Introduction: The Break Fellowship is an exceptional scholarship program that has ignited a wave of empowerment and entrepreneurial growth among European women. Under the NextGenerationEU framework, this initiative aimed to build an international network of 1,000 women entrepreneurs, through a 28-day working retreat in Spain. These remarkable women immerse themselves in a transformative experience that develops key skills, boosts their businesses, and creates lasting connections. At the heart of The Break Fellowship lies a 4-week program designed to achieve three specific objectives.
The first objective is acceleration, propelling businesses to the next level through the adoption of cutting-edge design and management methodologies, forming high-level partnerships, and receiving expert mentoring. Participants embark on a tailor-made journey that equips them with the tools and strategies necessary for sustainable business growth. Through immersive workshops and personalised mentoring sessions in Anceu Coliving, they unlock their full potential and chart a course towards long-term success.
The second objective of The Break Fellowship is to foster collaboration and create an international community for life. More than 1,000 women entrepreneurs from over 50 nationalities across the European Union come together, forging deep connections and nurturing a sense of unity. In this vibrant network, the power of diversity takes center stage. This collaborative environment opens new doors of possibility, sparks innovative ideas, and cultivates lifelong connections among the participants.
The third objective of The Break Fellowship is local development. During their stay in Anceu Coliving, the participants actively engage in open innovation activities aimed at solving local challenges. As they collaborate, learn, and build relationships with local people from rural areas, they make a profound impact on the communities they immerse themselves in. The objective is to foster growth not only for their own businesses but also for the regions they touch.
One powerful initiative that emerged from The Break Fellowship is "Embroidering Stories," a project that celebrates the stories and talents of local women while advocating for rural feminism.
This transformative endeavor consists of two main activities:
The first is the creation of embroidered portraits and postcards that capture the essence of each woman's life. Through heartfelt conversations, the participants listen attentively to the experiences, challenges, and triumphs of the local women. They then translate these narratives into intricate embroidered artworks that not only portray the physical likeness of the women but also honor their unique journeys in life, strengths, and resilience.
The second activity revolves around the collaborative development of a Rural Feminist Manifesto. Within the Communal House of the village, the participants and local women come together to discuss aspirations, concerns, and visions for the future. Drawing inspiration from the shared stories and insights, they collectively draft a powerful manifesto that serves as a guiding document for promoting gender equality, empowerment, and social justice within the community. This manifesto embodies the collective wisdom and aspirations of the women, empowering them to advocate for change and challenge societal norms.
The impactful journey of "Embroidering Stories" culminates in a captivating exhibition and galician gastronomic and traditional music party known as "Entreculturas”. Hosted at the Communal House of Anceu, this event showcased the embroidered portraits and postcards, each accompanied by excerpts from the women's stories. The vibrant display invites visitors to immerse themselves in the resilience and strength of these remarkable women. It serves as a testament to their empowerment, while the prominently displayed Rural Feminist Manifesto inspires engagement and encourages individuals to contribute to the creation of a more equitable society.
The Break Fellowship has left an indelible mark on each one of us and in every single participant, forging deep connections and a profound sense of sisterhood. Throughout this extraordinary journey, we have come to love and support one another unconditionally, our emphasis on collaboration and empowerment has nurtured an environment of love, acceptance, and shared aspirations.
Through art, storytelling, morning meetings, forest walks and the development of a manifesto, we have championed gender equality and rural life.
Thank you The Break Fellowship for giving us so much