Innovation platform for new pre-startups

Do you have a new business idea, are looking to grow globally or have an idea on how to support female entrepreneurship? We are supporting up to five of the best ideas with a share of the development fund (10,000 euros). The W-POWER -project (Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in sparsely populated Northern communities) wants to hear how you think your idea can facilitate the promotion of women entrepreneurs.

The first funding call is closed

The second call will be open in 2020 and we will inform more.

Key information

Location: Online.
Date: 17th June – 21st October 2019, funding payments by 30th June 2020
Cost: Free to apply
Focus: Pre-startups and women entrepreneurs
Amount you can win: A share of the W-POWER development fund of EUR 10,000

Three different themes – choose the one for you!


1) New business ideas
 Are you a woman or a team with an idea for a new product, service or business? If yes, W-POWER may help you to test it!

2) Expanding your business globally
Alternatively, do you want to go global with your existing woman-led business? Are you dreaming of international markets? Ideas for going global from all business sectors are welcomed!

3) Ideas to support existing businesses
Will your idea help women-run businesses to start or grow in the European Northern Peripheral and Arctic regions? Your region needs new business ideas, which will support women-led businesses to succeed. We are happy to hear more about your idea!

In this funding call, a maximum number of 15 ideas will be pre-selected, by an international panel, to go through to the second stage of the funding call. The second stage consists of an online pitching event on 13th November 2019. Successful ideas will be notified of their awarded share of the prize fund. In this funding call, the development fund consists of EUR10,000 and winning ideas will get a share of this amount (share may vary between ideas). The fund will be allocated to a maximum of 5 ideas and successful applicants will be asked to test their proposed idea/s by the end of March 2020.

The funding call opens on 17th June 2019 and closes on 21st October 2019.


Criteria for applications


  • Teams suggesting the ideas must be based within the W-POWER Project Partner Regions of North Karelia and Lapland in Finland, Norrbotten in Sweden, Argyll and the Islands, Dumfries and Galloway, Shetland and Orkney in Scotland, Western Region of Ireland (Counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim) and Iceland.
  • Teams must consist of up to five people. Teams can be made up of any individuals with a joint business idea, situating in the regions listed above.
  • Idea submission should consist of a short description, which should be supplied within our online template and includes the possibility to submit any relevant supporting information such as pictures.
  • Only original ideas will be accepted and should not breach any existing intellectual property rights.
  • Successful ideas must add value compared to existing services.
  • Teams must agree to be interviewed by the selection panel during the online pitching event on 13th November 2019.
  • Successful teams must be willing to have W-POWER publicise their participation in this funding call.
  • Any proprietary information will remain confidential.
  • Funding award will be allocated for expenses directly related to the piloting costs of the winning idea and paid based on invoicing. 
  • In addition to the funding award, successful teams will benefit from informal support and guidance from the W-POWER Project Partners.
  • Selected teams will sign a contract with W-POWER / Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland.
  • The decision of the selection panel will be final.
  • Team members must be competent in communicating in English as the official language of the competition is English.

 Application instructions

  1. The online application must be submitted by 21st October 2019 (23:59 EET).
  2. First-stage selection of teams by a W-POWER international selection panel. A maximum number of 15 ideas will be pre-selected. All applicants will be notified by 25th October 2019.
  3. Following the first stage selection, finalists will prepare their presentations for the online pitching competition. Online information session and pitching guidance will take place on 4th November 2019.
  4. Online pitching event will take place on 13th November 2019. Approximately 3-5 ideas /teams will be selected for funding, idea implementation and contract signing with W-POWER/Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The number of winning teams is not fixed.
  5. Kick-off event for the winning ideas will take place on 9th December 2019. Teams will meet online for further instructions (offer formulation) and will be matched with regional coaches.
  6. Online meeting in March 2020 when the demo services or prototypes of the teams must be ready. Teams are also advised of the next steps and services in the teams’ own regions, possible business incubators, business advisory services, start-up possibilities etc.
  7. Funding payments will be completed by 30th June 2020. Final presentations in June 2020.

For more information contact helena.puhakka-tarvainen{at} 


Important Dates



APPLICATION CLOSES 21st October 2019



PITCHING ONLINE 13th November 2019



TEAMS’ WORK READY 31st March 2020



Our international selection panel

Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scotland
Strukturum, Sweden
Innovation and Management Centre CLG T/A WestBIC, Ireland
Innovation Center Iceland
Business Joensuu Oy, Finland
Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Pure Energy Centre, Scotland
Selected SME representatives