Project’s kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of the team of DIGI WOMEN project was held on 3 December 2020.

The purpose of the kick-off meeting was to introduce the partner organizations by sharing their relevant experiences, to present the project goals, and to revise the main project tasks and activities in accordance with the reductions in scope and time imposed by the evaluators.

The meeting had to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria in the Institute of Entrepreneurship of the University of National and World Economy as project coordinator. Unfortunately, the anti-pandemic measures to fight the Covid-19 spread didn’t allow travelling of the project partners’ representatives and the kick-off meeting had to be conducted in online form.

Participants in the kick-off meeting were the heads and experts from each of the partner organizations:

  • Dr. Paolo Zaramella, Dr. Ria Aerts, Alberto Maistrello of the Consulenza Direzionale di Paolo Zaramella (CDPZ), Italy
  •  Herwig Simoner (Mag. CMC) of the bit management Beratung GesmbH, Austria
  • Apostolina Tsaltampasi and Katerina Mouratidou of the Greek Association of Women Entrepreneurs – SEGE, Greece
  • Dr. Vera Komarova and Dr. Zane Zeibote of the Cluster Experts Baltic Sea Region (CEBSR), Latvia
  • Prof. Dr. Igor Kononenko and Dr. Karina Bukrieieva of the Department of Strategic Management, National Technical University «Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute» (NTU KhPI), Ukraine
  • Dr. Mirela Alpeza and Danica Eterović of the CEPOR SMEs and Entrepreneurship Policy Centre, Croatia
  • Dr. Kostadin Kolarov, Dr. Nikolay Vankov, and Dr. Silviya Georgieva of the Institute of Entrepreneurship, University of National and World Economy (UNWE), Bulgaria

Prof. Dr. Diana Kopeva, Vice-Rector for Scientific Research Activity of UNWE, welcomed the participants and stressed the importance of the project in addressing significant challenges to female entrepreneurshipShe also expressed satisfaction with the high level of partnership, which combined significant experience and expertise in all aspects of the project objectives and tasks.

Then participants introduced themselves and their institutions with emphasis on the expertise gained through completion of different projects related to the topic as well as on the networks they are active in.

Dr. Ria Aerts, member of the team of Consulenza Direzionale di Paolo Zaramella, presented the scientific background of the DIGI WOMEN project and discussed the reflections of the research findings in the project activities. 

Kostadin Kolarov from the Institute of Entrepreneurship of the UNWE presented project main goals, contents and activities, target groups, events, etc. as were initially planned and as they are reduced after the evaluation to focus on some issues related to project schedule and problems caused by Covid-19 situation.

Paolo Zaramella presented in more details the structure and content of the activities needed for producing of intellectual output defined as Curriculum for training of experts to help women entrepreneurs with their digital tools needs. The goal of this curriculum is to link the digital tools knowledge of the expert to improve other business skills that the women entrepreneurs are lacking, ignoring or approaching differently than men entrepreneurs like networking, internationalization, strategy development, entrepreneurial opportunity seeking, etc. The process of development of the curriculum was discussed with the active participation of all the partners.

Kostadin Kolarov did similar presentation about the second intellectual output – the Recommendation Report which is to provide advices how the curriculum will be best used, what the impact is, how it can help supporting organizations and policy makers to improve the situation of women entrepreneurs in general and women entrepreneurs facing difficult circumstances but also SMEs in general.

A discussion among project partners followed up the presentations rising important questions about practical implementation of the project including cooperation with the associated partners in each country, precising the profiles of women entrepreneurs the curriculum will be target to, the next steps, time planning, “to do list”, tasks and responsibilities of the partners, as well as the organization of next meetings.