For our last Women in Entrepreneurship meet-up of 2021, we visited our friends at Ideon Innovation in Lund. We gathered an impressive group of women and had an engaging discussion about the importance of building a strong sense of community. We also shared practical ideas on how to move forward in our quest to make Skåne’s entrepreneurial ecosystem a more inclusive and diverse one.
We could all relate to the challenges that COVID19 imposed on us when trying to grow and maintain our networks. Having the opportunity to get together “in real life” with like-minded individuals is something that we all missed during these special times. Thus, we cherish the moments we have to meet inspiring women from our innovation ecosystem in real life.
Our co-host, Marie Greco, a community builder, shared a few tips on relationship building. First, do not be afraid to reach out to others. Just do it, send the message or email, reach out on LinkedIn, whatever the means, just go for it. Most of the time, you may be surprised, people are happy to connect, go for fika, and have a chat.
Second, nurture your relationships. It is not enough to just meet someone once at an event and call this a lasting connection. It is very important to reach out now and then to share updates, new knowledge or simply to say hi.
Finally, join events! This one might be a bit tricky but it is a crucial one. Whether it is in person or online, joining events is an amazing way to connect with others. Skåne Startups regularly create spaces for people to connect, so take advantage of it and join the event. You could meet your future co-founder, a business lead, or someone that is interested in the same topics as you are. It is always worth your time.
By reaching the end of our season 2021, in our search towards diversity and inclusivity, we reached the point where we ask ourselves, “where do we go next?”, “How can we evolve in a way that we create the most impact?”. Two very good and difficult questions. We talked about the hurdles we have to overcome, the gender and pay gap that is still present (even in Sweden, one of the most gender-equal countries in the world!), the lack of representation, and so on. We are all very aware of these issues and it is no doubt necessary to have spaces where we can share our thoughts about them.
This WiE meet-up was truly special, we not only got to make new connections and strengthen “old” ones. But we got the opportunity to talk about practical actions that we as an organization can take to make the Skåne startup community a more inclusive one. Thank you to all our participants, we are thrilled to have you as part of our community!
Marie Greco, Project and Event Coordinator at Ideon Innovation.
Gabriela Anna Zoltek, project manager on a mission to help foreigners navigate Swedish culture.
Sylvia Heuvelman, experienced management consulting and sales professional, and CEO and founder of Soothla Sweden.
Alejandra Cuellar Dole, food technology and nutrition professional, who started the first vegan restaurant in the Island of Utila (Honduras).
Gema Sornoza, public administrator with experience working in the Americas and China.
Maja Frankiewicz, Co-founder and CTO at Nikdev.
Josephine Alvén, Co-founder and COO at Nikdev.
Julia Karlsson, media technology student interested in improving communication in the digital world.