The Penelope team is starting this new 3-year project (November 2022-October 2025) to develop trainings, videos and practical guides to encourage gender equality implementation strategies in European SMEs, using the cluster approach.

In order to have a wide scope, these tools will mainly target clusters (networks of SMEs grouping companies in the same sector) as well as PTCEs.

The PENELOPE team will work on the development of different tools :

  • A manual giving clear guidelines for cluster staff on gender mainstreaming. This guide will include good practices, interviews, evaluation tools, ways to improve communication and monitoring of the situation of women and men in companies.
  • A toolkit in the form of about 20 videos on gender equality strategies, to help clusters and SMEs build a corporate culture and develop internal strategies that integrate the gender dimension
  • An online training platform with different training and learning paths, aimed at cluster and SME staff, and integrating gamification techniques.

To know the news and productions of the PENELOPE project, follow the LinkedIn page of the project.


The PENELOPE partnership is formed by one cooperative of entrepreneurs and cluster practitioners from France, Spain, Austria & Romania, all with a deep background on the implementation of gender equality practices & strategies within different sectors.

France Clusters
France Clusters is a national association working with 300 clusters, representing 80.000 businesses in all French regions and all sectors. France Clusters has been accompanying clusters in their work with businesses, with the purpose of being a place for dialogue and exchange of experiences among clusters to foster inter-cluster cooperation both at French and international levels. France Clusters is also a well-known services and training center, supporting the enhancement of the professional skills of cluster managers and their operational teams. It is also a think tank to explore new topics in which clusters can be key success factors. Since 2019, France Clusters works successfully on this topic with clusters, associations for gender equality with the French Ministry of Gender Equality.
Founded in 2009, AMUEBLA is the business cluster association of the furniture and wood sector in the Region of Murcia (Spain). Its main goal is to promote joint actions between companies of the furniture sector and other sectors by facilitating innovative practices and improving the competitiveness of its partner’s companies, as well as defending its general business interests, promoting its projection and international visibility. With the aim of increasing the impact and relevance of all its activities, AMUEBLA has incorporated the quintuple helix approach to all its national and international projects. The cluster has participated in over 25 international projects related to Industry 4.0 and digitalization, commerce, cluster policies, environmental sustainability and sustainable processes, product innovation, circular economy, innovation public procurement, green public procurement, environmental responsibility, corporate social responsibility and women empowerment and leadership. AMUEBLA is registered in the European Cluster Collaboration Platform and renovated the Bronze Cluster Certification in 2018.
Oxalis is a Cooperative of Activity and Employment (CAE) based in Aix les Bains (France) created in 1997, which today gathers about 270 entrepreneurs all over France and with multiple trades. Thus grouped, the entrepreneurs share a certain number of services such as: management platform, support, insurance, accounting, administrative follow-up, training, etc. But above all, they constitute a network of cooperation and experience sharing, fully anchored in social and solidarity economy.
Lucia Seel International Consulting GmbH
Lucia Seel International Consulting GmbH focuses on consultancy in the field of innovation, cluster policy development and implementation, cluster management, cultural and creative industries policies, gender and diversity in clusters, particularly through the development and participation in European funded projects. Led by Lucia Seel, a cluster expert with wide international recognition and with a strong background in communication, the company has an impressive record of activities related to pan-European communication, dissemination and community creation and management (e.g. content & communication management and community building over five years for the European Cluster Collaboration Platform set up by DG GROW).
The range of services offered are related to the expertise in the set-up, management, promotion and evaluation of clusters, development and implementation of innovation/cluster/creative industries/gender policies, consortium building and project coordination and follow-up for international (EU funded) projects, expertise in cluster benchmarking and training, support for international cooperation in the field of innovation, expertise in innovation policies related to creative industries, expertise in the strategic design and implementation of web-based platforms for innovation, international event design & organization, presentation and moderation at international events, development and implementation of communication and PR strategies.
Through an active participation and management in a large variety of European projects, LSIC has built not only a huge and strong network of policy makers, regional stakeholders, cluster organisations and other innovation actors, but also gained a deep insight and understanding in the very specific area of complex projects.
Romanian Textile Concept
The Romanian Textile Concept Cluster was established in 2011 and operates mainly in the S and SE regions of Romania.
The aim of the cluster is to create an environment in which member firms are able to sustain and develop their activity, mostly by supporting and encouraging the development of the products through added value by implementing innovative ideas, creating start-ups and spin-offs, involving the producers in research projects, creating a brand of the cluster, internationalization of the members, training and qualifying the personnel involved in and necessary for the industry by implementing new learning methods, promoting digitalization, circular economy and gender mainstreaming initiatives, a.o.
By supporting our members in their efforts, we work implicitly towards supporting a sustainable development of the textile industry, from an economic, but also environmental and social point of view.