National Focal Point Spain

Women Entrepreneurship Project

A ‘sweet tooth’ Project

 From Venezuelan Parliament to creative pastry in Santander, north of Spain. This is the long road travelled by María Eugenia Hands Gómez, one of the participants in the Project Women Entrepreneurship in Emerging Sectors, promoted by INCYDE and financed by EEA Grants.


“If I had not took part in this programme, I wouldn’t have achieved my dream”, emphasizes María Eugenia. Hers is the story of a young Venezuelan with a Law and Political Sciences Degree who developed her career in the Politics field. But under Chavez rule, political dissent wasn’t allowed. So, María Eugenia and her husband took their two children –and expecting a third- and decided to flee and settle down in Spain.

However, her job reintegration wasn’t that easy. “I couldn’t work in the Law field because I only knew Venezuelan legislation and neither could I develop a political career”, says.

So, she decided to shift to her long time hobby: creative pastry. “I couldn’t find the kind of colourful and special stuff to celebrate my children birthdays that I used to in Venezuela, so I came up with the idea to organize a Pastry Fair to bring the public closer to these kind of products”. And while she was trying to organize it, she attended a lecture in the Chamber of Commerce and there she knew about the Project Women Entrepreneurship in Emerging Sectors funded by EEA Grants through INCYDE and Ministry of Health, Equality and Social Services Programme Gender Equality.

The aim of this Project, currently in its second edition, is the individual and specific training of female entrepreneurs and business owners, particularly in the priority emerging sectors where women are underrepresented. “The experience couldn’t have been better”, says María Eugenia. “Not only they help me to set my project down in black and white, but also I built a valuable network of contacts”.

The Fair took place last February –with some public institutions support- “and I achieved my goal: self-financing”. The Fair design was made by a participant in the Program, an interior designer. Another colleague, who has a playground company, provided a kindergarten service for the participants. After that, both of them get new job opportunities.

Besides the three months of training program focused on the key aspects of a company: Finances, Marketing… the 200 women who participated in the first edition of Women Entrepreneurship Project had expert guidance and assistance and individual tutoring.

Today, María Eugenia owns a company of creative pastry and events: Cakes, Pops and Cookies, but also she is preparing the second season of her television program –which was also possible thanks to a contact in the Project- that will be broadcasted in Venezuela and United States. She has received offers to write a book about her entrepreneurial experience. And she even masterminded a talk with pregnant women interested in setting up a business. María Eugenia’s story is the clearest example that you can achieve anything you set you mind to, no matter how challenging, just with hard work, enthusiasm, self-belief… and a little push.