Mrs Grapini, a business woman herself with long experience in the textile sector in Romania, highlighted the crucial role that education and mentorship play to encourage women to start a company. Moreover, a robust network of support, not only from the family, but also from other business women and peers, is fundamental to help young female entrepreneurs to build their professional careers.
Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director for Corporate Social Responsibility at METRO AG, presented the results of the International Own Business Study on Female Entrepreneurship, published on 7th March. This representative study surveyed 10.000 people across 10 countries. One of the most striking results of the study is that although 40% of the women who participated in the study have a genuine entrepreneurial spirit and would like to start their own business, only 3% of them consider this feasible. As confirmed by the business owners who participated in the discussion, access to funding is one of the main hurdles. Moreover, there is not a unique profile when it comes to entrepreneurship -no right age or family situation, for example. However, one thing is clear: the vast majority of female business owners would found their businesses again if they had to start from scratch again.