October is proving a very international month at The Women’s Organisation with project work in Asia and across Europe! Our CEO Maggie O’Carroll and Principal Consultant & Project Manager Lisa McMullan headed to Brussels to hold a special event on 12th October as part of the DIGA (Digital Innovations for Growth Academy) project. 

The event invited MEP’s and enterprise experts from across Europe to meet together and hear about the findings of the DIGA project, and to look at the learning programme that has been developed to enable enterprise trainers and educators to effectively support entrepreneurs to think digital while growing their businesses. 

The event was opened be MEP Alessia Mosca who introduced Anna Danti, Policy Officer with European Commission DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs giving an overview of how the European Commission is committed to supporting women entrepreneurs. 

Opening Speech from MEP Alessia Mosca

Dr Briga Hynes from DIGA partners Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick presented the key findings from the initial research conducted through the DIGA Project, reflecting on how that has influenced the project development so far.  Click here for a summary of those findings presented by Briga. 

Next up was DIGA Project Manager Lisa McMullan from The Women’s Organisation.  Lisa talked through the learning modules that have been developed through the project which have recently been pilotted across Europe with Enterprise Trainers and Educators, upskilling them in key digital competancies related to enterprise so they can better advise the businesses they are working with.   The modules cover:

Dr Briga Hynes Discussing DIGA Research Findings

1.Enhancing digital awareness and knowledge
2.The role and use of digital technologies and their benefits to business
3.Making digital deliver for the start-up and small business
4.Enabling and supporting the development of an entrepreneurial digital strategy

5.Designing integrated digital competence entrepreneur support/programmes

Once the DIGA Programme had been presented, female entrepreneurship specialist Madi Sharma Hosted a panel discussion around ‘Digital Innovation to Promote Entrepreneurship’. Joining the panel were:

• Theresa Griffin, MEP European Parliament, UK
• Martha Ivanovas, Government Affairs Manager Dell
• Janne Elvelid, Policy Officer DG CONNECT, European Commission
• Maggie O´Carroll, Chief Executive Officer, The Women´s Organisation (DIGA Partner)

• Caridad Martinez Carrillo de Albornoz, CEO Inercia Digital (DIGA Partner)

Panel Discussion

Key themes arising from the discussion included:

  • The importance of using our practical research from DIGA and the experience of the expert organisations involved to influence European Policy, and connecting with our MEP’s to help influence the policy agenda.
  • The need for digital economy policy and initiatives to be gender-proofed to strengthen and improve the sustainability of more small businesses It was interesting to see good practice examples from the private sector highlighted by colleagues from Dell around supporting start up s and women entrepreneurs.

It was great to connect with other EU Projects as part of the event, finding out a bit more about ‘WEHubs’ a European Project aimed at supporting Women Web Entrepreneurs. 

The event concluded with a round up courtesy of Eva Fabry, Director of DIGA Partners European Centre for Women and Technology. 

We’d like to thank our UK MEP’s Julie Ward and Theresa Griffin for supporting the event. 

To find out more about the Erasmus Plus funded project ‘DIGA’ please click here