Only a fifth of domestic companies are managed by women in Hungary
24.11.2022 – The weight of businesses with purely female owners is becoming more and more significant even in Hungary: while in 2021 14% of all registered domestic companies were managed by women, within a year this proportion climbed to 17%. However, there is plenty of room for improvement, as the number of businesses run by men is still twice as many, and according to last year’s survey by the WINGATE project, women would most likely would like to expand their specific financial knowledge and business relationships in order to develop. The WINGATE project, an international business support program with a budget of around 2 million euros, uses research results to support women in the realization of their business goals with training and networking events, have launched their educational platform in November, which helps beginning and advanced entrepreneurs, as well as angel investors, with free thematic learning materials.
In our constantly changing, uncertain and crisis-filled world, the abilities and skills in which women generally excel are increasingly coming to the fore in business life: such as empathy, self-awareness or social skills. Moreover, according to many, female leaders can help humanity in the most effective way to overcome the climate crisis. According to the newly adopted directive of the European Parliament, by 2026, 33% of all management positions in companies must be occupied by women, although this does not yet apply to companies employing fewer than 250 people. There is definitely progress, however, few people are still concerned with how to effectively support women in starting a company and then in sustainable growth, or even in helping these entrepreneurs to become business angels themselves – although it is clear from the above, it would be in our common interest.
Tangible knowledge and networking – this is what women need to get started
The WINGATE project was launched in 2020 under the leadership of the Hungarian SKC-Consulting Kft. with the aim of supporting novice and more experienced female entrepreneurs with knowledge transfer, training and networking opportunities. The project, realized with a contribution of 2 million euros from the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Norwegian Regional Cooperation Fund, helps women in Moldova, Norway, Romania and Serbia to realize their business ambitions, in the areas where they need it most. As a first step in this, a comprehensive international survey was prepared in 2021 with the participation of nearly 1,500 respondents, which accurately assessed which skills and knowledge could be developed to enable more women to enter the challenging world of entrepreneurship. The WINGATE project started compiling target-specific knowledge materials and training based on the answers received.
„The female entrepreneurs unanimously reported that the administrative obligations and the legal environment are/were the biggest challenge for them when starting a company, and this is definitely an area in which we can provide them with effective help with proper education, the collection of available and understandable transfer of information. They are also uncertain about how their idea can be translated into a successful business in practice and how they can present it to an investor or a business angel. Acquiring financial knowledge is therefore still a key issue, but at the same time it has become clear that development is also necessary in relation to soft skills: communication, self-awareness or even negotiation techniques are more important when building a successful business than we think.” – shared by Ágnes Puskás, head of the WINGATE project
The key issue is education: digital knowledge awaits beginners, experienced enterpeneurs and business angels
One of the main objectives of the WINGATE project was the creation of an online knowledge platform based on needs and demands, tailored to different entrepreneurial phases, in which the preparation of a comprehensive and very instructive questionnaire survey was considered an important milestone. Thanks to the persistent work of the project partners, a free digital educational platform has been created that can effectively contribute to the most important mission, so that women can more easily start on the path to becoming entrepreneurs and contribute to the prosperity and development of European societies with their valuable work. In addition to the fact that the e-Platform helps women start a business, it also provides great support to those who have already started their business and want to develop it. After registration, 7 different “lessons” are currently available on the site – partly in English, partly in Hungarian – and in specific topics that help start-up entrepreneurs, those planning to expand their business, and angel investors. The goal is to continuously expand the available curriculum.
„Aki beleássa magát az egyébként könnyen fogyasztható anyagokba, gyakorlati tippekhez juthat arról, hogyan készül egy jó üzleti terv, mik azok a lépések, melyeket mindenképpen követni kell a cégalapítást követő kritikus 100 napban, támpontokat kaphat a külföldi piacokra való belépéshez és a vállalkozásfejlesztéshez, míg a női üzleti angyalok komplex ismereteket szerezhetnek a teljes innovációs ökoszisztémáról. Óriási gazdasági potenciál rejlik a nőkben, akiket a tágabb, sőt, gyakran a szűkebb környezetük sem támogat ambícióikban, a családalapítást követően pedig még inkább a háttérbe szorulnak ezek a karriervágyak. Jó viszont látni, hogy a vállalkozói ismeretek fontossága már a mainstream médiába is betört szórakoztató-edukációs tartalmak formájában, illetve egyre több pozitív példát hallani olyan nőkről, akik szinte lehetetlen helyzetből váltottak szakmai profilt és indították be cégüket. Mi őket szeretnénk támogatni” – teszi hozzá Puskás Ágnes.
Anyone who digs into the otherwise easy-to-consume materials can get practical tips on how to prepare a good business plan, what are the steps that must be followed in the critical 100 days after founding a company, can get pointers for entering foreign markets and business development, while the female business angels can gain complex knowledge about the entire innovation ecosystem. There is enormous economic potential in women, who are not supported in their ambitions by their wider, or even often narrower environment, and after starting a family, these career aspirations are pushed even further into the background. However, it is good to see that the importance of entrepreneurial skills has already entered the mainstream media in the form of entertainment-educational content, and to hear more and more positive examples of women who changed their professional profile from an almost impossible situation and started their own company. We want to support them” – adds Ágnes Puskás
In addition to visiting the education platform, those who are interested should subscribe to the regular newsletter of the WINGATE project, in which additional useful information and tips are available.
About the WINGATE project
The consortium formed for the WINGATE project, whose members from Hungary are SKC-Consulting Kft. and Women/Business/Angels Association, won a tender worth of 1.824.320 Euro from the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation (EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation) Additional partners are the Serbian Venture Network (SEVEN), the Romanian National Association of Entrepreneurs (ANAA) and the Norwegian Kvinner i Business (KIB). Their goal is to create a green, competitive and accepting business environment in Central and Eastern Europe. To this end, the WINGATE project is intended to support female entrepreneurs in the region. The website of the project was created in English, but in Hungary, a significant part of the surveys, events, teaching materials and trainings will also be available in Hungarian.