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Female Founders Summit

May 22, 2024

On 22 May, Tallinn hosted the Female Founders Summit by Womenture: Let's Woman up the Business!, which brought together participants from all over Europe. The aim of the event was to promote female entrepreneurship and provide a platform for women to share their ideas and experiences.

Womenture is an initiative whose mission is to encourage women to become entrepreneurs. Currently, only 15% of start-ups in Europe are created by women, and only 1% of investment in the start-up sector goes to women entrepreneurs. Womenture aims to change this situation by providing training, events and mentoring sessions that empower women in the business world.

Womenture's pre-launch programme received hundreds of applications from 39 countries, from which 20 start-ups in the idea stage were selected. The teams went through an intensive seven-week programme, culminating in the presentation of their ideas at the Latitude59 pre-event.

The 5 shortlisted teams, pitching on Latitude59 side event, focus on the potential of artificial intelligence. Bulgarian start-up Application Mastery uses AI to help students apply for study abroad programmes, Czech Vetee.ai provides AI-based veterinary advice for pet owners, Dutch Denning.ai makes it easier for law students to read court decisions, Portuguese OceanCare provides biocide-free solutions for protecting ship hulls, and the Truu app, created in Estonia, connects job seekers with employers who value their unique skills and lifestyles.

There was also a Google-initiated #IAmRemarkable workshop to encourage people to share their achievements. The workshop highlighted the importance of highlighting your achievements to build self-confidence and career success, especially among women. Self-promotion is something that, according to established gender roles and norms, has a negative connotation. However, studies have shown that highlighting one's own achievements makes people more confident and helps them climb the career ladder.

Keynote speaker investor Kristi Saare stressed the importance of financial issues for start-ups and the importance of financial literacy for founders. She pointed out that financial competence is critical both for the survival of the business and for attracting investment.

Participants also got an overview of Estonia's e-residency programme and Startup Estonia shared success stories and opportunities from the Estonian start-up sector. The day was rounded off with a panel discussion featuring CARÁ founders Carina and Keiro Vantsi, who stressed the importance of partnership in both work and personal life.

The Womenture project continues its mission to create a more inclusive startup ecosystem for women and looks forward to participating in future events and workshops. The project is implemented by the Science and Business Campus Tehnopol together with good partners Design Terminal (Hungary), SpinLab - The HHL Accelerator (Germany) and DEX Ioovation Centre (Czech Republic).