Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ EMEIA Class of 2022

These visionary entrepreneurs are driving growth and innovation right across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. The 52 successful women entrepreneurs join a global community of inspiring peer role models spanning 55 countries and with over 800 alumnae. 

Elevating women entrepreneurs across EMEIA to show others what’s possible

  • Africa

    • Buyisiwe Shongwe – Your Life Curated (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)

      Photographic portrait of Buyisiwe Shongwe

      Buyisiwe Shongwe is a cofounder of MpowerFM, Mpumalanga’s first commercial radio station. She went on to present on the station, hosting the afternoon drive show and the Sunday breakfast show. Buyi later worked at American Express Travel Services South Africa where she started the Service Excellence Centre and then took a role in the global expansion strategy for the Hogg Robinson Group, a global travel management company. She was responsible for identifying and developing the Sub-Saharan Africa business footprint, which consisted of 23 countries. In 2018, Buyi became the managing director of Sawubona CI, a rapidly growing consumer insights and data business driving business growth through strategic data partnerships and consumer insights. She then moved to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda for 12 months before returning to find Your Life Curated. She continues to coach MBA candidates and supervise research at the University of Johannesburg.

    • Chilufya Mutale – PremierCredit (Zambia)

      Photographic portrait of Chilufya Mutale

      Chilufya Mutale is cofounder and CEO of PremierCredit, an online microlending and investment platform operating in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Since 2019, PremierCredit has been offering micro loans in Zambia, supporting local entrepreneurs and small-scale traders, many of whom are women, increasing their access to capital and the ability to grow their businesses. With the support of partner banks, PremierCredit provides affordable bicycles, smart phones and solar equipment on a “buy-now-pay-later” basis to underserved communities across Zimbabwe. Chilufya was recognized as one the 50 people to connect with in Africa by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. She is also recognized by the WeForGood International as one of the women in Africa breaking the bias, a champion of women empowerment and contributing to one or more of the UN 17 sustainable development goals. She helps clients to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges and transform their businesses.

    • Claudia Castellanos – Black Mamba Foods (Eswatini)

      Claudia Castellanos

      Claudia Castellanos, a Colombian who came as a volunteer to Eswatini and fell in love with Africa and made it her home, is the cofounder and CEO of Black Mamba Foods, a growing brand with a strong social and environmental ethos based in Eswatini that manufactures and distributes specialty food products around the world. Previously, Claudia worked for SAIWA in charge of trade marketing and sales in Italy. She was a consultant for Technoserve and worked as an entrepreneurship coach. Claudia holds an MBA from ESADE Business School and a major in Finance and International Relations from Universidad Externado de Colombia. She is a fellow of Vital Voices, which works with women entrepreneurs. She is also a member of Eswatini Climate Coalition. In 2020, Claudia received the Women in Africa Award for her work with Black Mamba. She is passionate about finding ways to develop the continent through sustainable projects. 

    • Dr. Michelle Muhanda – One Health Limited (Kenya)

      Photographic portrait of Dr. Michelle Muhanda

      Dr. Michelle Muhanda, located in Kenya, is the CEO and founder of One Health Medical Centre with 2 branches in Kenya. She trained at the University of Nairobi and has 15 years’ experience in health care and business administration, occupational health and safety, pharmaceuticals, health economics, insurance and marketing, working with the Ministry of Health, private sector, NGOs and other organizations. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from United States International University, a Master’s of Philosophy in Palliative Care from University of Cape Town and a diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute. She is also an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist with the Ministry of Labour. Her objective is to improve people’s health and quality of life by developing and implementing health and safety strategies. She also wants to be part of an organization that joins efforts with communities, government and other partners to improve healthcare through innovation and technology.

    • Nokwanele Qonde – Wasaa Gasses (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)

      Photographic portrait of Nokwanele Qonde

      Nokwanele Qonde, located in South Africa, has 19 years of experience in the oil and gas sector, as well as eight years of experience in the IT sector. Her skills span from implementing systems applications and integrating systems to trading crude oil, fuels and gas as well as being a senior executive and an entrepreneur. She established a world-class trading desk at PetroSA after the merger of SFF, Soekor and Mossgas, where she pioneered the trading of crude oil through Black Economic Empowerment companies in the oil industry as a trading manager. During her time as a consultant and an executive at SAP, she enjoyed extensive international exposure, including working for SAP UK, and appreciation of different cultures. Nokwanele holds a B. Admin degree from the University of the Western Cape, a B. Com Honours degree from the University of Natal, a master’s in Business Administration from Kingston University in England, a Certificate from the American Production and Inventory Control Society, and management training under the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft Management Training Programme in Germany. She brings a wealth of leadership qualities that have grown Wasaa, her petrochemicals company, to admirable levels in a short amount of time. 

    • Winfred Wandimi – Wimssy Limited (Kenya)

      Photographic portrait of Winfred Wandimi

      Winnie Wandimi, located in Kenya, is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of expertise in leadership and marketing in the Kenyan dairy industry. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Leadership and a higher diploma in Sales and Marketing. She has wide experience in the dairy industry in Kenya. In 2008, she founded Wimssy Limited, a dairy processing company, and serves as the Managing Director. Her main objective is to help farmers add value to their milk through processing, facilitating and accelerating availability and accessibility of such products to low- and middle-income earners. Winnie, whose parents were dairy farmers, developed a liking for dairy farming and set up a cottage industry. She has given customers access to nutritious products and has employed over 3,000 people directly and indirectly. In creating the dairy processing factory, she set up infrastructure to provide clean drinking water to the community around the factory.

  • Europe

    • Aebhín Cawley – Scott Cawley (Ireland)

      Photographic portrait of Aebhín Cawley

      Aebhín Cawley, located in Ireland, is the CEO of Scott Cawley and is responsible for ensuring the company’s vision, mission and goals are met. She is currently implementing a strategic review action plan, driving company profitability and developing business in the “nature positive” area. Aebhín is an experienced ecologist, practicing in Ireland since 2002 and building strong relationships with clients, national nature conservation agencies and specialist suppliers. She has been influential in the evolution of ecological impact assessment work in Ireland through capacity-building work, including training at a central and local government level, preparing guidelines, and organizing and speaking at conferences. Aebhín holds an honors degree in Zoology from Trinity College, Dublin, and a postgraduate diploma in Physical Planning at Trinity. She is a Chartered Environmentalist with the Society for the Environment and a Full Member of the CIEEM. She is a ministerial appointee on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Advisory Committee.

    • Afet Ahmadova - Brightman BMC, ZIRA Natural & Gourmet (Azerbaijan)

      Afet Ahmadova

      In response to a profound lack of locally sourced, high-quality food products in Azerbaijan, Afet Ahmadova launched ZIRA Natural & Gourmet in 2015, buying fresh, chemical-free produce from small farmers. ZIRA now produces the country's first premium line of jams, sauces and vegetable antipasti. Being a fresh-market pioneer didn’t come easy. Not only were foreign buyers skeptical about the quality of food from Azerbaijan, but domestic grocers were also reluctant to make room on their shelves. It took three years of perseverance to win them over. “Once the public tried the products, we earned our right to exist and grow in the local market,” Afet recalls. Exports picked up, and customers as far away as Japan now enjoy traditional Azerbaijani recipes. ZIRA has expanded its offering to 30 products including baby purees, and supplies jams to an organic yogurt maker. Thanks to its robust supply chain, sales doubled during the pandemic. Next, Afet plans to install mobile production units directly into fields and orchards without refrigerated facilities to avoid food wastage and support local farmers. Afet’s commitment to improving the lives of others around her is reflected within the company. She hires women above 40 with no work experience, giving them new skills and confidence. Ultimately, she wants entrepreneurs to join her in building a strong, internationally recognized food industry that will diversify the economy and benefit the entire country.

    • Aine O'Leary – Heels and Wardrobe Limited (Ireland)

      Aine O’Leary, located in Ireland, is the founder and owner of Wardrobe, a size-inclusive ladies fashion business. Wardrobe — with a motto of “Let you shine through” — launched in 1991 and has expanded to four physical stores and two online stores. Wardrobe Boutique stocks sizes 8 to 16 and comprises two physical stores and an e-commerce store. Wardrobe Plus stocks sizes 16 to 32 and comprises two physical stores and an e-commerce business. Since the pandemic, the e-commerce side of Wardrobe Plus accounts for 50% of the business and has become a leader in Irish plus-size fashion circles. The plus-size side of the business has also grown quickly. In 2022, the company launched its own brand, Mellomi, of core wardrobe staples developed with sustainability and cost per wear in mind. Outside of work, Aine loves to spend time with friends and family, walk in nature, read, cook and travel.

    • Anita Cvetić Oreščanin – Poslovna Inteligencija (Croatia)

      Photographic portrait of Anita Cvetić Oreščanin

      Anita Cvetić Oreščanin, located in Croatia, is the Co-founder of Poslovna Inteligencija  (PI). She is currently a board member of PI and Managing Director of BIRD Consulting Austria. As a board member, she is responsible of Finance, HR, Internal IT and Marketing. She is also a member of the supervisory board of the Association of Croatian Independent Software Exporters and is active in initiatives focused on supporting women entrepreneurship. In 2019, Anita participated in the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program’s “Hidden No More: Empowering Women Leaders in STEM.”

    • Beatriz Magro – Komvida Kombucha SL (Spain)

      Photographic portrait of Beatriz Magro

      Bea Magro, located in Spain, is Co-founder and CEO of Komvida, a kombucha company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting and a master’s degree in International Law from the University of Granada. Bea worked in the education sector in Germany and the US, then moved back to Spain where she was a project manager for a think tank. In 2015, Bea’s entrepreneurial spirit drove her to leave her job in Spain and travel the world. She was introduced to kombucha in California and saw an opportunity to introduce it to the European market. She and her childhood friend, a chemical engineer, founded Komvida in 2017 with a strong commitment to women; its workforce is 86% rural women. Komvida distributes its kombucha through an online store and more than 10,000 organic stores and large Spanish supermarkets, with a presence in Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

    • Caroline Gleeson – Occupop (Ireland)

      Photographic portrait of Caroline Gleeson

      Caroline Gleeson, located in Ireland, is the cofounder and CEO of award-winning tech startup Occupop, a beautifully simple recruitment software built for small-and-medium-sized businesses. An MA graduate of Oxford University with a long career in the recruitment industry, Caroline is passionate about empowering technology in the hiring process to make recruitment incredibly easy and accessible to everyone at work. At Occupop, the automation and digitization of the recruitment process for growing companies have been a key area of focus. The goal is helping small and medium-size businesses across the world turn manual, laborious volume hiring processes into efficient, candidate-friendly digital experiences so businesses can hire the best people and build the best teams.

    • Claire Mason – Man Bites Dog (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Claire Mason

      Claire Mason, located in United Kingdom, is an entrepreneur, non-executive director, CEO and founder of global thought leadership consultancy Man Bites Dog. Claire develops future thinking for brands to position them as leaders in the next economy. With 25 years of experience leading global strategic marcomms programs, Claire and her team create signature campaigns for the technology, professional and financial services firms shaping the future of business. Claire has developed global thought leadership campaigns on the future of work, global trade and financing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Zeronomics (the economics of net zero transition). An established keynote speaker, Claire is a champion of sustainability, global trade, the knowledge economy, entrepreneurship, and diversity and inclusion. Claire is campaigning to close the Gender Say Gap – a term she coined to address the underrepresentation of women and minorities in business and in public life – by increasing the visibility of diverse experts. 

    • Deniz Ficicioglu – BettaF!sh (Germany)

      Photographic portrait of Deniz Ficicioglu

      Deniz Ficicioglu, located in Germany, is one of the driving forces behind sustainable, plant-based seafood brand BettaF!sh. She and her cofounder and co-CEO Jacob von Manteuffel are turning regeneratively cultivated seaweed into a mainstream ingredient for the food industry, making their shared vision a reality: to create an alternative to fishery that allows our oceans to heal. Deniz holds a BA in Economic and Social Communication from Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin). She lived in Istanbul during the Gezi protests before researching the future of food while working at various food startups. She has authored two cookbooks.

    • Ellenor McIntosh – Twipes (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Ellenor McIntosh

      Elle McIntosh, located in United Kingdom, is the multiple award-winning Co-founder of Twipes. Using her degree in biomedical science, Elle invented Twipes, the first truly flushable wet wipe that disperses in water in three hours. Along with her business partner, Elle set up the company in 2015 and since then, Twipes has been featured in The Guardian, Forbes and City A.M. Elle won the Mayor of London Entrepreneur award in 2017 and the MSDUK award in 2018. In 2019, Elle won the Diana Award in her achievements in science. Her most recent achievement is being listed in Forbes 30 Under 30.

    • Elles Roeleveld – Soft Revolt B.V. (Netherlands)

      Photographic portrait of Elles Roeleveld

      Elles Roeleveld, located in the Netherlands, is the founder and CEO of lingerie company Soft Revolt. She studied International Business at Tilburg University and worked for 10 years at ING Bank in different roles. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. After 10 years, she decided to follow her dream and start her own lingerie company. To gain customer experience, she worked for one year in the leading lingerie store in Amsterdam, Salon de Lingerie. During this time, she decided to develop soft and strong lingerie to appreciate and support women with their natural curves. She developed the first 3D knitted wireless yet supportive bra for women with larger cup sizes, reducing pain and increasing comfort. With this patented product, CO2 emissions are up to 20 times lower than ordinary production methods. Elles lives in Amstelveen with her partner and her two children. 

    • Hedwig Heinsman – Aectual (Netherlands)

      Photographic portrait of Hedwig Heinsman

      Hedwig Heinsman, located in the Netherlands, is driven to disrupt the global architecture, engineering and construction industry with her circular architecture on-demand platform Aectual. She has over 15 years of experience in the cutting-edge architecture firm DUS, known for the 3D Print Canal House, an internationally acclaimed design-and-build research project into new global housing solutions and market explorations. In 2017, she cofounded digital construction firm Aectual, a global platform for circular and customizable architectural products at industrial scale. With its proprietary software tools and XL robotic 3D printers, Aectual enables designers and builders to create tailor-made architecture on a mass scale in a sustainable way using bio-based and recycled materials. Globally recognized brands like Nike, Hermes, BMW and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol use Aectual’s technology. Hedwig studied architecture at Helsinki University of Technology and holds a cum laude master’s degree from Delft Technical University.

    • Julie Brien – TriMedika (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Julie Brien

      Julie Brien, located in the United Kingdom, is the creator of TriMedika, a medical technology company. She graduated with a master’s degree in German from Aberdeen University, Scotland, and began working as an export sales manager for a business based in Northern Ireland, using her abilities in modern languages to promote products throughout the EU and Nordic territories, then the Far East. She undertook post-grad qualifications in Communication, Advertising and PR, which supported her role as Comms Officer for a leading local company specializing in heating engineering. She was part of startup team for a med tech company before taking the step to create TriMedika with other members of the founding team. This journey began in 2014, and the company was incorporated in 2016. Managing ethically in a way that enables others to identify and meet their potential is an essential part of TriMedika's culture, with collaboration as the cornerstone.

    • Lidija Karaga – Poslovna Inteligencija (Croatia)

      Photographic portrait of Lidija Karaga

      Lidija Karaga, located in Croatia, is a cofounder of Poslovna Inteligencija (PI) and managing director of BIRD Nordics, Sweden. As a PI board member, she is responsible for Sales, Partners Management and the Project Management Office. She is active in initiatives focused on encouraging children in science, technology, engineering and math. In 2016, Lidija was named “Best Women Entrepreneur” by Women in Adria. In 2020, Lidija was among finalists for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ for Croatia. 

    • Lucia Schwienbacher – Sym (Germany)

      Photographic portrait of Lucia Schwienbacher

      Lucia Schwienbacher, located in Germany, grew up in Munich. She studied law at the University of Regensburg and Helsinki with a focus on criminology, European and international criminal law, juvenile justice and law enforcement. She spent her first professional years in one of the oldest law firms in Munich, specializing in general civil law and intellectual property law. In 2013, she founded Sym GmbH and Hypozentrum GmbH, and in 2014 her own law firm with a focus on holistic legal and tax advice for small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs at the shareholder level. From the beginning, the law firm has worked purely digitally and with the guiding values of openness and reliability. Lucia is passionate about promoting and shaping the transformation process toward an ecological, regional and social economy. She is married and the mother of two boys. She is also an art lover and a passionate violinist.

    • Lucy James – Quarsh (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Lucy James

      Lucy James, located in United Kingdom, is the cofounder of Quarsh, a recruitment and retention company, and is experienced in all aspects of hiring. Her focus for the last 12 years has been on helping companies hire well and for the long term. Her recruitment career began in 1998. A second career as a scuba instructor came in 2003, culminating in running a dive shop on a Nicaraguan island until a hurricane destroyed it. She joined Norman Broadbent to learn executive search, then took a partnership in a boutique search firm. She set up Quarsh in 2010 with her cofounder, her former CEO at Norman Broadbent, while expecting her first baby. Their focus is on rolling out more sustainable recruitment processes for small and medium-size companies. Quarsh became B Corp Certified in 2022. Entirely self-funded and organically grown, it now has 25 employees and a supportive, inclusive culture.

    • Magdalena Linke-Koszek – Her Impact (Poland)

      Photographic portrait of Magdalena Linke-Koszek

      Magdalena Linke-Koszek, located in Poland, is a lawyer, author and lecturer at University of Oxford and UCL London, speaker at business conferences and, above all, founder and CEO of Her Impact, a platform and an app for women's professional development. In 2021, she published the e-book Let's Talk about HER Money on the subject of building financial independence and investing, very closely related to her experience. In 2022, she launched a podcast with the same title, in which she discusses in detail the process of building a company and raising funds for it. Currently, she is working on two new formats of this same topic.

    • Marta Palmeiro – StudentFinance (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Marta Palmeiro

      Marta Palmeiro, located in United Kingdom, is the Co-founder of StudentFinance, a career mobility platform operating at the intersections of FinTech, EdTech and the future of work. She was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, and her professional background is in investment banking, having worked at Credit Suisse in the Capital Markets division in London and Madrid for over 10 years. She has been actively involved in innovation and the startup ecosystem in Portugal as an angel investor and as a founder and board member of Portugal Fintech. The association promotes the FinTech ecosystem in Portugal and fosters collaboration among startups, regulators, investors and incumbents/corporates. StudentFinance, founded in 2019, is developing the technological infrastructure to eliminate the skills gap and support the end-to-end reskilling and upskilling journey so that everyone has the opportunity and financial access to education and economic mobility. Marta is also the mother of three girls.

    • Ophelia Snyder – 21Shares AG (Switzerland)

      Photographic portrait of Ophelia Snyder

      Ophelia Snyder, located in Switzerland, is the cofounder and president of 21.co, which provides access to crypto through simple and easy-to-use products through its collection of companies, including 21Shares and Amun. Ophelia is a Forbes 30 Under 30 alum. She began her career working in venture capital and then investment banking which led her into crypto. She was born and raised in Italy and the United States, and she attended Stanford University.

    • Ralitsa Ivanova – Appolica (Bulgaria)

      Photographic portrait of Ralitsa Ivanova

      Ralitsa Ivanova, located in Bulgaria, has been interested in technologies and computers from a young age. She graduated from Technological School Electronic Systems in Bulgaria and started working as an iOS developer at age 19. At age 20, with two of her classmates, she founded software company Appolica, which now has 60 people. She was selected for the Forbes 30 under 30 2022 group.

    • Rasmina Gurbatova – Resm (Azerbaijan)

      Rasmina Gurbatova

      Rasmina Gurbatova, located in Azerbaijan is the founder, owner and designer of Resm, the first Azerbaijani jewellery brand inspired by traditional patterns and ornaments. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors from the Baku State University’s International Relations and International Law Department. She worked for the World Bank Group for 10 years as a communication assistant, consultant and country communication associate. In 2012, Rasmina established Resm, inspired from ancient ornaments and designs. All pieces come with explanations of the design’s historical context, the origin of ornaments and traditional patterns. Resm pieces feature a gold base as well as precious stones to enhance the overall aesthetic and intrinsic value. The brand became very popular and in 2013, Rasmina opened her first concept boutique. In 2017, she expanded her offerings to scarves designed with images and explanations of symbols. As a hobby, Rasmina likes composing music and giving concerts.

    • Dr. Roisin Molloy – TriMedika (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Dr Roisin Molloy

      Dr. Roisin Molloy, located in the United Kingdom, is CEO and founder of TriMedika, an innovative medical technology company. Roisin is a biochemist with over 25 years of experience in product research and development, sales and marketing of medical products into international hospital markets. TriMedika is redefining care by providing accurate clinical devices for hospitals worldwide. In 2016, the company realized that contact thermometers were a huge source for infection. To improve vital patient care worldwide with technology that safeguards patients and caregivers, it designed a non-contact infrared thermometer for use in hospital clinical wards. TRITEMP is engineered to be used 40,000 times and is sold in 21 countries through hospital distribution partners. Its key markets are Ireland and UK, followed by Germany and Austria. It plans to scale the business through product diversification into connected devices and market diversification into the US. 

    • Sarah Chapman – Sarah Chapman Ltd. (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Sarah Chapman

      Sarah Chapman, located in the United Kingdom, started working for herself many years ago and developed her business through 20 years of hands-on research and experience. Her bespoke facials combine her signature “gymnastics” massage with advanced technology and cosmeceutical formulas to deliver rejuvenated skin that glows with health. Her award-winning, industry-disrupting Skinesis skincare range was launched in 2008, proving that high-tech formulas can be combined with the best natural ingredients to deliver effective results in a luxurious way. Her flagship Skinesis Clinic in Chelsea, London, and pop-ups in New York City and Los Angeles are the ultimate destinations for those pursuing healthy, radiant skin. Her exceptional facial massage is much-loved by clients all over the world including, celebrities. Her London team performs over 15,000 facials a year, with a waiting list of over four months. The Skinesis Clinic is regularly featured in the pages of the world’s top beauty press.

    • Silviya Pavlova – WoodenSpoon (Bulgaria)

      Photographic portrait of Silviya Pavlova

      Silviya Pavlova, located in Bulgaria, is the founder of Orenda Group, an organic cosmetic company. She studied in three continents and has always been curious to discover new ways of learning and working. Later in her professional life, she realized that true magic comes when you write your own rules. She started her company in 2014 with the idea that she was not going to seek the standard understanding of success. For Silviya, it was more important to make honest products, awesome partnerships and a stress-free working environment. Two months after the launch, the company exported to eight countries, reaching 12 by the end of the year. Its kids’ sunscreen is No. 1 in safety on the planet, according to INCI Beauty. To clear her mind, Silviya is a guest lecturer at American University and Sofia University. She also writes culinary books and records songs.

    • Sinead Doherty – Fenero (Ireland)

      Photographic portrait of Sinead Doherty

      Sinead Doherty, located in Ireland, is the founder and CEO of Fenero, a financial management company for contractors and freelancers that has grown from a one-woman business in 2009 to a team of more than 70 today, processing over €200 million in payments annually. She was born in Dublin, Ireland, grew up near London, then moved back to Dublin at 22 after finishing her studies. She graduated with an honour’s degree in Modern History and International Relations, but her interest in business led her to an accounting career. She qualified as an ACCA accountant before founding Fenero at age 27. She also became a Qualified Financial Advisor and more recently a qualified Executive & Leadership Coach. She is passionate about the power of business as a vehicle for positive change and is currently undertaking the US-based Inner MBA program for conscious leadership and business. Sinead was awarded Accountant of the Year in the 2020 Irish Accountancy Awards.

    • Slađana Krpić – Poslovna Inteligencija (Croatia)

      Photographic portrait of Sladana Krpic

      Slađana Krpić, located in Croatia, joined PI in 2005 after graduation and grew her experience as a consultant, designer, architect, team lead and project manager on complex data analytics projects for enterprise clients in region and Europe. She has held different management positions in the Consulting and Implementation department and grew to become a genuine people and business leader. As a PI board member, Slađana is responsible for Consulting and Implementation, and manages a team of more than 110 experts.

    • Valeria Vahorovska – Fondy (United Kingdom)

      Photographic portrait of Valeria Vahorovska

      Valeria Vahorovska, located in United Kingdom, is the cofounder and CEO of Fondy, an innovative online payments solution with global coverage and an ever-expanding portfolio. With over eight years of experience in financial services, she is an innovative key player in FinTech, committed to channeling her influence to support and increase inclusion within the e-commerce space. Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in nurturing passion and innovative advancements in today's world, so for Valeria, entrepreneurs are the biggest drivers of the economy. To support this, she developed an educational platform for those who want to start and scale their businesses. The core aim is to transfer valuable knowledge. An ambassador of the European Women Payments Network (EWPN) and a proactive champion of women in FinTech, Valeria works with EWPN to support and mentor many other female entrepreneurs.

    • Verónica Orvalho – Didimo (Portugal)

      Photographic portrait of Verónica Orvalho

      Verónica Orvalho, located in Portugal, has been a global leader for 15 years in the research and development of facial technology and the application of that technology to help people communicate and connect more authentically. Veronica created Didimo with the focus on making the digital world more human and has pioneered the technology to generate high-fidelity digital humans. This patented technology is transforming how companies can establish more human digital experiences for their consumers. Verónica has a PhD in Computer Graphics and is a professor at Porto University. Her inventions have been used by Universal Studios, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon. She is a dreamer and an optimist and believes everyone should have access to education. Verónica is the mother of a boy and a girl — and is helping to create a world that allows them to express and present themselves anywhere they wish while simultaneously safeguarding their digital selves.

    • Yuehua (Moonie) Zhu – eTOC (Germany)

      Yuehua (Moonie) Zhu

      Yuehua (Moonie) Zhu, currently residing in Germany, cofounded eTOC, which help international companies thrive in the Chinese market with their China e-commerce digital marketing expertise. Born in China, Moonie moved to Germany in 2006. She adapted quickly and is now well versed in both cultures. Her professional career set sail from Beiersdorf, where she gained deep insights into supply chain. Moonie then moved to Henkel which helped her gain complementing knowledge in marketing and was given her first P&L management role. However, something was still missing — the connection to China. This opportunity was aptly delivered by Tchibo who offered her the opportunity to take the helm of their Chinese market entry. In 2018, Moonie realized her ambition as she co-founded eTOC. This start-up managed to double its revenue every year with zero funding. It gained the trust of over 50 renowned brands for their Chinese online business.

  • Middle East and India

    • Aida Kandil – Tindy (Morocco)

      Photographic portrait of Aida Kandil

      Aida Kandil, located in Morocco, is an impact-driven entrepreneur and CEO of MyTindy, an app for artisans to sell their products. She lived in Europe and North America before deciding to go back to Morocco to disrupt the way people buy and sell handicrafts. She gives power back to artisans so they can generate a stable revenue and have better economic opportunities. After finishing her bachelor’s degree at McGill University in 2016, Aida worked extensively in the e-commerce and digital marketing field. She helped companies like L’Oréal and LVMH with their digital strategies and e-commerce launches. She then decided to learn more about data and AI so she could also become the CTO and lead the development of her inclusive app that enables artisans to list their products and sell online only through their smartphones and without needing to learn how to read or write.

    • Basma Abdallah Uraiqat – Konn Technologies Ltd. (Jordan)

      Photographic portrait of Basma Abdallah Uraiqat

      Basma Abdallah Uraiqat, located in Jordan, is an architect and cofounder and COO of Konn Technologies. She is an expert in design and sustainable construction and focuses on creating added value in the development of the built environment through constantly navigating the complexities of design and construction. She is passionate about critical theory, systems thinking and innovation management, and she is focused on developing systems and resources that find effective solutions to complex problems through collaboration and innovation. Basma holds a master’s degree in Architectural Design and theory from the University of Nottingham and a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Jordan. She has won several awards in architecture and design, and her work has been exhibited in many cities including London, Amsterdam, Basel, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Beirut and Amman.

    • Dana Momani – DataHub Analytics (Jordan)

      Photographic portrait of Dana Momani

      Dana Momani, located in Jordan, is a highly proficient IT professional with over 16 years of experience in information systems, digital technologies management and IT strategy development. Throughout her career in the IT and telecom industries, she has worked to help business understand advanced data analytics and develop cutting-edge solutions to improve IT services for enterprise data analytics infrastructures. Dana is Technical Director at Datahub Analytics, where she directs long-term planning and oversees all service operations, delivering data analytics services, digital transformation and big data infrastructure, data science service, business intelligence and data strategy consulting services and solutions. Prior to Datahub Analytics, Dana worked as business intelligence and data analytics manager for Umniah Mobile Company and held key positions at IT companies. She holds a computer science degree from Jordan University, and she is the author of several published case studies in the data analytics industry.

    • Dina Saoudi – Seven Circles, Empowering through (Jordan)

      Photographic portrait of Dina Saoudi

      Dina Saoudi, located in Jordan, is the Co-founder of Seven Circles, a consulting agency that provides full-fledged services for companies and organizations establishing strategic partnerships, creating new revenue streams and building sustainable, impactful solutions. At Seven Circles, Dina leverages her years of experience in Silicon Valley’s tech industry as an entrepreneur, investor and consultant for startups. Dina cofounded Seven's World, the philanthropic arm of Seven Circles, with proceeds going to global and local organizations that aim to feed, heal, shelter, educate, inspire and empower over 7 billion people. Dina codeveloped Empowering through, a model that adopts an ecosystem approach driving representatives from all project stakeholders to work together to empower an individual economically and socially. Dina is the mother of two boys, Hashem and Hamzah, whose existence constantly motivates her in her efforts to better the world for all children as much as for her own.

    • Nour Al Hassan – Tarjama (United Arab Emirates)

      Photographic portrait of Nour Al Hassan

      Nour Al Hassan, located in United Arab Emirates, is a leading entrepreneur in the localization and translation technology space. She is the founder and CEO of Tarjama, a provider of smart language solutions that houses a full range of language capabilities and technologies supporting 55+ languages. She’s also the founder and chairwoman of Ureed.com, a digital marketplace connecting global employers with over 55,000 certified freelancers. She manages the hyper-growth of companies in eight markets and leads a team of over 300. Her companies train and employ the largest network of Arabic-speaking women translators and linguists in the world. With a futuristic view of the language industry, she is dedicated to building and developing proprietary language technologies to transform the way her company and the industry works in the region. Tarjama builds robust language technologies, including a cutting-edge machine translation, translation management system, auto-subtitling platform and client-facing portal.

    • Yasmine Abdel Karim – Yalla Fel Sekka (Egypt)

      Photographic portrait of Yasmine Abdel Karim

      Yasmine Abdel Karim, located in Egypt, is an Egyptian national who, after 17 years of residing in Europe, returned to Egypt in 2019 to launch YFS, an on-demand logistics startup. She has worked across languages and cultures around the world in industries including oil and gas, where she developed skills relating to improving productivity — whether for processes or people. This inspired her to launch a startup in logistics services. Previously, she pursued a Mason Fellows degree at Harvard Kennedy School, was HR Manager at Schlumberger’s global headquarters in Paris, and worked in the fields of economics, entrepreneurship, process improvement and overall efficiency policies. Yasmine also holds a BS in Economics from Cairo University in Egypt and an MSC in Human Resources from Robert Gordon University in the UK. She is trilingual in English, French and Arabic.

    • Shriti Pandey – Strawcture Eco (India)

      Photographic portrait of Shriti Pandey

      Shriti Pandey, located in India, is founder and CEO of Strawcture Eco, the first company in India to make building materials using straw. Her initiative stops crop stubble burning, which is the leading cause of air pollution in North India. The company promotes the circular economy business model in the construction industry, one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. Shriti has a Master’s in Construction Management from New York University and a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. She is a Forbes 30U30 Asia 2021 Honoree, a TedX speaker and a United Nations Social Impact Challenge Award Winner. The first pilot house built by Strawcture Eco won the Green Building Project Award by Smart Cities Expo in New Delhi in June 2019. Strawcture Eco is supported by numerous accelerators and incubators globally. Shriti is also an Acumen and Echoing Green 2020 Fellow, both New York-based fellowships to build moral leaders.

  • Turkey

    • Aycan Dikiciler Ercengiz – Chiccy (Turkey)

      Photographic portrait of Aycan Dikiciler ercengiz

      Aycan Dikiciler Ercengiz was born in Izmir and graduated from Dokuz Eylul University, Faculty of Industrial Engineering. She started her career in textiles, working as a production planning engineer at Arteks and as the factory manager at a company in Pamukova, which evaluated state incentives to rural areas to increase employment in the textile industry. She recruited nearly 500 women. She worked in Istanbul as the general manager of the Macedonian company NASTEL. She established Truva A.Ş with a Turkish partner but left her company, one of the leading manufacturers of children's textiles in Turkey, in 2006 due to health problems. Aycan later saw that e-commerce was promising and established Chiccy Accesories with a system based on imports and women's labor. For many years, she has been Trendyol's main supplier of accessories. When her passion for the textile sector reignited, she started to operate in women's textiles under the Chiccy brand. 

    • Betul Beste Turgut – Has Endüstri (Turkey)

      Photographic portrait of Betül Beste Turgut

      Betul Beste Turgut graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Political Science and International Relations, then worked in the export department of ARKAS Shipping. Believing that she could do more, she left the company. She now has a company in the electrical and electronics sector working with partners such as cable grouping companies, automotive companies, insulation companies. In addition, she sells many products needed in the sector. Among the features that distinguish it from other companies is that it is approved among B/S/H (Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances) companies. Nearly 80% of all products in its stock have been sent to Germany, passed certain tests and been approved. This means that, for example, when certain companies start a project or need a new product, they ask her company for products because it is among the direct suppliers. At the same time, her company sends products to foreign branches of leading appliance companies.

    • Burcak Korkut – Hammam Design Radiator (Turkey)

      Burcak Korkut

      Burcak Korkut studied Environmental Engineering at Istanbul Technical University and completed her education with an MBA degree in USA. After working for a full year as an engineer in USA, she came back to Turkey and worked for ENKA at transport and logistic department. In year 2004, she joined to family business which was a start up at the time. Her brother and herself are partners in the business. She had taken active role in every part of the business during the development stage both as hard-working employee and a decision maker. As of today, she is acting as vice chairman of the board and head of sales and operations both for national and domestic markets. The company have been investing heavily in know-how, engineering, teamwork up to now, which enables us to manage all of our R&D, industrial design, production and sales activities in house today. In 2018, our R&D centre became a certified R&D centre by Ministry of Industry and Technology. Not only producing towel warmers and radiators, but they are also serving engineering solutions to special projects in design, engineering, technical support stages. Hammam Design Radiator has been registered achievements with Design Turkey 2012 Good Design Award, IF Design 2019 Award and Design Turkey 2021 Superior Design Award. The company has more than 40 models ‘’design registered’’ through WIPO and have been exporting to many European countries.

    • Gamze Yildiz – Zega Makine (Turkey)

      Gamze Yildiz

      Gamze Yildiz graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree 15 years ago and worked at Shell for five years. She lived in China for five years focusing on international trade. After returning to Turkey, she started her entrepreneurial journey with the knowledge of her colleague who has extensive experience from the design to production of vibratory surface treatment machines. She also relied on her own professional and international experience. She has acquired international dealerships in a short period of four years and started Zega which is known in domestic/international markets. She is married with two daughters.  

    • Gizem Iris Yucel Yılmaz - Arcadias Tech (Turkey)

      Gizem Iris Yücel Yılmaz

      Gizem Iris Yücel Yılmaz is a tech enthusiast who has been interested in video games since she was 4 years old. She studied computer science in the Netherlands – Deflt University of Technology for her bachelor's degree. For her master's and Ph.D., she studied communication at Bahcesehir University. She worked at Google as an analyst and Markafoni (an e-commerce platform) as the marketing director. Iris Co-founded a digital advertising agency, then realized she was born to be an entrepreneur. She joined the Arcadias Tech team in 2015 and became a partner in 2020 with plans to extend the products and reach worldwide. She enjoys coding, reading and socializing with bold people no matter what they do for a living or who they are on paper.  

    • Halide Rasim – Rasim Makina (Turkey)

      Photographic portrait of HALIDE RASIM

      Halide Rasim graduated from Mechanical Engineering in 2001 and worked in different companies. She attended a business program at SNT College in England before joining her family business at the beginning of 2006 and she is currently working as Business Development Manager. She has participated in various proficiency programs and has certificates including TUBITAK Mentor Program, Cluster Managements Excellency Program, Job Security Expertise and Periodic Control Engineering. Halide has also been involved in non-governmental organizations including the Clustering Organization of Construction Machinery, Association of Construction Machinery Engineers and Ankara Chamber of Industry.

    • Irmak Atabek Ndungu – Mako Media (Turkey)

      Photographic portrait of Irmak Atabek Ndungu

      Irmak Atabek Ndungu is a multidisciplinary media and entertainment professional with 15+ years of experience in the animation and children's media industry. She has produced and post-produced media content including TV commercials, animated TV series, music videos and films. After working for eight years at a CGI studio in Istanbul, she cofounded Mako, a woman led kids' content and animation company that designs and produces content for worldwide clients. Recently she is producing Mako’s “Kozalak Preschool,” a series funded by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Turkey. Irmak lives in Nairobi, Kenya, managing two of Mako’s preschool projects for the Africa market. She received a degree in International Relations from Bilkent University and a master’s in Psychology of Religion from Istanbul University. She is passionate about kids’ content, with a firm belief that today’s kids will be tomorrow’s changemakers. Her lifetime dream is to set foot on the moon by age 60.

    • Ozge Cetin – Özge Makina (Turkey)

      Özge Çetin

      Ozge Cetin, located in Turkey, graduated from the Department of International Logistics at Istanbul Commerce University. She studied Marketing at Namık Kemal University and graduated from Anadolu University. Ozge’s father was skilled at lathing and turned it into his own business, establishing a small workshop in 1995. In 2009, it became a limited company but was on the verge of bankruptcy by 2012. Ozge refused to accept this possibility and encouraged her father to let her try to save the company. Although he first opposed it, he transferred 100% of the shares to her. Due to her father's health problems, she was left to run the company alone and sought training in manufacturing and management. She was selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women project that provides female entrepreneurs with a business education. She graduated from the program and is on the board of the alumni association.

    • Semra Aycicek – Vestnes Turkey AS (Turkey)

      Photographic portrait of Semra Aycicek

      Semra Aycicek was born in Sivas and has been working at her family gardens, which produce Turkish apricots, since childhood. From breakfast to dinner, she would listen to her parents talk about planning, accounting, financing and supply, and she was later a part of the discussions. This experience made her think about her strategies forward. She studied Industrial Design at Anadolu University and her graduation project was designing a sailboat. The first year she failed; the second year she took sailing classes, practiced and became a professional sailor to be able to design the boat properly. She worked for a builder, then tried commercial watercraft building, working with Tersan Shipyard, Turkey's biggest shipyard, as Head of the Interior Design Department. Semra later established another Norwegian ship interior company, Maritime Turkey As. She is now a shareholder, board member and general manager of Vestnes.

    • Sylwia Regulska Guney – Bartka (Turkey)

      Photographic portrait of Sylwia REGULSKA GUNEY

      Sylwia Regulska Guney is an Economics graduate enthusiastic entrepreneur. After leaving behind 10 years of corporate life working at BPH Bank Poland, Duty Free Tunisia and her family business dealing with irrigation systems; she launched her own business in 2018. Sylwia has also authored a kids bedtime story book. Her brand Budizzz, all started with her son Bartu's sleeping problems. Once she figured out how he instantly fell asleep beside the kitchen range hood, that's how she met the science of white noise and started a R&D process over it. After a year of research, she launched a tech device attached to a plush bear, designed to allow 80% of infants to fall asleep within five minutes. Sylwia helped put over 50.000 babies to sleep, donating 2% of Budizzz sales to the Koruncuk Vakfı Foundation helping kids in need. Sylwia and her team has gained a national recognition as an expert on baby and child sleep. She believes that the quality of your life depends on a good sleep. And a good sleep depends on a having a proper daily routine. Her current focus is to have a major share in the sleep tech market and position Budizzz as a sleep expert for both babies and adults.

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