Apply for SEWEM!

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(c) SEWEM 2022

Sino-European Women Entrepreneurs in Music (SEWEM) – a networking and mentoring programme to promote the skills of European and Chinese women in the music and export sector – has launched an open call. Deadline to apply is September 11, 2022.

What is SEWEM?

SEWEM – Sino-European Women Entrepreneurs in Music – is a networking and mentoring programme to promote the skills of European and Chinese women in the music and export sector, and to support equality. It is funded by the European Commission.

SEWEM is also an experimental laboratory for the rapprochement of the music industries and relations between Europe and China. It will enable the creation and cross-border circulation of European, Chinese and transnational music.

The main objectives will be to foster sustainable and fruitful cooperation through mentoring; to create spaces for artistic encounters between Chinese and European music worlds; to use music as a tool for creation and cooperation, and to promote the discovery of history, art and different ways of thinking; and finally to support the knowledge of music markets and the export of European companies to China and more widely to Asia.

What is the SEWEM mentoring programme?

The mentoring programme begins with a kick-off event on the 18th and 19th of October in Lisbon (prior to the WOMEX conference) and provides long-term support for personal and career development of young professionals who identify themselves as women, trans or non-binary.

The programme consists of three pillars:

  1. 1-on-1 meetings between mentee and mentor, for the organisation and content of which the participants themselves are responsible
  2. Group meetings on topics that are relevant to the participants (e.g. knowledge of the Chinese market, understanding of music export strategy, etc., which take place in the form of workshops)
  3. Exchange between European and Chinese participants with online networking session, and trade mission to China for selected participants

SEWEM timeline

  • 22.08 : Launch of the call for mentees
  • 11.09 : End of the call
  • 19.09 : Announcement of the laureates and pairs selection
  • 18 & 19.10 : Kick-off event in Lisbon
  • From 20.10.2022 to end of March 2023 : at least 5 one-on-one mentor/mentee meetings and several group workshops
  • Spring/Summer 2023 : Online networking session with pairs + Chinese female music professionals

Participation in the programme is free for mentees. Every participant will get financial support of 200€ to travel to the meeting in Lisbon. Hotel rooms will be booked and paid directly by the SEWEM team. Please notice that the availability for the meeting in Lisbon is mandatory for participation in the programme.

Kick-off event in Lisbon (Schedule TBD)

18th October, from 15:00 to 19:00

Opening Speech. SEWEM overview. Goals of the program. Best practices for mentors & mentees.
Networking session. Mentors and Mentees presentations

19th October, from 10:00 to 13:00

Chinese market overview. Zoom presentation of the SEWEM Chinese participants. Q&A session.
Networking session
Location: Conference room at Altice Arena, in Lisbon, Portugal

By scheduling the SEWEM kick-off just before the WOMEX – Worldwide Music Expo we wanted to give our mentors and mentees the opportunity to experience this major music industry event.
WOMEX is offering all SEWEM participants a special discounted fee of 245,00€ per person for the full conference (October 19th to 23rd) registration.

Who can apply as a mentee? 

Application as a mentee is open to any music professional/entrepreneur from EU and Creative Europe countries who identifies as woman, trans, non-binary or gender minority, that already has some experience in music export, and links or strong interest in the Asian music market.
Mentees should be willing to commit to participating in the entire program and bringing along concrete ideas on which topics they would like to address their mentor with.
The application serves as a basis for the subsequent selection process, in which the respective mentees are assigned to a mentor. It is therefore important that all questions are answered with as many details as possible. This will give us a more accurate picture of you and help us to assign you to a suitable mentor.
A jury will select the mentees according to their geographical distribution in Europe.
Good knowledge of the English language is requested as this is a transnational programme and mentors and mentees are likely to be from different countries.

Who are the mentors? 

A selection of 20 European female music business professionals, from 20 countries and working in different areas of the music industry, engaged in the changes of the EU music sector, willing to share their time and expertise to new professionals in a mentor-to-mentee relationship, in a spirit of sisterhood and goodwill to foster equality, inclusion, and diversity.

What does a mentor/mentee relationship look like?

The relationship between mentor and mentee is entirely in the hands of the participants. This means that they decide themselves how often, when and where they want to meet – in addition to the monthly events for all participants. Depending on where they are based, their 1:1 meetings can happen either online or IRL and should be adapted to the participants’ respective professional and private obligations. Mentees should be aware of how much time their mentors can devote to the meetings, so that they can make the most out of it and react flexibly to their mentor’s suggested dates.

Who is behind the programme?

The project is funded by the European Commission and led by Le LABA, French centre of expertise specialising in EU projects, with a strong focus on gender equality, training, coaching, evaluation, communication, management of international and cross-cultural projects. It counts on a Chinese cultural network that has been built up over several years. 

SEWEM also involves EMEE, the European network of music export offices and European cultural institutions, aiming to find new strategies to develop and promote European music in the world; 

Piranha Arts, independent production company based in Berlin, whose events (such as the Carnival of Cultures and WOMEX) are motivated by issues of musical and cultural diversity; 

and Musiques de Nuit / Le Rocher de Palmer, the artistic direction of the performance hall Le Rocher de Palmer, based in Cenon near Bordeaux, which hosts nearly 150 shows and residencies around world music, and organises numerous mediation and awareness-raising programmes.

The mentoring programme is run by RAW Music, Romanian association dedicated to music export activities, and organiser of the Mastering the Music Business conference festival. It is also a partner in Creative Europe projects, such as HEMI and MEWEM, that aim at supporting artists and professionals in music.

When can I apply?

As of now, applications can be made using our application form.

What happens after sending the form?

We check all incoming applications and look closely at which applicant fits best to the mentor in question based on their experience and goals. That’s why we welcome  applications that clearly show us what you bring, what you expect and where you want to go.

The 20 selected applicants  will receive an email from us in September with details about  the program and introduction to their mentor.

Good luck!