Developing and implementing effective strategies towards women entrepreneurship


“The programme was insightful as I was made aware that women entrepreneurship is more of an economic empowerment discussion rather than a gender discussion. It is about seeing and creating opportunities in everyday life as well as creating a healthy balance between social impact and profit for a sustainable business.” This is what Ms. Ayoola Adetutu Oluruntola (Nigeria) said after successfully completing the Short Executive Programme on Women Entrepreneurship Policy which has run from 03 – 07 July 2023.

Mr. Erik Baghdasaryan (Armenia) was happy and excited to pass the short course on Women Entrepreneurship Policy: “It was great to join this programme together with colleagues from different countries and a wonderful professor to exchange ideas and experience with. It is a good opportunity to see both people who are entrepreneurs and those who work to assist, and work with them in the same room, and of course professors who guide discussions through academic vision.

Also for Ms. Oluruntola sharing a learning environment with people from so many different countries was a valuable experience: “It was an unforgettable experience and one I will always treasure as it helped me see life through a multicultural lens. Through the course, my worldview has expanded as I drew from the experiences and context of the participants Through the learning experience, I realised that behind our ethnic and religious differences, we are all connected and we need greater representation. My worldview has become more balanced and I feel empowered to make a positive difference in my generation.

Part of the programme was a work visit to LIOF – the regional development agency for Limburg who supports innovative entrepreneurs with advice, network and financing. During the work visit the participants learned about the ecosystem in the province of Limburg (South part in the Netherlands) for start-ups and scale-ups. LIOF works together with different stakeholders to increase innovation. By visiting two of them, Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus and Medace BV, the participants got an idea of how this works in practice. 

According to Mr. Baghdasaryan the work visits were very valuable: “It was great that we managed, despite the short time, to visit two start-up companies and got a better understanding of how women start-ups look like in the Netherlands."

Ms. Oluruntola added: “The work visits made this programme even more impactful as we learned about the stories and inspiration behind the entrepreneurs.”

On the question what Ms. Oluruntola would like to say to others who consider to apply for this programme she said: “I recommend this programme for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs as it was delivered in a practical and easy to understand approach. Ms. Josette Dijkhuizen kept us glued as there was no dull moment as we gleaned from her entrepreneurial experience.”

Mr. Baghdasaryan fully agrees: “Ms. Dijkhuizens’ style of delivering the material, in combination with her coaching techniques and inviting participants for dialogue was appealing to me. And of course, last but not least, this training was a good occasion to explore the beautiful city of Maastricht with its University life spirit. For a short time I felt like a student again!"

About the programme
Women entrepreneurship deals with stimulating the participation of women in business. Businesses and enterprises can thrive if the ecosystem is stimulating and well-developed and where the entrepreneurship policy framework is functioning well. Aspects within this framework, which are of great importance, are access to capital and networks, a facilitating legislative environment and supportive social norms. Next to the entrepreneurial environment businesses thrive in, entrepreneurship is also about more psychological topics of e.g. self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience, which are closely related to women’s empowerment. Prof. Dr. Dijkhuizen designed the Short Executive Programme on Women Entrepreneurship Policy to inform participants on the most relevant aspects of women entrepreneurship and offers them the tools and instruments in developing and implementing effective strategies.

Do you want to join the Women Entrepreneurship Policy?
The next programme will run from 03 – 07 June 2024. Click here for more information about the programme and how to apply.

About MSM’s Short Executive Programmes
Today’s rapidly changing societies and economies demand the most from organisations, leaders, managers and professionals. MSM’s Short Executive Programmes for emerging markets are developed to achieve a successful and sustainable transformation of both individuals and organisations to support local economic development and business management.

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