A once in a lifetime fellowship programme in Spain for EU resident women entrepreneurs

#TheBreakFellowship

Applications are open until Sunday 26th June 2022

Join the break

A +7,000€ worth fellowship programme funded by the EU

Calling for 280 diverse, creative and collaborative women entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Embark on a unique  journey in Spain

And break your routine. Experience a 28-day transformational retreat to expand your impact through training, community and partnerships.

The Fellowship goals

Goal 1

Break to Accelerate

Take your project to the next level through the latest design and management methodologies, high level alliances and expert mentoring. Experience collaboration and collective learning while focusing on your project.

Goal 2

Break to Connect

Forge a more sustainable and participatory women-led business ecosystem for a stronger EU. Let’s break the entrepreneur gender gap. Connect to 280 like-minded business leaders and expand your impact. Our community is both face to face and digital. 

Goal 3

Break to Reshape

Share your expertise, empathy and creativity and help us co-design solutions to 12 key sector challenges linked to unique locations. Group-up in clusters and be hosted by a Local Innovation Community in Spain. Learn from systems thinking and open innovation approaches across very diverse territories. 

The Break 2022 calendar overview

Selection process

Applications, interviews and fellows selection and confirmation

MAY-JUNE

JULY

Onboarding

Detailed information about destination, logistics, and travel bookings by organization

REMOTE TRAINING

Remote Opening Event

Online training, community and mentoring sessions

Sept
PROGRAMME STARTS

OCT-NOV
Experience Spain

opening event

Madrid 2-day

Networking sessions, presentations and debates

Retreat in your Local Innovation Community

24 days

Individual work, training & workshops, field visits, community events and open innovation challenge

closing event

Madrid 2-day

Networking sessions, fellows’ presentations, community and next steps

The Fellowship in numbers

280

Creative minds opened to co-create and collaborate

3

Breaking goals: break to accelerate, break to connect, break to reshape

+50h

High value specialized training and mentoring on management, design, leadership and innovation

28

Days retreat in Spain. Break your routine and expand your impact

1

Global community & networking events with potential business partners

+7,000€

Worth fellowship including travel, accommodation, training and networking events

Experts collaborating with us

We are bringing on board some of the most influential entrepreneurs in Spain for an extraordinary collaborative and learning journey

Arancha Martínez

CEO It Will be
EU Innovators 2020 Winner

Arancha has founded It will be NGO to maximise aid and funds by leveraging data, People’s Protection App to identify homeless minors through biometrical recognition and Comgo, the first blockchain-backed platform to measure and report social impact across entire value chains.

Gloria Gubianas

CEO Hemper Handmade
BCorporation

Gloria has developed a business strategy, with the goal to position Hemper as a pioneer of sustainability. In 2019 she was chosen as “Women entrepreneur of the year” by Chanel Foundation. She is in the Nova 111 list, among the most talented youth.

Carol Blázquez

Director of Sustainability
at Ecoalf BCorporation

Carol leads the sustainability department of one of the most innovative fashion companies across the globe. Ecoalf is an activist brand that collects sea garbage and transforms it into durable clothes. Among different projects, she’s a partner of Women Action Sustainability (WAS).

Sofía Benjumea

Head of Google for Startups
Europe, Middle East and Africa

Sofia Benjumea founded The South Summit as the leading startup conference in Southern Europe. She’s been the head of Google for Startups in Spain and more recently was promoted to expand her impact globally.

Applicants

The Break is calling for creative, committed and empathetic women entrepreneurs and freelancers from all sectors who fit in the following categories.

EU resident working on a business with no more than 5 years since constitution

EU resident with an entrepreneurial or freelance project with at least a proposal or MVP

Spanish expats in other EU countries wanting to expand their business into Spain

Check our terms below or

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Terms & FAQ

Terms

The Break is an entrepreneurship Fellowship Programme in Spain for EU resident women worth +7,000 €. The Fellowship is funded by the European Union and powered by Impact Hub Madrid and Escuela de Organización Industrial EOI School. 280 female entrepreneurs and freelancers will embark on a transformational journey: a two-month entrepreneurship programme, including a 28 day retreat in Spain. 

The Break 2022 fellows will work towards three common goals: Goal1: Break to Accelerate: high level training and alliances to take their entrepreneurial projects to the next level, Goal2: Break to Connect: cocreate a more sustainable and participatory female entrepreneur ecosystem across EU borders, Goal3: Break to Reshape collectively co-creating solutions to local challenges while learning and applying open innovation design methodologies.

Expenses covered by The Break are estimated in +7,000 eur and include: transportation costs from the European location of origin to Spain and vice versa, accomodation in Spain, the entire training itinerary (webinars, individual and group mentoring, workshops, program trips and events). Travel insurance and medical insurance. Expenses not covered by The Break: food in Spain and expenses related to trips out of the programmed group visits and medical tests related to covid-19 (antigen tests, PCRs…) Food costs are estimated in 20-30 eur per day.

The Break is part of the EU Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and is aligned with the Spanish National Entrepreneurship Strategy (España Nación Emprendedora), the long-term governmental vision to make Spain a reference country in innovative entrepreneurship before 2030. For the implementation of the first edition of the program, EOI has launched a public tender in December 2021 which has been awarded to Impact Hub.

All actions within the Spanish National Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience (PRTR) and therefore the Break Programme must comply with the principle of Do Not Significant Harm (DNSH). This applies both to the projects of the participating women entrepreneurs and to the sectoral challenges proposed by the Spanish communities. The DNSH principle implies that no action may go against the six environmental objectives for which the absence of significant harm has been assured: climate change mitigation, adaptation to climate change, sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, circular economy, pollution prevention and control, protection and recovery of biodiversity and ecosystems.

The program starts in September 2022 (dates to be confirmed). During this first month, you will start your journey remotely. You will enjoy welcoming and networking events, webinars, mentoring and community sessions. 

Your community of 280 fellows will then be divided into two cohorts depending on their calendar preferences and availability (October and November). The first group of entrepreneurs (140) will travel to Madrid in the first days of October 2022 and the second group (140) in November 2022

After two days in Madrid, you will be grouped-up and travel to different unique territories of Spain to be hosted for a period of 24 days, an immersive transformational experience designed to gain knowledge and develop key skills, build strategic alliances, co-create solutions to systemic challenges and discover Spanish culture, nature and business ecosystem. 

You will come back from the hosting communities to Madrid for a two day closing event, after which you will travel back home. 

Phase 1 – September remote sessions

In September you will initiate your journey working from home. It’s a key moment to plan, think about your expectations, start connections and establish your objectives. 

  • Enjoy our online opening event where you will meet all your fellows, organizers and talk about what you will experience and discover in the upcoming months. 
  • Expand your knowledge and learn from business leaders through inspirational and training webinars. 
  • Meet your mentors and co-create your working plan
  • Learn from other fellows and share your entrepreneurial and life experiences through team mentoring sessions

 

Phase 2- Travel to Spain 

  • Travel to Spain in two cohorts of 140 fellows (October or November cohort). 
  • Enjoy a 2 day welcoming event in Madrid to personally meet your fellows, solve challenges, participate in innovation workshops and more!
  • Travel to your assigned Local Innovation Communities in Spain for 24 days. 
    • Develop your business plan though one to one mentoring sessions 
    • Bring your skills, your talents, your creativity and play a crucial role in transforming your peer experience.
    • Submerge in your Individual work to boost your business.
    • Solve a local challenge through the latest  social innovation methodologies. 
    • Share your experiences and learn from other’s experiences through group mentoring sessions to share 
    • Meet local and international experts,entrepreneurs and business partners.
    • Experience culture, social life, food and all that Spain has to offer. 

 

Phase 3- Next Steps 

After the 28 days retreat you will travel back home to start implementing everything learned during your journey. 

  • Participate in webinars to strengthen identified needs and a final meeting with your mentor. 
  • You will develop a working plan for the upcoming months.
  • Final closing Global Online Event, to share your experiences and opinions on the programme. 

 

Phase 4- Remember the Break

  • The community will always be alive
  • 6 months after the end of the program we will host an online event to reunite our community and share experiences

Note that the following requirements are mandatory:

  • Women* candidates must be at least 18 years old. We encourage women of all ages to apply! 
  • We are looking for open-spirited women determined to learn, question, boost their business and create an international community to transform our planet.  
  • Have a fluent level of conversational and written English.
  • EU residents (except residents in Spain) regardless of their country of origin.
  • Be in charge or hold responsibility in an entrepreneurial project:
    1. Early stage: in case the business is not yet established, the candidate should have at least an MVP proposal or market validation proposal. 
    2. Have an operating entrepreneurial project with no more than 5 years since constitution. This may include start-ups, scale-ups or high growth businesses. 
    3. Be a Spanish national residing in the EU except in Spain, with an entrepreneurial project  and wanting to expand into Spain. 

    Please note that only one person per project will be allowed to join the Programme.

  • It is recommended that your entrepreneurial/ freelance project is part of the following sectors (please consider them as opened and inclusive, we want to attract very diverse projects and skills): 
  1. Industry: with sustainability and digitization as the main challenges for the improvement of production processes and competitiveness, and favoring a new industrial model based on collaborative innovation, productive means connected and flexible, transparent and integrated supply chains, and more technological distribution channels and customer service.
  2. Tourism and Culture: sustainable and inclusive tourism, tourism technologies or travel tech, creative industries, generation and dissemination of culture, management of cultural and historical heritage, crafts and traditional trades, digital creation…
  3. Mobility: both in urban and rural areas and that has an impact in individual and collective transport, freight transport, logistics, infrastructures and citizen awareness for a change of model towards sustainability and circularity.
  4. Health: e-health or electronic health, m-health (access via mobile), innovation in the processes of health services, use of RRSS to interact with the population, development of new drugs and therapies, etc.
  5. Construction and Materials: new buildings, more sustainable reforms and rehabilitations, new materials, intelligent automation and home automation, new models of property and/or coexistence (coliving, cohousing…)
  6. Energy and Ecological Transition: energy efficiency in buildings and industry, renewable energies for a «decarbonized» economy, new technologies for energy storage, waste management, environmental restoration, circular economy, water efficiency…
  7. Banking and Finance: innovation for a change of model both at the technological and interaction with its stakeholders, omnichannel, office of the future, etc.
  8. Digital and Telecommunications: AI, supercomputing, cybersecurity, and all initiatives that help reduce the digital divide between populations in order to achieve real equality of opportunity.
  9. Agro-food and livestock sector: especially aimed towards an ecological and sustainable agriculture and livestock.
  10. Biotechnology: with specific applications in medicine, industry, agriculture or environment. 
  11. Social Entrepreneurship: business initiatives clearly driven to solve social and environmental challenges specially focusing on vulnerable groups. . 
  12. Rural development: attraction of professionals, support services for rural populations so they don’t have to emigrate, talent return initiatives, technological solutions, etc.

*Please note that this is a women-only event that intends an inclusive definition of women. We are welcoming and respectful of women, including trans women and any others who identify as a woman in a way that is significant to them.

Apply now or share the Break with a friend who inspires you!

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Join female entrepreneur talent and break-to-accelerate your project

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Frequently asked questions

Yes, apply as soon as possible. The Break 2022 fellows will be invited to apply from the 5th of May 2022. Start your application as soon as possible so you can start your interview process and save your spot for the fellowship! 

Yes, The Break is calling for 280 creative and diverse women entrepreneurs to build an innovative ecosystem. We consider “entrepreneur” from a broad perspective. If you are working on a project proposal or moving towards MVP, or if you have a leading role in a startup or an established business which is less than 5 years old, you may apply. Freelancers are included in this category as well and are welcome to apply too.

Yes, The Break Fellowship is a transformational experience designed to strengthen entrepreneurial projects through training, partnerships and community for active professionals. A work space, wifi and other resources involving work are guaranteed. It is estimated that fellows will dedicate 3h per day approximately to The Break activities. Weekends are free or planned activities are voluntary.

Expenses covered by The Break are estimated in +7,000 eur and include: transportation costs from the European location of origin to Spain and vice versa, accomodation in Spain, the entire training itinerary (webinars, individual and group mentoring, workshops, program trips and events). Travel insurance and medical and insurance. Expenses not covered by The Break: food in Spain and expenses related to trips out of the programmed group visits and medical tests related to covid-19 (antigen tests, PCRs…) Food costs are estimated at 20-30 € per day.

For the welcoming event in Madrid, you will be staying in a hotel for three nights to then travel to your Local Innovation Community for a period of 24 days in which you will be accommodated in a rural house, hotel or coliving space with other fellows from your group (15 members approximately). Upon return to Madrid, you will stay in a hotel for another two nights to then fly back to your EU country of residence.

You will be grouped with other fellows according to different factors: skills, sector of professional activities and other interests and motivations. The Break is designed over the idea of collaboration, creativity, community impact and collective learning.

The cancellation policy will depend on the travel agency that will operate all trips from your location to Madrid and then to your Local Innovation Community and will be communicated to participants further.

The Break is inclusive and understanding of mother circumstances. We are open to considering mothers bringing children but only if the best possible experiences for the little ones can be guaranteed. Please know that a sudden change of setting and language could turn into a difficult experience for them. Therefore, we can consider cases on an individual basis and depending on the resources that the Local Innovation Communities can offer. Note that the fellowship only covers expenses related to the participation of the entrepreneur and therefore other family expenses will have to be covered by her.

Participants will be asked to attend all activities but the organization understands urgent things coming across or unexpectedly that could result in absence. Weekends will be mostly free for participants to travel to the beach, the mountains, the desserts…be ready to experience unique corners of Spain.

The program is based on collaboration and collective learning so we count on your knowledge and skills towards achieving the community goals. In addition to supporting other participants you will have to deliver:

  • Your personal Business Action Plan to summarize your experience, areas of improvement and next goals. 
  • Your group Open Innovation Report including the key aspects and conclusions of your work in reshaping critical challenges that you will undertake in your Local Innovation Community.

Organizers

EOI: Strengthening entrepreneurship since 1955

EOI (Escuela de Organización Industrial) is the first business school founded in Spain (1955). As a public foundation attached to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and co-financed by European Funds, we have promoted +80,000 entrepreneurs and SMEs. More than 84,500 executives and business managers specialized in leadership, internationalization and sustainability have attended our programs.

Impact Hub: leading the SDG driven community

We are Impact Hub, the largest global network of entrepreneurial communities with impact, +17,000 professionals present in +100 cities from 60 countries around the world. Together with other allied organizations, we create and execute programs to promote innovative proposals and social transformation.

The Break: Meet some of our first fellows

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Francis Mathis
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Francis Mathis

Interrupt routine, accelerate lifelong impact and take your project to the next level

Do you know someone who could be a perfect fit?
Share the Break with her!

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The Break is designed by EOI and powered by Impact Hub

The Break is possible with the support from

This program is part of the Spain Entrepreneurial Nation, the long-term vision promoted by the Government to make Spain a reference country in innovative entrepreneurship in the year 2030. This vision is articulated in the Spain Entrepreneurial Nation Strategy promoted from Government Presidency through the High Commissioner for Spain Entrepreneurial Nation.

For any further questions, please contact maria.solano@impacthub.net