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Topic 1 from this Methodological Guide highlights how all relations are different (there is no one-model for the coach-coachee journey) but they all need the same qualitative skills: trust, experience, interpersonal, open-mindedness, shared values.

The WECAN project is about coaching between entrepreneur women and other women starting an entrepreneur path or willing to start it. This approach, women coaching and – to some extent - mentoring women, entrepreneurs mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs, which could be considered a kind of peer-to-peer relation, is the result of several needs.

First, let’s focus on the importance of same-gender influence: it has been proved by some studies, (Markussen & Røed, 2017) that gender gap in early career entrepreneurship is an issue and, when mentoring novice entrepreneurs, peer-mentors of the same sex are much more influential than peer-mentors of the opposite sex. It is a matter of empathy, self-reflection and identification, and understanding of the problems and limitations. One advantage of WECoaches is precisely that there isn’t this gender gap, favouring an equal-to-equal relationship and trying to provide all the benefits of this approach.

Studies have also showed that novice entrepreneurs acquire a lot of learning outcomes from mentoring (St-Jean & Audet, 2012). These outcomes are divided in three categories (cognitive learning, skill-based learning and affective learning). Out of these categories, mentored entrepreneurs benefit mainly from cognitive and affective learning. But, how these learning outcomes benefit novice or future entrepreneurs? From cognitive learning, entrepreneurs report to have increased their management knowledge and skills, and learned to identify opportunities by expanding their vision. From affective learning, instead, benefits such as a lower sense of solitude and an improvement of the self-image through mentor’s affirmation could be very positive for the mentored entrepreneur resilience.

One of the aims of WECAN is to give new or potential entrepreneur women the opportunity to have a coaching and mentoring experience with other women who already were at their situation sometime, the initial stages of an entrepreneurial project and that, therefore, know first-hand the challenges that they can find and can guide them through this pathway.


Project Coordinator

Centre d'Information Europe Direct

47, rue du Coq, 13001 Marseille, France
+33 4 91 42 94 75

Charlotte Perault, EU Project Manager

Hélène Seigneur, EU Project Manager

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