3rd Best national practice and experience from Lithuania

General information

Name of the good practice: FREE (Female Rural Enterprise Empowerment) project “Rural women’s enterprise academy”
Name of the organisations in charge: In Lithuania project partner - Kaunas Science and Technology Park
Website of the organisation http://kaunomtp.lt/
E-mail of the organisation info@kaunomtp.lt
City Kaunas
Country Lithuania
Year 2015-2018
Length of the project/practice 3 years
Is the project/practice ongoing? The project is finished
Link to the training program http://www.ruralwomenacademy.eu/course/index.php?categoryid=13  
Language of the practice/program Lithuanian and English

Presentation/Description of the method

An increasing number of women in rural areas are interested in starting their own business, but they still face some obstacles such as lack of finance, training and networking. The main target group is women with a concrete business idea or currently running a newly established company. An important part of the project is an online training program for women, focusing on hard skills which will be supported by the development of Enterprise Circles™ that are based on an existing methodology from one of the project partners in the UK. A Facilitators Guide was produced, providing guidelines for the trainers and how they can deliver the methodology in the best way. Networks for women in rural areas were set up, led by local women who received training in the methodology of “Community Driven Learning and Development”. Also, a “Guide for Policy Makers” was produced, where recommendations regarding support for women in rural areas were outlined. All the partners involved are experienced in working with women entrepreneurs in rural areas, with qualified staff and extensive networks for dissemination. Based on their knowledge and expertise of the needs of women in their countries, partners worked with groups from already defined rural areas close to them. The project started with extensive research across all partner countries, including focus groups, desk research and online surveys. The project website: http://www.ruralwomenacademy.eu/  

General objectives

  • To assist women from rural areas in 5 partner countries (Iceland, UK, Lithuania, Croatia and Bulgaria) to become successful entrepreneurs with a focus on small business development.
  • To strengthening the skills and competencies of the target group, to help them grow their network, encouraging creativity and start-ups.
  • To overcome obstacles and provide support and practical instruments to empower, encourage women, entrepreneurs.

Why it has been selected as good practice

This project was selected as an example of good practise because 5 “FREE” distance learning platforms were created. Link to e-training modules: http://www.ruralwomenacademy.eu/course/index.php?categoryid=13 Distance learning modules:
  1. E-Commerce;
  2. Business strategies and export module;
  3. Finance for small businesses;
  4. Marketing and social media;
  5. Product development.

Final comments

This project encouraged women to share their business stories. As a good practice of the project you could find information about entrepreneur of the month and read her successful business story.