WEgate Community council – Who we are?

The Community Council is the steering group of the WEgate Community, expected to increase the impact of the WEgate by joining the key actors (top movers) and together with the project partners to co-create a refreshed, more dynamic and vibrant WE community. The Council members will have the opportunity to contribute to a better coordination of activities to support female entrepreneurship in Europe, to mobilise women entrepreneurs, facilitate access to finance, as well as shape WE-related policies.


Goals of the WEgate Community council include:

  • Contributing to the development of the WEgate community by supporting networking, peer-learning and initiatives for achieving wider outreach and multiplier effect,
  • Contributing to the public policy processes for improving WE-related conditions in Europe in selected areas and addressing relevant thematic issues,
  • Advocating and representing the interests of the women entrepreneurs in front of WE-related institutions and other relevant stakeholders.


Members of the WEgate Community council can be different WE stakeholders including: public institutions (e.g., agencies & other public bodies); international organisations; European SME & entrepreneurship communities (networks & platforms, chambers & associations, sectoral organisations; national WE communities (including but not limited to the national WE associations); WE initiatives & projects; access to finance stakeholders, academic organisations and media.


Currently, the WEgate community council has 35 active members, all reputed members of the women entrepreneurship ecosystem and women empowerment champions in their own right. The current membership involves representatives from several national WE communities, international networks, sectoral organisations, and access to finance providers. The goal is to have more council members joining the WEgate journey towards widespread women entrepreneurship.




Get in touch

Meet the community council coordinator & members



                                         FOUNDATION FOR MANAGEMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH

Gabriela Kostovska Bogoeska

WEgate team member, mainly involved in the community building activities, WEgate community council coordinator. Co-founder and executive director of a private research foundation, developing technology transfer and innovation support programmes. Passionate about youth and women entrepreneurship development with extensive experience in business support service’s provisioning.






About the council member:

MIR Foundation implements programmes in support of the four pillars of the sustainable development – economic development, innovations & RTD, environment & green transition, and social development. It is devoted to supporting start-ups and digital skills, running an ICT business incubator since 2007, participates in national / regional / international WE and youth platforms and alliances.


                                               АPID FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Serena Bonfanti

Advisory board member at APID, and a successful entrepreneur. She has gained experience through a career in global development to support her family business. Serena manages international communication, identification of new products and is experienced in research and innovation. Through implementing other project activities, she is also involved in empowering early entrepreneurship education within Europe.




About the council member:

APID association brings together entrepreneurs to promote the benefits of female entrepreneurship, raise awareness of corporate social responsibility among companies, and support more women in unions and governing bodies. The association also provides opportunities for development and training, gives feedback on similar initiatives taking place elsewhere, facilitates the creation of new businesses, fosters the creation of relevant networks, and promotes local employment initiatives, policies and projects.




                                               ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS (VdU)

Elizabeth Lehnich

Member of the National Board of the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs, where she is responsible for international affairs, and also co-chairs the international commission group at VdU. Elizabeth is a keen advocate of the empowerment of businesswomen at an international level. She is also the founder and managing director of Discover legal GmbH.






About the council member:

Since its inception in 1954, the VdU has been active in campaigning for female entrepreneurship, more women in leadership positions, better rights for women in the workplace and a healthier combination of work and family life for both women and men. Currently represents some 1800 German business women, divided into 16 federal-state-level branches, and offers networking opportunities with entrepreneurs in Germany and abroad, as well as a mentoring programme for young businesswomen.


                                            BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL WOMEN (BPW EUROPE)

Amélie Leclercq

European Women’s Lobby Board member. She led a career as court administrator in the French justice system and created her own company in Sofia with a focus on European affairs, justice, home affairs, gender equality and accessibility of the workplace to persons with handicaps through training and project management. Since 2014, she represents BPW Europe in the Board of administration of the European Women Lobby. She is a member of the EWL’s Feminist Economics workgroup. www.linkedin.com/in/amelec 




About the council member:

Founded in 1930 in Geneva, grown to an international network of 25.000 members in more than 107 countries. It has 5 regions to manage this large organization: North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Europe is the strongest region with more than 18.000 members in nearly 31 countries. BPW projects assist women to: Enter and re-enter the workforce; Start up and advance their business or profession; Protect their rights; Overcome their limitations; Create a nurturing environment in work, education, health for women development.



                                              DIGITAL LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck

Director of the Digital Leadership Institute. In 2018, Google and the Financial Times placed Cheryl among the 100 Digital Pioneers of Europe, and in the same year, Cheryl received a coveted "GLOMO" Global Mobile Industry Leader Award for her grassroots work promoting digital equity around the world.





About the council member:

The Digital Leadership Institute is a Brussels-based, international NGO and a recognised world leader in promoting greater participation of girls and women in strategic, innovative ESTEAM (Entrepreneurship & Arts powered by STEM) sectors, through four areas of activity: I) Education and Skills Development II) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support. III) Advocacy and Awareness Building. IV) Research and Consultancy.