participants provide feedback on potential improvements. This evaluation is crucial for refining the training content and ensuring it meets the needs of women entrepreneurs.

Finland, Brand-Sofi

The first pilot training session of Brand-Sofi took place in April, with one day onsite and another day online. “The training sessions were intensive and featured very interesting discussions. We received positive feedback from participants, which will help us improve the training materials” – Ann-Sofi Backgren from Brand-Sofi told us. The second pilot training of Brand-Sofi tested module 1, Digital Transformation and Digital Readiness in May. One lesson for the timing of future events is that most entrepreneurs are fully booked in the beginning of summer.


Romania, Sapientia University

Sapientia’s pilot testing for trainers took place at the end of April. Discussing the significant hurdles faced by female entrepreneurs, the pilot testing participants emphasized the importance of fostering a growth mindset, strategic planning, innovation, and prioritizing well-being. Another obstacle they highlighted was the necessity of securing sufficient funding avenues and supportive initiatives for businesses, pivotal for the sustainability and growth of enterprises led by women.


Spain, Andalucía Emprende Fundación Pública Andaluza (AEFPA)

Participants at AEFPA’s session generally suggested enhancing the different modules by incorporating more examples. This includes demonstrating previously solved cases and showing how various platforms and tools operate. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of gender-inclusive language throughout all modules, and recommended even using feminine language. Given that the primary beneficiaries are women, this approach could further align the content with the needs and experiences of the target audience.


Serbia, Institut Mihajlo Pupin (IMP)

Participants expressed overall satisfaction with the training program, praising the expertise of the IMP trainers. They appreciated the networking opportunities and found the materials well-structured and easy to follow. Their recommendations included offering mentorship programs and organizing guest speaker sessions for diverse insights.


Bulgaria, Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovations Varna (RAPIV)

After RAPIV’s training, participants felt prepared to use the knowledge and skills gained to train women entrepreneurs, conduct team-building exercises, and provide various services to them. They recommended adding summaries at the beginning of the modules to enhance navigation. Overall, the sessions successfully met the learning objectives, and participants plan to apply their new knowledge in their future trainings.


Hungary, SEED and HETFA

Participants found that the Hungarian training met their expectations, with well-structured sessions and relevant tasks that provided practical knowledge they could actually use. They suggested adding more real-world examples to make the theoretical concepts clearer and stressed the need for ongoing support for female entrepreneurs through interactive activities. Additionally, they recommended tailoring the program for different groups, especially in rural areas.


Slovakia, SBA

Participants at SBA’s training suggested some improvements for the modules, such as setting up an evaluation platform, creating support groups, and providing more detailed training sessions. They stressed the need for relevant and interactive exercises, especially for using AI and practical tools. They suggested including some materials on balancing family life with business responsibilities. On the organizational side, they recommended making the training more interactive, cutting down on theory, and tailoring the content to fit the participants’ backgrounds.


Ongoing and Future Pilot Trainings

Pilot trainings are still ongoing, but some partners, including Brand-Sofi from Finland, IMP from Serbia, SBA from Slovakia, and RAPIV from Bulgaria, have already completed theirs. The insights gained from these sessions will be invaluable in fine-tuning our training programs to better support women entrepreneurs and trainers in their endeavors.


Stay tuned for more updates on our pilot trainings and the continued development of the RE-FEM project!