EIC Women Leadership Programme 5th Cohort

22 February - 20 March 2024

To support the role of women in innovation and tech, the European Innovation Council (EIC), in partnership with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), offers a skills enhancement and networking programme for women researchers and entrepreneurs, the Women Leadership Programme (WLP).  

The programme is open to female researchers and entrepreneurs from the EIC Community and EIT female entrepreneurs. Each cohort consists of both virtual and in-person training sessions, led by high-profile experienced trainers who challenge participants’ leadership approaches with inspiring case studies and use participatory approaches to encourage active engagement. Participants benefit from individual coaching and personal mentoring. Through dedicated networking events, they also engage with peers and inspiring role models.

Who is eligible to participate?

EIC Women Leadership Programme’s recurring cohorts target female members of EIC and EIT beneficiaries, separately:

  • EIC and EIT female (co)founders and managers (CEOs, CTOs, CFOs, COOs, CCOs, etc.) who want to strengthen their skills and expand their network. 
  • EIC female researchers involved in research projects aspiring to lead the transition of their research into businesses.

The 5th WLP cohort, starting in April 2024, is specifically designed for female researchers and aspiring female leaders open to EIC beneficiary from EIC Pathfinder and EIC Transition schemes. In addition, one more WLP cohort will be launched at the end of 2024, with a focus on female (co-)founders and leaders in C-Suite positions. Eligible candidates can apply to open calls launched on the EIC Community (see further details below).   

What does the programme offer?

Participants will benefit from a tailored programme following a needs assessment, including specific training sessions with interactive exercises and discussions, networking events, personalised mentorship, and business-coaching schemes.


Participants have access to training sessions on topics such as negotiation, pitching, leadership styles, marketing, and public speaking, that address the participants needs. The trainings take place during business days, with a duration of 2 hours each. Sessions are led by experts from the industry and are designed to be interactive, offering hands-on exercises and case studies to help participants put their leadership skills into practice.


Dedicated networking events take place throughout the programme to increase the participants’ network and heighten their visibility with key stakeholders in the European innovation ecosystem. During the training sessions, keynote speakers provide testimonials and facilitate networking moments. WLP fosters and promotes the exchange of experiences between its cohort participants and provides speed-dating activities with mentors.

Personal Mentoring and Business Coaching

The mentors, ranging from experienced CEOs and investors to serial entrepreneurs, are matched with participants based on career challenges faced by the participant. Participants meet with their mentors on a regular basis to receive support on their career goals and challenges.

In addition, participants have the opportunity to work with an expert EIC business coach. These experts support participants with business related goals and challenges, such as identifying new business opportunities.  

Alumni Group

Programme’s participants are included into an exclusive alumni group on the EIC Community Platformto maintain an active contact with fellow participants, network, share events and relevant news.

EIC WLP 5th Cohort for female researchers and aspiring female leaders

The Application Call for the EIC WLP 5th cohort is now open! Prospective participants are encouraged to ​apply by filling in the application form on the EIC Community Platform by 20 March 2024 (EOD).  

22 February 2024 Open Call for Applications 
20  March 2024 Application deadline  
12 April 2024   Confirmation of participation      
23 April  2024 Introductory workshop and mentor speed dating, online 
25 April 2024 Kick-off meeting and first training, online 
April- June 2024 Training sessions and networking activities, online or in person (TBC) 
June 2024 Closing Ceremony 

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