Our Project

Gender equality is one of the key horizontal themes of the EU Strategy for Growth and Jobs.  The Lisbon Strategy defines targets in terms of participation rates for women in the labour market and also, entrepreneurship development. The achievement of such targets remains compromised by the various and numerous obstacles women encounter in the job market and in the business creation field.

In addition, it is clear that the role that women play in terms of local regeneration is crucial, however, urban regeneration has always been a predominantly male affair. This is not surprising as it has been about things as derelict land, planning, property development, employment, and labour market all traditionally male domains. This situation is evolving since women are becoming important actors in social and economic regeneration.

This proposal intends to establish a Thematic Network of cities which will address the theme of "Women, Enterprise and Employment in Local Development".

In particular the network will focus on the key issues of: 

  • women and entrepreneurship
  • women in research and knowledge economy
  • gender inequalities in the workplace and the labour market



The main objective of WEED is to provide capacity building for professional development on the issue of women and economic and local development. To this end we will establish a transnational exchange programme in order to facilitate transfer of policy, planning and good practices.

Key point of focus

The project will focus on a number of issues:

  • Women and entrepreneurship: The EU Roadmap for gender equality 2006-2010 indicates that the most common barriers for women to create new businesses are: access to sources of funding, access to technology, identifying potential markets, lack of self-confidence and management skills. The exchange will therefore focus on good practice related to addressing these barriers.
  • Women in the Knowledge Economy: A major factor related to the entrepreneurship of women is linked to their access to new technology and the segregation in education. In all countries, but in particular the new member states that have emerged out of the socialist system, women's level of higher education tends to exceed that of men. Despite the fact that women now represent the majority of high graduates (59%), their fields of study remain strongly stereotyped, and technical studies attract only 1 female graduate in ten. The exchange will therefore focus on strategies for changing this situation.

Gender equality and the labour market: Much can be done at a local level to better employ women's potentials. Cities, in particular, should become more women friendly locations, by developing and supporting measures which: promote a life cycle approach to work, help reconcile work and private life, tackle women's unemployment, promote equal opportunity in the workplace and the labour market, and clearly confront discriminatory practices.

A word from the lead partner

What motivates you to be part of the URBACT adventure ?

In the past our city has had very positive and successful experiences working with other European cities and we are pleased to be once again involved in a transnational exchange programme. The theme of our network Women, Enterprise, Employment in Local Development is an important subject for our city and we hope to share and learn from each others experiences and to develop solutions that can be adapted to our local context.

Who would you like to benefit from the work achieved in your project?

In Celje women play a significant part in the labour market and make up around 45 % of the employment rate.  However among the biggest 50 private companies in Celje only 8 are officially led by women (16%). Within the framework of the WEED project we would like to address this issue and explore how the level of women owned and run businesses can be increased. We also would like find ways of how to best promote women interest and involvement in new technologies and/or science which is a newly developing sector in our region.