Our Mission

Empowering women from rural areas to seize the opportunities that digital innovation presents for their communities to thrive and prosper.

Our ambition is that the benefits of digitisation reach deep into Europe’s rural heartlands and ensure that no one gets left behind.

The Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation is a part of Huawei’s broader educational initiative Seeds for the Future, designed to advance digital inclusion and female empowerment. 

Women are the cornerstone of our society and must be encouraged to take an active role in fostering growth and building a sustainable future. In rural populations, where women often play a vital role at both a social and economic level, they are well placed to take a lead in embracing the opportunities presented by digitalisation and ensuring their communities do not get left behind.

This vision of equality and inclusion is aligned with the European Commission’s commitment to achieving a gender-equal Europe by 2025. It is also what makes this programme so dynamic and compelling.

Fifteen women from rural areas within the EU were welcomed to this first edition of The Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation. They represented different countries and diverse backgrounds, coming together for a week-long programme of masterclasses, debates and workshops with top experts.

The agenda combined focus groups, panel discussions and team work sessions designed to inspire and empower participants. They took part in practical and thought-provoking activities, and acquired the skills needed to help rural areas succeed in a digital world.


The Future of Rural Innovation is Female

Women make up half of the population. But they still face structural challenges that unfairly prevent many of them from unleashing their full potential. In rural areas, women face a double hurdle: in addition to the gender gap, they also need to overcome the urban-rural divide in order to progress. The situation also presents an obstacle to equal opportunities in the EU.

Europe’s rural areas are an important contributor to the European economy and society. They play a vital role in feeding citizens through the food that they raise and grow, and they also conserve the rich diversity of our countryside and the open green spaces that we all enjoy visiting.

Given the importance of making women fully active participants in Europe’s recovery - a fundamental pillar of which is the digital transition - HUAWEI EU aims to recognise the immense potential of female talent and to proactively support it, empowering women to lead the tech revolution.


Unleashing the Power of Female Talent

The week-long programme focused on business sustainability and local products in a global world. It created a vision for the role of rural communities in today’s digital world and equips attendees with the skills and knowledge needed to seize entrepreneurial opportunities and place their rural areas on the map.

Expert mentors enabled them to gain a better understanding of the digital landscape and the opportunities it presents in a rural setting. They explored a myriad of insightful subjects, from fostering rural development and nature’s potential for value creation through to establishing SMEs and managing start-ups. Participants explored how technology can break down barriers to women’s success, and worked alongside inspiring role models to build positive pathways for themselves and their communities.


A Unique Concept

Innovative and enriching, inspiring and engaging, The Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation offers a unique opportunity. Participants:

  • are positioned at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and rural development;
  • are ready to share ideas, brainstorm and debate with experts, thought-leaders, business representatives and policymakers;
  • are open to benefit from dedicated mentorship within an innovative experience, designed to be practical and solution-oriented;
  • look forward to acquiring knowledge and networking in a safe and supportive environment.

Participants will be selected by an independent jury and given a full scholarship to attend the programme, covering all costs and expenses including travel and meals. The key selection criteria for successful applicants are to be women above the age of 18, with a relevant connection to a rural area, and with the determination to create a positive impact and leverage new technologies to foster economic growth locally.