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EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020
EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020
19 March 2020
Modified: 19 March 2020
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On 11 February 2020, International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Commissioner Gabriel launched the 7th edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators. Applications are now open until Tuesday 21 April at 17:00 CET (Brussels time).

What is the prize?

It is a cash prize awarded every year to European women who founded a successful company and brought an innovation to market.

The contest is open to women from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020. Finalists are selected by a high-level jury of independent experts from across Europe, from business, venture capital, entrepreneurship and academia.

Three winners receive €100,000 each, and €50,000 is awarded to a Rising Innovator (an exceptional entrepreneur - age 35 or younger - at the beginning of her career).

Why is there a prize?

Even though there are more women than men in Europe, female entrepreneurs represent only a third of self-employed people in the EU, and only 30% of start-up entrepreneurs. This means that female creativity and entrepreneurial potential are a hugely under-exploited source of jobs and economic growth. The European Commission is working with EU countries to overcome the barriers to women entrepreneurship and encourage more women to start their own companies.

The EU prize for women innovators celebrates our inspiring female leaders in innovation. The award recognises women’s role in bringing game-changing innovations to market, and honours the outstanding achievements of female entrepreneurs running innovative companies. The award also seeks to raise awareness of the need for more female entrepreneurs, and create strong role models for women and girls.

Prize value

  • 3 prizes of €100,000 each
  • Rising Innovator (35 or younger): €50,000

The award also recognises a number of finalists specially acknowledged for their outstanding record as women entrepreneurs and innovators.

Who can apply?

The contest is open to women from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020, who have

  • founded or co-founded a successful company and
  • brought innovation to market

Award criteria

  • breakthrough innovation – the company founded or co-founded by the contestant provides a truly innovative product or service
  • impact – the product or service addresses a specific societal need or challenge, with significant benefits to citizens and to the economy
  • inspiration – the contestant has shown active leadership, she has played a pivotal role in the success of the company and inspired others

Applications are judged by a panel of independent experts from across Europe.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted online, via the Funding and Tenders Portal. Applicants are invited to read the following documents before submitting their application.


  • 11 February 2020 Start of application phase
  • 21 April 2020 End of application phase
  • September 2020 Winners’ announcement

Applications will be assessed during spring 2020 and the best candidates invited to a hearing with the jury.


For more information email

Updated: 19 March 2020
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