Boosting digital and industrial capacity for sustainable circular transition of women entrepreneurs in the Danube Region

The key issues

Even though significant efforts are made to support women entrepreneurs, only 25.6% of founders in the Danube region are female. This gender disparity spans across all sectors, including those crucial to the circular economy transition. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation while highlighting existing digital skills gaps, exacerbating inequalities. Many individuals lack the necessary digital proficiency, hindering competitiveness.

The key issues we address include:

  • Existing digital skills gap.
  • Low representation of women entrepreneurs in business in general and in informal and end-of-pipe activities of the circular economy, including recycling, reuse, and waste management.
  • Lack of national/regional strategies for circular economy transition in most regions.
  • Lack of support for transnational alignment of S3 strategies and policies for Industry 4.0 transition of women entrepreneurs.

WE.Circular aims to foster economic growth and environmental sustainability, making a tangible impact on the region. Through collaborative efforts, we strive to bridge the gender gap, empower women entrepreneurs, and propel the circular economy forward

What will we do?

Innovative Trainings for Women Entrepreneurs:

Our innovative training programmes for women entrepreneurs will be designed to equip women in business with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the digital and circular economy. Here’s how we’re making it happen :

  •  In-Depth Transnational Skills Gaps and Needs Analysis:  Understand the unique challenges and opportunities in the Danube region;
  •  Spotlight on Best Practices:  Learn from successful transitions to the circular economy with our curated examples;
  •  Engaging Transnational Learning Events:  Participation in 6 dynamic events across the region to exchange ideas and insights;
  •  Cutting-Edge Training Programs:  3 innovative tailored training programmes impactful and beneficial for women
  •  Transnational WE.Circular Learning Network:  Become part of a vibrant community dedicated to continuous learning and support.

Circular Business Models:

We are driving the transition to a circular economy for women entrepreneurs in the Danube region by fostering active participation from female start-ups, stakeholders, and policymakers. This initiative involves:

  • Active Participation: Engaging female start-ups, stakeholders, and policymakers in every step of the process.
  • Collaborative Development: Co-creating and piloting 3 innovative ciruclar business models.
  • WE.Circular Labs: Utilizing 12 established WE.Circular Labs as hubs for experimentation and innovation.

Policy Makers Capacity:

We are committed to increasing the capacity of public authorities to design effective policy tools that support women entrepreneurs  in their transition to a circular economy. Our initiatives focus on:

  • Enhanced Policy Design: Empowering public authorities to create robust policy frameworks that facilitate the circular transition for women entrepreneurs.
  • Harmonizing S3 Strategies: Aligning Smart Specialization Strategies (S3) across the region to better support women entrepreneurs.
  • Policy Learning Centre: Establishing a dedicated centre for continuous learning and policy improvement.
  • Transnational Strategy: Developing a comprehensive Transnational Strategy for Women Entrepreneurship Circular Transition.

Project overview

Start date:

01 January 2024

Status: ongoing

End date:

30 June 2026



80.00 % funded by
Interreg Funds





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Need any help? Contact us!

Mariya Zlateva

Communication/ Financial Manager

Ralitsa Zhekova

Project Manager

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