Empowering women entrepreneurs: insights from CAPSULE 2024 Bootcamp

CAPSULE is an Erasmus+ project organised in 3 EU countries, Romania, Croatia and Hungary by Impact Hub Bucharest, Career Shift, Impact Hub Zagreb and Impact Hub Budapest to promote young people’s initiatives in the area of entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, with a focus on social inclusion and diversity in fields such as education, training, youth and sport, and also to increase the degree of employability among young people. 

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From April 8th to 12th, 10 out of the 105 young women from Romania, Hungary, and Croatia participated in CAPSULE, the European Erasmus+ programme supporting the development of women entrepreneurial spirit. Led by experts in various topics, the programme encompassed activities ranging from workshops on financial management and marketing strategies to sessions focusing on personal branding and work-life balance. Vlad Craioveanu, CEO and Co-founder of Impact Hub Bucharest, emphasised the importance of nurturing women entrepreneurship as a catalyst for both economic growth and societal equity.

Female entrepreneurship is not just a driver of innovation and economic growth; it is also a cornerstone in building an equitable and diverse society. Through CAPSULE, we are committed to opening the doors for a new generation of female entrepreneurs, providing them access to resources, mentorship, and a supportive community, helping them turn their visions into reality,

The 5-day bootcamp was meticulously designed to equip aspiring women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds with comprehensive business acumen, essential for navigating the complexities of the entrepreneurial landscape. 


Participants learned how to create effective pricing models that reflect the value of their offerings, as well as how to validate their business ideas against market demands (achieving product-market fit). Additionally, they gained practical knowledge to help them craft compelling marketing messages and gained insight into the sales techniques needed to expand their customer base. They also learned to build a strong personal brand that resonates with their audiences and sets them apart in the market. 


The programme also included strategies for balancing their entrepreneurial pursuits with personal wellbeing, fostering resilience and long-term success. The bootcamp facilitated meaningful connections, creating networking and collaboration opportunities, and encouraged reflection and action planning, providing a platform for participants to share experiences and outline actionable steps for their entrepreneurial journey. 

Reflections from participants of the CAPSULE programme

The Capsule Bootcamp was one of the most valuable experiences in my professional development thus far. Beside the knowledge of financial and marketing aspects of building my doula business, I gained a lot of insights on how I can improve my networking and presentational skills. In addition, I have learned some practical tools that could help me with better work-life balance. Overall, I feel extremely grateful for this opportunity and for finding this amazing community of young, inspiring women entrepreneurs (to be).

My participation in the CAPSULE programme bootcamp was a fulfilling experience, substantially preparing me for the launch of my restaurant, Magnolia Cuisine. I gained essential knowledge about financial planning and its importance. I discovered innovative promotion methods suitable for a vegan restaurant. The sessions dedicated to balancing personal and professional life provided me with the opportunity to connect with other participants and benefit from the positive, feminine energy of the group. I feel much more confident and extremely grateful for this experience.

I am a chemical engineer and I produce natural bath cosmetics. I enrolled in the CAPSULE programme because I wanted to become better at everything I do. This bootcamp taught me to see my business in a structured way. But as I was making my financial plan, marketing strategy, and many other things, I had the opportunity to connect with inspiring entrepreneurs! I was able to discover how other businesses work, what their challenges are, and I learned from others’ experiences and mistakes. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, for the experience, for the entire CAPSULE team, and for getting to know the other participants!

Benefits and programme offers  

The benefits offered by the CAPSULE program are based on 6 pillars: education (completing online courses to acquire entrepreneurial, leadership, and digital skills), mentoring and coaching, community (continuous support within an international community consisting of young female entrepreneurs from Romania, Hungary, and Croatia), business incubation (6 physical and online incubation sessions), participation in an international bootcamp with experts and mentors, and a networking component (participation in international mastermind sessions).  


The programme kicked off in mid-September 2023 and has so far provided participants with one-on-one coaching and mentoring sessions, as well as three residential weekends held both online and offline. In February of this year, the first of the five international mastermind sessions took place, which offer a combination of brainstorming, education, accountability, and peer support to enhance both business and personal skills. The program also includes eight local Community of Practice sessions, during which participants are supported in overcoming the challenges they face in their endeavours by sharing experiences and knowledge accumulated so far, with the help of the group’s strength and the CAPSULE community. 


CAPSULE will continue until February 2025. During this time, participants will benefit from various other opportunities to exercise their leadership, gain new perspectives, understand diverse cultures and methods, and train their accountability by setting goals in front of the group. 


Additionally, young entrepreneurs have access to 5 online courses developed to help them acquire entrepreneurial, leadership, and digital skills to prepare them for their first steps in entrepreneurship. The courses are available in 4 languages – Romanian, English, Croatian, and Hungarian, on the Startarium platform. 


CAPSULE is a European Erasmus+ program, organized in Romania, Hungary, and Croatia by Impact Hub Bucharest, Impact Hub Budapest, Impact Hub Zagreb, and Career Shift. The programme targets young women aged 18 to 28 who are interested in developing their own businesses and are at the beginning of their professional careers.  


This article was presented in collaboration with Impact Hub Bucharest.

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