WE Network: Steering group in first irl meeting
Wise Economy is working for women to reach their full potential as business owners. For that reason we decided to form the project WE Network with the overall aim to increase levels of digitization and internationalization in small businesses run by women. The main focus of the project is to support businesses in the "non tech" industries.
On January 22-23 the steering group of WE Network met irl for the first time in Stockholm with representatives from Russia, Belarus, Azerbajdzjan, Estonia and Sweden.
It was two days filled with interesting discussions around both what the different needs are in the participating countries, but also what preconditions unites women entrepreneurs irrespective of their geographical locations.
WE Network is implemented by, and within, a network of women in the Baltic Sea Region that has been actively cooperating for almost 30 years to improve equality and economic empowerment amongst women. For this particular project, we also included an eminent network of business women in Azerbajdzjan to bring in fresh ideas and new perspectives to this well established collaboration.
On the first day we started off with a common lunch to get to know each other. After that we kicked off the first part of the formal meeting with presentation rounds of the participating organisations as well as the individuals present.
Carin Lann, one of the founders of Wise Economy, greeted everyone and welcomed the visitors to Stockholm. She gave an introduction to the funding party, The Swedish Institute (SI), and described how the project fits into SI’s work to strengthen Sweden’s relations with the countries around the Baltic Sea and the countries of the Eastern Partnership. Later in the evening we went to a restaurant to have dinner together and to discuss important topics in a less formal environment.
Day two started with a presentation by one of the new members of the Wise Economy team; Sandra Backlund, who is a senior communications consultant running the agency SallyHill. The presentation was centered around issues facing entrepreneurs in the digital transformation and it was the starting point of a long discussion with the aim of outlining the principles of the continuous work within the project.
The next step for the steering group of the WE Network Project will be to formalize the ethical principles guiding the remainder of the project, to identify and recruit suitable entrepreneurs to join in on the following steps and to set the framework for our next irl meeting which will take place in Saint Petersburg in May.