Women in almost all EU member states have less support for training on how to start and grow a business (OECD, 2018). Throughout their entrepreneurial journey, women mostly do not receive quality accompaniment, finding a large gap in the supply of mentoring. And in crises or problems such as those caused by the pandemic, most women do not have the necessary tools and skills to deal with them or a mentor to support them (OECD, 2018). Besides, mentoring and support programs usually give priority to the birth of new entrepreneurs. People who started and failed are often left out, even if research shows that they are more likely to succeed when they start over again (EC, 2014; Jourová, 2016).
On the other hand, according to a study on cultural and creative industries, the cultural sectors employ more women than other sectors. Globally, around 50% of cultural employment is held by women (European Parliament, 2019).
According to the above, it is appropriate to highlight that the artistic and creative industries are the third-largest employer in the EU (EC, 2016) but have been dramatically affected by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (European Parliament, 2021). Many businesses in the arts and creative industries have been affected or have had to close, which has been economically and psychologically damaging to female entrepreneurs. Regardless of the pandemic, gender equality is a vital issue for the arts and creative industries and has been selected as one of the five sectoral priorities for EU action in the EU Roadmap for Culture 2019-2022 (UNESCO, 2020).
RestART Europe aims to equip mentors with the knowledge and tools to develop an attractive mentoring offer for second- chance female entrepreneurs in the arts and creative industries, focusing on building confidence in their personal and entrepreneurial skills. It also aims to increase awareness and preparation for failure and problems, overcome them, and cope psychologically with them to maintain the business despite the barriers they face. In this way, we hereby use a broader definition of second-chance female entrepreneurs, including both those who have already failed (e.g., bankruptcy, discontinuation of work) or are currently failing and, wish to start a business but do not have the entrepreneurial skills to start again their own business.
RestART Europe aims to train mentors to provide the necessary tools and equip female entrepreneurs in arts and creative industries with digital skills, hard entrepreneurial skills, and soft 21st-century skills, especially those looking for a second opportunity to undertake a business. The program will be dedicated to developing and enhancing the skills of mentors in various digital, financial, entrepreneurship, legal, and psychological sectors, among others. It will be planted under the philosophy “learning to train.”