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42.Project DRP0200020 „WE.Circular: Boosting digital and industrial capacity for sustainable circular transition of women entrepreneurs in the Danube Region”

Duration of projects: 30 months
Beginning of the project: 01.01.2024
End of the project: 30/06/2026
Overall budget: 2.399.262,97 euro
Interreg Funds: 1.919.410,36 euro



WE.Circular - Boosting digital and industrial capacity for sustainable circular transition of women entrepreneurs in the Danube Region
Project DRP0200020-WE.Circular -Boosting digital and industrial capacity for sustainable circular transition of women entrepreneurs in the Danube Region is supported by the Interreg Danube Programme co-funded by the European Eunion.
The project aims, based on studies carried out, to exchange good practices from different European regions, to increase the digital and business skills of women entrepreneurs for the industrial transition and to provide key stakeholders with the skills necessary to implement and implement smart business strategies. specialization, preparing women entrepreneurs from the Danube region for the transition to industry 4.0, by applying the circular economy model.
The project consortium includes 26 partners from 12 countries of the Danube region and unites national and regional, public and private organizations and universities.
Lead Partner:
Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovations - Varna (RAPIV), Bulgaria
Project Partners:
Varna Free University “Chernorizets Hrabar”, Bulgaria
Innovation Region Styria LTD, Austria
Technology Park Varaždin ltd, Croatia
IREAS, Institute for Structural Policy, o. p. s., Czech Republic
Bwcon GmbH, Germany
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska, Slovenia
Pannon Business Network Association, Hungary
MGFU Hungarian Economic Development Agency Public Benefit Nonprofit Ltd., Hungary
Ropot Boutique SRL, Romania
Slovak Business Agency, Slovakia
Organization for Entrepreneurship Development, Moldova
Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina
University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Association of Business Women in Serbia
Associated Strategic Partners:
SPIRIT Slovenia, public agency
Ministry of Economy and Industry, Bulgaria
Ministry of National Economy, Hungary
Round Slovakia
Association of Women Entrepreneurs Club, Hungary
Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova
Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Youth, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Chamber of Commerce of Styria - Dept. founder- and economic services, Austria
City of Varaždin, Croatia
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia
ViitorPlus – associaţia pentru desarrollo durabilă, Romania


On June 12th-13th, 2024, the Organization for Entrepreneurship Development (ODA) successfully hosted the 2nd Transnational Learning Event and the 1st Transnational Stakeholders Group Meeting in Chisinau, Moldova. This dynamic event brought together over 45 participants from partnering organizations and stakeholders, eager to explore initiatives supporting the digital and circular transition.

The first day was packed with informative sessions about projects and initiatives aimed at fostering digital and circular entrepreneurship.

On the second day, the members of the Transnational Stakeholders Group met for the first time. Project partners were excited to learn more about the members of the Advisory Board, nominated by each national stakeholder group and associated strategic partners.

After the introduction, the first insights from the 12 National Skills Gaps and Needs Analysis were presented. The main training and support needs per country were outlined, as well as the motivational factors for digital and circular transition, and recommendations for improvement.

A brainstorming session was organized in four groups, with participants working both onsite and online. The results from these group sessions will serve as a foundation for the further development of the WE.Circular training programme, WE.Circular Labs, and the Transnational Strategy for WE Circular Transition.




The Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar" welcomed the participants in the first familiarisation event and partner meeting under the project “WE.Circular – promotion of digital and industrial capacity for sustainable circular transition of women-led small and medium-sized enterprises in the Danube region.” It was attended by nearly 40 representatives of partner organizations who arrived in Varna at the invitation of the leading organisation - the Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Varna (RAPIV). The project consortium unites 14 partners from 10 countries in the Danube region, including national and regional organizations, universities and private companies from Austria, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. Besides the leading organization RAPIV, Bulgaria is also represented by the Varna Free University and the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
During the conference, the results of the implemented projects were presented, which are the basis of the creation of "WE.Circular – encouraging entrepreneurship among young women in the Danube region," according to which a Center for Women's Entrepreneurship was founded at VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar." Assoc. prof. Dr. Eleonora Tankova, Vice-Rector of VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar," presented the good practices from the project "Knowing the Circular Economy in the Black Sea Basin," under which the university initiated the creation of a European Group for Territorial Cooperation on Circular Economy in the Black Sea Basin.
“WE.Circular” aims to overcome the challenges of the transition to circular economy by developing innovative training programmes to improve the skills and competencies of women entrepreneurs. The project puts emphasis on accelerating the transition to circular economy of women-led businesses by introducing circular business models. The aim is to increase the capacity of public authorities to develop policy instruments and programmes for the transition to circular economy for women entrepreneurs.

On 25.01.2024, with the participation of representatives of all partner organizations, a virtual partner meeting was held under the "WE.Circular: Promotion of digital and industrial capacity for a sustainable circular transition of women-led SMEs in the Danube region - DRP0200020" project, co-financed by Interreg "Danube Region" program 2021-2027. Initial activities were determined and the foundations were laid for joint work, which will continue until June 2026.