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The following manual is a Methodological Guide for women entrepreneurs approaching the WECAN coaching pathway.

The Methodological Guide has been developed within the first intellectual output of the project aimed at creating a toolkit to help women entrepreneurs in their journey as coaches.

The current guide defines and describes the WECAN coaching methodology – both as a stand-alone resource and with a view to underpin the development of the Curriculum and Training Materials that will be created in the second part of the project.



The Methodological Guide is based upon 4 pillars:

  • The use of non-formal and unconventional practices and approaches to engage with adult women out of employment,
  • The notion of coaching as a non-formal and creative learning approach which can enhance women participation in the economic life of the society in which they live,
  • The transversal competences of the European Reference Framework for Lifelong Learning (ERF),
  • The EntreComp Framework as the main reference framework for the development of entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and attitudes applicable in all spheres of life.

Effective coaching interventions for women willing to start up a business means to identify the barriers they face and remove them by addressing their knowledge gaps. This is why the WECAN methodology focuses on a peer-to-peer approach: in fact, a woman entrepreneur who is more experienced and has gone through similar challenges can help the coachee in finding her way towards her entrepreneurial goal. Being the relationship between two individuals a delicate subject, the methodology is aimed at sorting the main steps of the coaching pathways and at identifying obstacles and solutions that can be adopted by the coachees.

The methodology places emphasis on reflexivity or reflective-reflexive practice thus encouraging peer learning and co-creation – thanks to the methodology, the coach will understand where their coachees are positioned, they will learn how to explore their language and also how they approach obstacles and overcome them.

The methodology is divided into 4 Chapters, each addressing 4 different topics and coaching relationship stage:

  • The Coach-coachee match (developed by CSC Danilo Dolci)
  • Entrepreneurship (developed by CSI)
  • How do we learn? (developed by EUROCIRCLE and Center for Knowledge Management)
  • How to design the coaching session (developed by I-BOX Create S.L. and Greek Association of Women Entrepreneurs)

Topic 1 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.

In topic 2, the methodology explores the notion of entrepreneurial learning that is included in the key competencies of ERF for lifelong learning which enhances work-based and project-based learning. The ERF seeks a reinforced and systematic collaboration between education, training and employment learning settings to support lifelong learning pathways. The EntreComp Framework is analysed as well to show how entrepreneurial attitudes are capable of unlocking personal potential, creativity and self-initiative.

This topic thus leads coaches to understand and find out what types of entrepreneurship exist to later understand the kind of coaching support is needed. Each coachee needs a different coaching support depending on the type of business she aims at, her personality traits, or decision-making style.

In topic 3, the methodology places an emphasis on the pedagogical notions of reflective-reflexive learning and encourage peer learning and co-creation - exploring language, style and presentation in a reflective way, which is how knowledge is actually acquired. Emphasis is put on communication and confidence building.

Topic 4 helps WECoaches in understanding what type of support the coachees need at each stage of the coaching relationship, that is, initiation, cultivation, separation, and redefinition stage. In order to do this, the methodology explains the three crucial moments of the coaching relation:

  • design the coaching sessions,
  • the implementation phase; and
  • the evaluation stage

The methodology stresses the importance of this last stage which is important in order to assess the coaching effectiveness.

Each topic is introduced by a brief summary. The reader can find a list of annexes and the bibliography – divided according to the topics - at the end of the guide.


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Centre d'Information Europe Direct

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Charlotte Perault, EU Project Manager

Hélène Seigneur, EU Project Manager

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