Following an extended invitation from Ulrike from SitEinander, I attended the “Women in Business
– Female Entrepreneurs in Germany” summit. It was hosted by the Federal Foreign Office and the Public Diplomacy Initiativkreis at the Hotel Scandic in Potsdamer Platz. The international participants were part of the The Visitors Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany. One of the highlights of their six day program was meeting and talking to Berlin female founders.
As a marketing intern just entering the industry out of college I was unsure as to what to expect. However, I have noticed that women in business here are offered much more support than in Ireland where I am from. Women seem to stick together and support each other while also taking pride in their hard work.
As a Marketing Intern I often accompany Ulrike on Cooperation Talks and User Interviews. Here we are at Wonder Coworking in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg.
Shari (Wonder Coworking), Ulrike and Kiera (SitEinander)
Ulrike was a panellist on the day, she discussed SitEinander and how she got into business with her sisters. The background story and the discussion about the business went down a treat with many people asking questions over brunch after. Following this we got to hear from Dr. Antje Venjakob from Oculid. Their mission is to develop biometrics for secure authentication. It focuses on eye movement as well as eye movement and computer
interaction that will allow biometrics to be user friendly.
I have noticed that women in business here are offered much more
support than in Ireland where I am from.
Next to speak was Karolina Decker from FinMarie. FinMarie is the first online investment platform in Europe dedicated to women. It aims to allow every woman the opportunity to manage her assets and choose which investment is right for her. FinMarie allows women to spend their money on their short or long term goals and also to decide how much risk they are willing to undertake. Ulrike, Antje and Karolina are all acquanted with eachother, they often meet eachother at similiar events. They part ways by saying “see you at the next event” while laughing. This shows that these women are role models for women in business in Berlin.
The next speaker was Ute Franke, CEO of 5micron GmbH. 5micron‘s portfolio is based upon photonics technology for high-precision measurement systems The company started with two projects from major companies Airbus and Rolls-Royce.
Ulrike, Antje and Karolina are all acquanted with eachother, they often meet eachother at similiar events. They part ways by saying “see you at the next event” while laughing. This shows that these women are role models for women in business in Berlin.
Following Ute was Aynur Boldaz-Özdemir of Forever Clean, as she did not speak English, she had a someone speak on her behalf. Aynur came to Berlin at the age of 18 and wanted to start her own company. Forever clean was born and is one of the most diverse and inclusive businesses, with the majority of its staff having disabilities or being migrant women. Our final speaker was Elena Poughia is the Managing Director of Dataconomy a portal for news and all things data and technology related. The focus is put on big companies as well as disruptive start up with emphasis being put on interesting applications of data technology.
After the speakers finished, we were invited to get brunch and the speakers sat at different tables for discussions. As Ulrike’s intern I sat with her and we firstly began chatting to two women from Russia and Kazakhstan. They had many questions about SitEinander that we were happy to answer. The issue of trust came up quite a lot as nanny’s are much more popular in Russia that regular babysitting would be. We then moved onto a table with two lovely journalists,
one from Taiwan the other from Czech Republic. It was discussed how there is a great need for SitEinander in China due to the fact parents are now permitted to have more than one child. Parent’s want to be successful but this can be difficult when you have children.
A delicious brunch was offered to us while we were discussing serious topics such as childcare and technology in today’s world.
Picture: PDIK e.V
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Following on from this, we met Majd Mashharawi, an inspiring woman from Gaza, Palestine and the founder and CEO of Sun Box. This company aims to bring solar power to the people of Gaza who often only have 3 hours electricity a day. Majd also founded GreenCake, a company that makes concrete blocks from ash and rubble which are available as a result of war in her country.
Overall, the day was extremely enjoyable. It was inspiring to meet so many successful and innovative businesswomen that are so motivated and supportive of each other. Germany, and Berlin especially is host to some of the most innovative start ups in the world, and it is so refreshing to see that many of these are founded and run by females.
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