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  • 3 funding opportunities for European women innovators

    by | Mar 12, 2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes | Blog



    Even though Europe represents an excellent opportunity to develop disruptive and unique research, innovation, or venture capital projects, women are still underrepresented in this ecosystem

    To illustrate this using some figures, in 2023, only 7% of funding rounds went to all-women teams, with just a 2% increase in five years. Companies with at least one female founder received only 18% of funding, up by just 1% over the same period, leaving 75% going to all-men teams. (State of European Tech 2023). 

    The European Commission is entirely aware of this issue and committed to changing this unequal situation by implementing several initiatives.

    Check out some of those great opportunities below!


    EU Prize for Women Innovators: Celebrating the role of female entrepreneurs

    Call Status: Open – Closes on 25 September 2024

    The European Commission wants to recognise all those disruptive projects developed by European women. Submitted initiatives must provide breakthrough innovations for the European market, benefit our society, and also be considered a role model for other girls and women.

    In every edition, an independent and expert jury chooses winners for three prize categories:

    • Women Innovators: The champion receives a prize of 100,000€, while the two finalists are granted 70,000€ and 50,000€, respectively.
    • Rising Innovators: The winner is awarded 50 000€, and two runners-up are awarded 30 000€ and 20 000€ respectively;
    • EIT Women Leadership Award: Granted to outstanding women leaders within the EIT Community, the winner receives 50,000€, while the two runners-up receive 30,000€ and 20,000€, respectively.

    To be eligible, participating women should have founded an innovative company in a European member state or Horizon Europe-associated country at least two years before the call year.

    The 2023–2024 ten finalists were announced on February 20, 2024, at the EIT Summit.

    The next edition will be announced next spring.



    Women TechEU to support women leading deep-tech start-ups

    Call Status: Closed.

    Women TechEU is a funding initiative designed to empower and uplift female-led start-ups in deep-tech sectors within the EU and associated countries of Horizon Europe.

    The WomenTechEU first open call , launched on March 18th and closing on May 20th, 2024, seeks to empower 40 early-stage, women-led deep tech startups aligned with European objectives for green, digital, and social transition.

    This opportunity involves mentoring and coaching female founders through the EIC Business Accelerator Services (BAS), an individual grant of 75,000 € to help these companies grow, and the option to participate in Enterprise Europe Network and InvestEU activities.

    To be eligible for Women TechEU, applicants must:

    • be a female founder or co-founder
    • hold a top management position (CEO, STO or equivalent)
    • in an early-stage deep-tech start-up, registered and established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country for at least 6 months at the time of the submission.



    EIC Women Leadership Programme: training, networking and mentorship for innovators and researchers

    Call Status: Closed.

    One of the opportunities we look forward to announcing more details for is the fifth cohort for the EIC Women Leadership Programme.

    The EIC created this programme to expand Europe’s potential in deep-tech, science, and business by improving women’s representation

    Thanks to this initiative, business women who take on or aspire to take on leadership positions and researchers can join specific training, networking activities with the support of experienced mentors and business coaches.

    Participants also become part of the EIC Community Platform to connect to partners, investors, and other ecosystem professionals.

    The 5th cohort of the EIC Women Leadership Programme is exclusively reserved for female researchers and aspiring female leaders from organizations that have participated in the following schemes:

    • EIC Pathfinder
    • EIC Transition
    • FTI under Horizon 2023
    • FET Open and FET Proactive under Horizon 2023

    Discover more details in our article: Now Open: EIC Women Leadership Programme 5th Cohort for female researchers and aspiring female leaders


    Are you an innovative woman looking for the most suitable option for your deep-tech project?


    Explore the ideal opportunity for your deep-tech project if you’re an innovative woman seeking the perfect fit. 

    Despite the ongoing inequality in women’s participation in R&D, opportunities like the above and plans like the Gender Equality Strategy for 2020–2025 are visible examples of the commitment to empower and reinforce women.


    Are you ready to help end gender bias?


    At Evolution, we’re committed to standing by these important initiatives. We aim to help women-led startups, SMEs, and organizations secure the funding they need to grow their ventures and drive innovation.

    We believe in promoting an inclusive and diverse innovation landscape. Join us in our journey to create a more equitable future for all.

    Contact our experts - evolution