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EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020 - Now Open!

The 7th edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators was launched by the European Commission on the 11th February 2020. Do you have what it takes to be the next EU Woman Innovator? Read on and apply now - don’t miss out!

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

The 7th edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators was launched by the European Commission on the 11th February 2020. With applications now being accepted, the closing date is Tuesday 21st April at 5pm CET (Brussels time). Do you have what it takes to be the next EU Woman Innovator? Read on and apply now - don’t miss out!

Celebrating female entrepreneurs

Right across the EU, female entrepreneurs only make up around a third of self-employed people and just 30% of start-up entrepreneurs. It seems that such a wealth of female potential and creativity is being hugely under-recognised; a massive missed opportunity indeed.

This is something that the European Commission is looking to tackle by identifying the barriers to female entrepreneurship and how they can be overcome. It’s about encouraging women to realise their business potential, and assist them in starting their own companies if they wish to.

The point of the award is also in recognising women’s roles in bringing game-changing innovations to marketplace, and honouring the fantastic achievements of female entrepreneurs launching innovative new companies. It raises awareness of the need for more female entrepreneurs too, and highlights the importance of strong role models for women and girls going forward.

What is the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020?

Cash prizes are awarded each year to female entrepreneurs who have started up a successful company and unveiled a new innovation to the marketplace.

The contest is open to women from across the EU and countries associated with Horizon 2020, and four of the most inspirational women will be selected. Finalists will be chosen by a highly competent panel of independent experts from across Europe, including individuals from academia, businesses, entrepreneurship and the financial sector.

How much is being offered?

There are three prizes of €100,000 each on offer, plus a ‘Rising Innovator’ prize of €50,000 awarded to a female entrepreneur of 35 years old or under.

What is the award criteria?

Once the competition is closed, the jury will decide finalists based on:

  1. Breakthrough Innovation: the degree to which the entrepreneur’s company provides a brand new, innovative product or service. Not only does the innovation need to be clearly presented and described by the female entrepreneur, she should also demonstrate how it’s an improvement on existing solutions already on the market.
  2. Impact: this is in regard to how the entrepreneur’s products or services have had a notable benefit both to society and the wider economy. Entrepreneurs need to be able to explain what the specific need was that they addressed, and what the benefit to society/the economy has been. This could be in relation to things like gender equality, societal challenges or climate change for example. Another important point is that the applicant needs to talk about how their invention will create jobs and promote European growth. They should also be able to show how they have positively contributed to the wider innovation ecosystem, supplying evidence like key financial data and a well-developed mid to long-term business development strategy.
  1. Inspiration: this is about showing initiative and leadership in the course of building her company. How has the applicant inspired others, particularly women, to also become innovators in their chosen industries?

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants wishing to enter the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020 competition will need to meet the following rules around eligibility:

  • They must live in the EU, or a country associated to Horizon 2020
  • They must be a woman (for the Rising Innovator Award, the applicant must have been classed as female on or after the 1st January 1985)
  • They must have founded or co-founded an innovative EU company which is still active, and which was registered prior to the 1st January 2018

Where do I find more information?

For more information on this funding programme, please visit

Alternatively, contact us if you'd like to know whether your project would likely qualify for this grant.

Why use Myriad Associates?

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