In Europe, women entrepreneurs make up only a third of the self-employed people. Unfortunately, in the agrifood sector this figure is even lower. This situation has inspired EIT Food to launch a five-month international EWA program, which aims to promote women’s leadership in the agrifood sector.

“This year we are really impressed by women startup entrepreneurs as we have received more than 30 unique new business ideas. The commission has selected ten business dreams with the greatest potential. During the program, authors of the selected ideas will participate in various trainings and get individual support from experienced mentors. At the end of the project, the participants will have to present their progress, and the winners will share the prize fund of 18,000 Eur,” said the patron and organizer of the program in Lithuania Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė, Director of the AgriFood Lithuania DIH.


Aim to create an environmentally friendly business

The main goals of the business ideas presented at the program’s opening event are to have a positive impact on the food system, improve people’s quality of life, reduce food waste, encourage short food supply chains and create food that has a neutral or even positive effect on the climate. According to most of the participants of the program, they are here to realize their dreams and contribute to the development of healthy and high-quality food in Lithuania.

“This program is an extraordinary opportunity to encourage women to try to make their dreams come true, inspire self-confidence and help them start a business. It is gratifying to see what interesting and innovative ideas have been presented today that meet both the trends of today’s agrifood sector and consumer expectations. If at least some of those ideas are implemented after the program, we will be very happy to have contributed to the development of the more sustainable agrifood sector in Lithuania.”, said Vaiva Kubilaitė, Business Development Manager of Baltic Amadeus, the sponsor of the EWA program in Lithuania, who is also one of the program’s mentors.


Participants from different parts of Lithuania

 Today a half-year business development journey has begun for Austėja Keraitytė, Irmantė Jurelytė-Kovaliova, Daiva Bičkauskė, Eglė Valuckaitė-Stašauskienė, Šarūnė Vaitiekūnė, Dovilė Ilevičienė, Rasa Nabažaitė, Paulina Gruodienė, Vilija Vedlūgienė and Aistė Balčiūnaitienė.

During their journey, they will be supported by experienced mentors Artūras Jakubavičius, Mantas Vilys, Gytis Junevičius, Ignas Šlapkauskas, Eglė Vaičiukynaitė, Vaiva Kubilaitė, Zita Petkevičienė, Inga Juozapvičienė, Sergejus Borodinas and Edita Bagdonaitė. All mentors are from business, academia, or the public sector.