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Women-led companies are on the rise. The participation of women in deep tech is not only a matter of fairness but an important case of using Europe’s full potential of excellence in science and businesses.

To further support the role of women in innovation and tech the European Innovation Council (EIC) is offering a skills enhancement and networking programme for EIC-supported women entrepreneurs and researchers, the Women Leadership Programme (WLP).  

Who can participate?

The EIC Women Leadership Programme targets EIC beneficiaries, specifically:

  • Business women in in management positions, who want to strengthen their skills and expand their network;
  • Women within established companies aspiring to take over leadership positions in business development; 
  • Women researchers involved in research projects aspiring to lead the transition of their research into businesses. 

For detailed conditions regarding past engagement in EIC-funded projects, please consult the FAQs.

What does the programme offer?

Selected participants will get the chance to participate in specific trainings, networking events and be invited to take part in a personalised mentorship and business-coaching scheme.

For more information on the EIC WLP open call for EIC beneficiaries and EIC WLP call for mentors, visit the EIC Community web site




Networking events

Dedicated networking events take place throughout the programme to increase the participants’ network and heighten their visibility. Keynote speakers will be invited to give speeches and facilitate the networking moments.

Mentorship and business-coaching scheme

Selected female members of EIC beneficiaries have the chance to tap into a pool of experienced mentors across sectors and geographies. These mentors, ranging from experienced CEOs and investors to VCs and serial entrepreneurs, will help the participants along the way and offer support in defining their goals. Each participants will also work with an expert EIC business coach who will help identify new business opportunities and potentials.

Training scheme

In addition to the networking events and mentorship scheme, the participants have access to a tailor-made training scheme on topics like negotiation, pitching and leadership styles.

Event calendar

  1. October 2021
    Launching event
  2. October 2021 to March 2022
    Implementation of EIC WLP activities
  3. 22 October
    Training and Networking Event #1 with Impulse4Women

    Strategies and tips to move from start-up to scale-up.

    from 9:30 to 13:00

    Facilitator: Taryn Andersen (Impulse4Women

    Other speakers: Niclas Holmerg, Oscar Sala, and speaker to be confirmed

    Read more  

  4. 10 November
    Training Session #2 with EBAN:

    from 9:30 to 13:00

    How Early-Stage Fundraising will Help you Master your Decision-Making and Negotiation Skills

    FacilitatorEBAN Vice President Selma Prodanovic 

    Read more.

  5. 29 November
    Training and Networking session #3 with WLOUNGE

    Become a master of creative pitching and tell your story in front of a jury of investors

    Facilitator: WLOUNGE (Speaker to be confirmed)  

    9:30 to 10:30

    Read more.

  6. 14 December
    Training Session #4 with Jill Adams: 

    Learn how to define your Personal Leadership Branding

    Facilitator: Jill Adams 

    Keynote speakersto be defined 

    Read more.

  7. Spring 2022
    Closing ceremony


Find all the answers on the EIC Women Leadership Programme in the FAQ.

(791.14 KB - PDF)


Background information

Despite the high demand for talent, the European pool of next generation leaders in research, innovation and venture investment continues to be limited by the underrepresentation of women in all parts of the innovation ecosystem. Women represent less than 20% of senior management in deep tech start-ups that have raised Series A or B, with CTO positions stagnating at 1% for the last 3 years. In technology investment, men-only teams captured 91% of all capital raised and 85% of all rounds across Europe in 2020, and these imbalances are confirmed at regional level for Central and Eastern Europe and for Nordic countries. In the Central and Eastern European region, only 19% of the Venture Capitals are led by women or mixed teams, while 81% are led by all-male teams; women led VC funds represent a single digit share of assets under management. In the Nordic countries, only 11% of VC partner positions are held by women.  Women are equally underrepresented in the management of venture capital, with cascading consequences for the rest of the innovation world, as female investors tend to invest more than men in companies with female founders.

The new WomenTechEU scheme, to be launched shortly, and the EIC Women Leadership Programme are just two of the actions that the EIC is taking to support the role of women in tech. Check the Statement on Gender & Diversity in the EIC for more information.