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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
ESTEAM Fests and Communities

for girls and women

About: Empowering women and girls through digital and entrepreneurial competences with ESTEAM Fests and Communities

Nearly four out of ten women in the EU (38%) reported during the period 2016-20 that they had the skills and knowledge to start a business, relative to half of men1. Studies also show that although girls are equally interested in science-related careers than boys at a young age, they tend to deviate from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) topics as they grow-up.

The European Commission and the European Innovation and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) are just starting a project together with Deloitte, the European Women Association and Vlajo to empower women and girls’ in particular by boosting their digital and entrepreneurial competences and increasing their confidence to choose STEM  career paths.

ESTEAM Communities

Throughout the 3 years of the project, 11 “ESTEAM Fests” (ESTEAM stands for Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) will be organised in a total of 19 EU Member States to boost women and girls’ competences, to inspire them, and to give them the chance to connect with like-minded peers. ESTEAM online communities, for women and girls will also be built to sustain the momentum of the events and to allow them to keep learning and connecting with their peers online. Throughout the Fests and communities’ workshops and activities, participants will learn about ESTEAM career paths and be inspired by women role models who thrive in these domains, while developing not only their digital and entrepreneurial competences but also their collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and public speaking skills.

This project is a pilot to test an approach that aims to empower women and girls, with the view to potentially be replicated by different stakeholders to enhance entrepreneurial mindsets and contribute to closing the digital skills gap in the EU.

1. The Missing Entrepreneurs 2021, published in November 2021 on the OECD website: The Missing Entrepreneurs (


Owning your worth for women leaders session

The European Commission, together with Deloitte and EWA (European Women's Association),  is organizing a #WomenESTEAMOnlineSession, on “Owning your worth for women leaders”, on 23 November from 09:00 to 10:30 CET. The session is part of the ESTEAM project, which focuses on empowering women and girls by boosting their digital and entrepreneurial competences and increasing their confidence to choose STEM career paths!

Mrs Denise McGarry who is a “Money & Mindset Coach” will discuss how to elevate your mindset and own your worth as women leaders.

If you are interested, register by 18 November:   

You are not a part of the Women ESTEAM community yet? Join our community of like-minded women now and stay tuned for upcoming activities:


The first ESTEAM FESTs took place in May and June 2022, and they were packed with interesting content and activities. 

On 19-20 May took place the 1st Girls ESTEAM Fest, in a hybrid format (on-site and online)

Each participating age group had adapted activities that made learning fun! For the 9-11 age  group they enjoyed “Escape Games” and used their abilities to resolve some challenges such as word search, or trust circle-walking.  For girls between 12-15 years old, they had different challenges aiming to find their own strengths, values and identity and helping them defining their path. For the oldest ones (16-18 years old) they had to work on a real life business case with high impact solving societal challenges and then they had to pitch in front of the project team. 

The 1st Women ESTEAM Fest took place on 13-14 June, one day online and one day in person.

Each day was composed of different plenary sessions with inspiring speakers and workshops to boost the entrepreneurial and digital skills of the participants.

The workshops provided covered a large variety of topics such as: Design Thinking, Personal branding, Personal leadership as key to confidence, Process Excellence in the Digital Core: Explore SAP, Transforming organisations with Enterprise Architecture, Exploring the Metaverse, Bring your business idea to the next level, Project Management, AI lab, 4 Quick (and Cheap) Stages to Test a Startup Idea, Public Speaking, Uncovering the business potential of blockchain and Digitalisation & Phygital.

The 2nd Girls ESTEAM Fest took place on 17 November 2022 in Dublin, Ireland in physical presence.

Approximately 80 girls, including 2 Ukrainian girls, participated in the Fest. The girls were coming from 3 Irish schools that are hosting children coming from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

The workshops were designed based on the competences comprised in DigComp and EntreComp. The 16-18 years old girls had to work on creating an App to solve a challenge in one of the two areas ‘access to finance’ or ‘mental & physical health’, and then pitch their solution to the audience. The 12–15-year-old girls talked about ESTEAM and sustainability and had to propose some solutions to an environmental challenge of choice.

The role models that inspired the girls with their life story were: Katie Mullan - captain of Ireland’s field hockey team and also with a career in biomedicine; Arushi Doshi – expert in cyber security and digital forensic; and Aisling Stafford – engineer and data analyst.

On 25 November 2022, the 2nd Girls ESTEAM Fest was in Malta.

Did you miss it? Join the events and communities now!

Do you identify as a woman and are interested in boosting your digital and/or entrepreneurial skills?

Do you identify as a girl, are between 9 and 18 years old, and are interested in boosting your digital and/or entrepreneurial skills? Or are you a teacher or a parent looking to support girls in this journey?

  • Join our Girls ESTEAM community to develop your skills, to learn about digital and entrepreneurship and to connect with other like-minded girls and mentors!

And stay tuned for future ESTEAM Fest dates!