Empowering Women in the Arts - also by eLearning

...how the WISE Erasmus+ project is transforming the field of creativity, and how uQualio is a part of the project. 

In collaboration with 5 organizations (Versli mama from Lithuania, Dailininku from Lithuania, ETN from Italy, ANKA from Greece, and Step by Step from Iceland, the organization “We Are Entrepreneurs” is piloting a bold new project. Project WISE focuses on empowering artistic women via digital skills. This means providing them with the proper skillsets, so they are able to sell their products and hereby establish their place on the market. 

WISE, an acronym for 'Women, Inspired, Successful and Empowered', could not be possible without the foresight of the founder of We Are Entrepreneurs, Diana Medrea-Mogensen. We Are Entrepreneurs is a Danish-based organization that combats illiteracy on a global scale.  

The Erasmus+ project WISE logo

Diana explains the vision that led to WISE:

“We work mostly with expatriate women who have a problem getting integrated into the job market, who need extra skills so they can make the jump from having their own business into the labor market. We train them in how to run their own business as a steppingstone onto the labor market here in Denmark.”  

Having a job is a crucial make-up in the social and economic well-being of an ex-pat. Being jobless means that you’re an outsider. And especially, if you’re an artist, a field vulnerable to the free labor market, and a woman, you’re particularly at risk of not earning a living.  

Enter WISE, a program targeting struggling women in the arts:

This training is to give them the entrepreneurship skills to teach them to open their horizons to modern opportunities. And also, what innovation processes and techniques that are out there, and where they can access them,” Diana explains.  

It may sound like We Are Entrepreneurs, with WISE, is targeting what’s close to their zip code, namely Denmark, but nothing could be further from the truth. With the aid of a generous Erasmus grant, commissioned by the EU to promote non-profit projects in the name of education, WISE is working in its beginning steps across entire Europe.

We are 5 organizations across Europe. The project coordinator sits in Lithuania, and they run an NGO that work with rural women who have been sitting at home, women that are over 40 who can’t really integrate into the job market due to socio/economic challenges. Then we have in Iceland, an NGO that’s called Step by Step,” Diana explains.

She goes on to sketch out the rest of the field of profiles who are a part of the positive change,

We have an organization in Italy, that’s called ETN, Educational Training Network, which offer vocational education and training. They do more formal education that way. And then we have ANKA in Greece, that is a regional development organization in Karditsa, which is a rural and agricultural area.

Diana elaborates. In particular, the rural areas in Greece are exposed:

They have many women in their areas that are artistic, and they need support and new skills to make money of it.” 

uQualio got on board because it was the chosen platform. Education, training, and learning are the silver bullet in lifting the world from poverty, and empowering individuals, male, female, or immigrant. uQualio, with its dynamic, multi-language platform, served as a worthy adversary in the mission to empower struggling women in the arts. 

We are developing three modules. The first one is creative entrepreneurship, basic skills on ecommerce & business development, and lastly budgeting. Some part finance, some part marketing. We have four sessions on that.

Diana explains and then praises uQualio,

Thank you, that’s what I can say from the top of my head.” 

On a practical level, uQualio is serving the needs of what WISE needs. Empowering women is no small task, and if it’s via training and education it needs a dynamic, scalable platform.   

Diana outlines the spectrum of the training they provide:

The second module revolves around Contemporary Opportunities for artistic women. We teach them how to develop a portfolio, self-branding, and a vocabulary for how they can present themselves in networking, interact with galleries, search for fairs, etc. At the end of the program, we have an exhibition in Lithuania, and it will be via NFT’s. So all of our participants who want to be displayed in this gallery in Lithuania in October will have to learn, and create, an NFT which is a very innovative way of displaying art today in the metaverse.”

NFTs have had a mixed reception in the established art world. But it’s nevertheless a part of a growing trend that’s important to understand. Art is dynamic, and mixing art with technology empowers more and more artists, especially struggling ones. Namely, trends are also a part of the program:

We also have the latest trends in innovation, like revival of ethnic design, zero waste concepts, sustainability in arts, etc. And then we also have new technologies in art, like 3D materials, processing techniques, et cetera.” 

In conclusion, Diana sums up the challenges facing WISE, why the nature of the project is so important, and why technology – such as the one uQualio is providing – is pivotal in empowering creative individuals here, and in Europe:

The projects all have to have a social impact. People do have quite a high level of literacy and access to the internet...”  

WISE does come with a challenge, and it requires a commitment. Something the spirited team behind the project is ready to face and embrace. That level of commitment is something uQualio wishes to stand by. Because who doesn’t want to be a part of a change that empowers women to take control of their own lives?  

Read more about the project here:  https://wise-women.eu/

First training day
The WISE participants
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