RestART Europe has a consortium of partners from four different European countries (Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Portugal), which is essential for the project’s success. The arts and creative industries have been strongly affected by COVID-19, where there is a lack of support and incentives for female entrepreneurs after a first failure to start a business again.
The diversity of the information we will collect will allow us to create resources that can be used to restore the arts and creative industries, not only in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal but also from other EU countries.
From an ecosystem perspective, the partners chosen to participate in the project are very influential in their regions and have the competencies, networks, and knowledge needed. The transnational partners will complement each other by bringing their unique competencies to the project: mentoring experience (Friesland College), digitalization and female entrepreneurship (MUAS), higher education programs in the arts and creativity sector (UNINA and Lusofona University), entrepreneurship and quality assurance (ACEEU) demonstrating that the consortium is fully integrated into their national ecosystems. This will allow the project results to be disseminated and promoted in their respective national ecosystems.
On the other hand, the collective acknowledgment that gender balance is not a binary construct. Also, debates on gender balance and equality must be considered through the lens of intersectionality as the analytic register for fully understanding multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination affecting women (Voices of culture, 2019). Although discrimination and inequality hold women back in all countries and arts and creative sector subsections, the means to efficiently fight against discrimination and inequality varies according to country and subsection (Voices of culture, 2019).
In this way, the partners come from countries with different contexts on the inclusion of women in the arts and creative industries. Also, each country has implemented various strategies to support the inclusion of female entrepreneurs, and each country has dealt differently with the aftermath of the pandemic. In this way, we would analyze the effectiveness of the pre-training for mentors and the mentoring for second-chance female entrepreneurs in various cultural contexts. For example, in Germany, women continue to be under-represented in leadership positions in the cultural policy sector and artistic professions, and cultural institutions (EIGE, 2016).
Therefore, we need outcomes from all these countries to truly represent second-chance female entrepreneurs in the arts and creative industries across Europe.