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Executive summary
This document has been prepared in the framework of the WINGATE project (Project nr. 2018-1-0824), as part of WP3: Needs Assessment. The main goal is to better define the target group and identify their needs in terms of training for the role as women entrepreneurs and business angels.

The WINGATE Project benefits €1,824,320 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants for Regional Cooperation. Countries involved: Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Serbia and Norway, with partners representing SKC-Consulting (Hungary), Serbian Venture Network (Serbia),
Women/Business/Angels Association (Hungary), Kvinner i Business (Norway), National Association of Entrepreneurs ANAA, (Romania and Republic Moldova).

The main objective of our Wingate project is to increase competitiveness of women enterprises through creating an online platform – an innovative learning center that will provide opportunities through courses, information and thematic events dedicated to women’s businesses, assisting them in improving their market presence both locally and internationally. The aim of the work package „Needs assessment” (WP3) was to engage the target group in a survey and interactive focus groups, in order to clearly identify what type of training and content in the training curricula should be developed in the next phase of Wingate Project based upon the needs and necessities of our target groups.

Based on the answers of an online questionnaire, accumulated to 1447 survey responses in the Project partners’ five countries. By using statistics and calibration we have clearly identified the following:

Average profile of women wanting to become entrepreneur or already working as entrepreneur
• Two age groups (26-40, 41–55) account for 86% of target group
• High education is a dominant characteristic (90% of target group)
• Equal representation of employees (Wants to be entrepreneur) and established entrepreneurs (Wants to grow business)
• English language is at an appropriate level

Although the answers showed some differences and country-specific needs, overall analysis showed the common interest and requirements of the countries involved. This will define the path to develop common training materials to be accessible on the Wingate Platform, which will be developed within the project. The country specific issue will be addressed through additional focus of Partners within the country in order to achieve best results.

  • For Norway, a special emphasis could be given to discuss banking and credit rules and administration.
  • For Serbia, it is advisable to have a training element on a general overview of taxing regulation and how to find the best help in tax accounting and optimization.
  • For Moldova, training may emphasize the role of business networking as it may take too much time and effort to enforce contracts, therefore stabile and reliable partners are appreciated.
  • For Hungary, the contractual agreements between entrepreneurs and investors must highlight tools to protect minority investors.
  • For Romania, training definitively should include how to start a business step by step and what the administrational requirements are.

Regarding the identified skills, the responses outlined some essential soft and hard skills’ training needs, which is required both when starting a business or growing an existing business Regarding the identified skills, the responses outlined some essential soft- and hard skills’ training needs either when starting a business or for the one already running with the aim of growing. Soft skills are not often found in the curriculum of a school or college.

According to the answers in the open questions section in the questionnaire and reinforced during focus group meetings, we plan to provide our modular training courses in a way to form a complete set of entrepreneurial skillset and knowledge like an „Entrepreneurial Academy”, accessible through the Wingate Platform. A program containing elements and modules from the decision to write a business plan to financial and evaluation tools in the first 3 years of activity. This model can also be developed as a coagulated solution both for soft and hard skills, all with the purpose of delivering something new on the training market and easy to use and learn from.
Regarding the methodology of delivery of training there has been equal split among respondents who voted for online and offline courses, with nearly half opted (what does opted mean) additionally for handbooks. This is somewhat in line with our previous findings that people are looking for interactive ways of learning. On numerous occasions though, the respondents indicated all three options, showing rather strong willingness to learn (online course, or an offline option, real-life training or a handbook). Our recommendation for the training curricula developed through this project – to develop learning paths consisted of training modules that can be mixed, in order to allow participants to follow a certain path (become entrepreneur, grow/expand existing business, become business angel) or selectively choose certain skill they need at the moment. The list below – as proposed – relies strongly on the number of answers and on the categories we defined.

Proposed Soft skills training curricula:
1) Conflicts’ Management
2) Communication
3) Public Speaking
4) Change Management
5) Time Management
6) Emotional Intelligence
7) Negotiation – technics and tactics

Proposed Hard skills training curricula:
Starting the business from beginning
1) How to find business idea
2) Validation of business idea and entrepreneurial strength
3) Business model development
4) Business plan development
5) How to finance your business
6) How to open business (administration, legislation, …)
7) What to do in first 100 days of business

How to grow/expand current business:
1) How to find business idea
2) Financial modelling and analysis
3) Project Management
4) Budgeting
5) Networking and networking technics
6) PR and Marketing strategies
7) Investor readiness training
8) Expanding to regional market
9) Advanced business models (subsidiaries, joint ventures, franchising, etc.)

Proposed Business Angels training curricula:
1) Business Angels ecosystem introduction
2) How to become Business Angel
3) Founding a Business Angel club
4) Investments and Legislation
5) How to perform due diligence and business valuation
6) How to structure a term sheet and contracts
7) Exit strategies

The listed above – once developed into trainings – would help any woman – entrepreneur and/or dreaming to become one – to make correct and informed decisions and personal and professional development and growth, as well as any aspiring business angel to support entrepreneur ecosystem.
We would also like to add a short list of particular needs, that were highlighted by the participants, and which we think should be taken into consideration in developing additional training components or modules to the main courses:

1) A set of tools or tips on how to overcome legislation issues – maybe some recommendation of specialists according to different subjects
2) Crowdfunding skills
3) HR courses
4) Business profiling
5) Business optimization
6) The management of emotions
7) Communication for Business – lobby, persuasion techniques.

The answers were relevant for some countries and not sufficient for others. Nevertheless, given the fact that we have regarded the overall need – we are confident we have proposed the most efficient and topnotch curricula.