“Barcelona is one of the most competitive European startup hubs with a lot of multinational enterprise innovation centers and access to local and international talent and VC investment.”Jordi Aguasca
This is a quote from Jordi Aguasca, a manager at Startup Catalonia. Startup Genome is an awesome data collection company that acts as a census for startups all around the globe. They track many things including the percent of female founders among top 15 global startup ecosystems.
Sadly, the highest ranking city is Chicago with only 25% of female founders in the startup ecosystem. Barcelona ranks 25th worldwide with only 15% of female founders. We have a long way to go to achieve equality in the workplace.
As AllWomen founder Laura Fernåndez Giménez stated, “I really believe in the importance and power of role modeling, seeing other women doing things we are expected not to do gives you the strength to believe you can do it, too.” It’s more important than ever to help each other to grow and support each other not only professionally but mentally and spiritually.
“I really believe in the importance and power of role modeling, seeing other women doing things we are expected not to do gives you the strength to believe you can do it, too.”Laura Fernández Giménez
Like Fernåndez Giménez believes, having a strong community behind you is the key to lifelong success as a female entrepreneur. Yes, there may only be 15% of female founders in Barcelona. However, those 15% are paving the way for all of us to succeed and normalize the presence of powerful women in a “man’s world.” I hope one day women founders can tip the scales and be seen as equal to the male founders. For now, here are some noteworthy female founders in Barcelona that have persevered and inspired those around them.
Laura Fernández – AllWomen
Laura Fernández co-founded AllWomen with the goal of training women for the tech world. Currently, only 20% of computing jobs are held by women. With the goal to change that, the company provides classes and events to motivate women to specialize in artificial intelligence and technology.
With AllWomen, Laura wants to break the stereotype around women lacking skills in technology. Laura, used to work in the cinema world and has now created a growing community of women becoming tech experts. AllWomen offers an 11-week training program and virtual courses too. According to Laura, the tech world is truly within every woman’s reach.
Ana Bella Estévez – Fundación Ana Bella
The Ana Bella Foundation helps female victims of violence through networks of survivor women. Thanks to their testimonies, more women are now speaking up about what they have endured. In total, 80% of women don’t complain about the violence they have endured. The founder, Ana Bella, was a victim of violence for 11 years. Now her mission is to build an egalitarian society without violence against women. The network of women in the foundation is more than 20,000 around the world. When women stop being victims they become social change agents.
The effect of this foundation is wide: they help with prevention in schools, they share testimonies through communication media, and they have a Facebook group to allow women to connect with each other. Moreover, they offer a program called Programa Amiga that provides support, economic help, therapy, legal defense and more.
Carmen Pellicer- Fundación Trilema
Carmen Pellicer, pedagogue, theologian and writer, has dedicated herself to changing the Spanish education system. She notes that there are a lot of problems in the Spanish education system. Two of the largest problems are mediocrity and the number of school failures. Moreover, Carmen Pellicer shared that, in Spain, the principal problem is a strong ideologization of education and that it is too politicized.
“To change a country, the education has to be changed”, says Carmen. Because of this, she created the Trilema foundation that acts to personalize the system and make it more adapted to students’ needs. Thanks to Trilema, more than 50,000 teachers have been trained and 3,000 schools in Europe and Africa have been transformed.
Carmen Pellicer has written a lot of books and didactic works in addition to producing movies for the trilogy, “La Buena Educación”. Her foundation works in different fields like teachers’ training, help growing social and ethical projects, education centers, audiovisual production, and internationalization of innovative programs.
Gloria Gubianas – Hemper
Chosen as the female entrepreneur of the year in Spain, 23-year-old Gloria Gubianas is the co-founder of Hemper. Hemper is a company that produces sustainable backpacks and fashion items. These products are handmade in Nepal with a material called hemp – a fabric that is eco-friendly.
From the start, Gloria has always had the desire to help people. Hemper creates jobs in Nepal for people who risk social exclusion. Additionally, the young entrepreneur specifies that Hemper is also a way to promote sustainable fashion among young people. The company, a certified B-corp, contributes to 17 of the UN’s sustainable goals.
But Hemper is not the only company founded by Gloria. She also created Sheedo, with three colleagues. Sheedo is a company that produces paper made of cotton and seeds that can be planted after it’s been used.
Margarita Albors – SocialNest
After studying a management master at the University of Harvard, Margarita Albors created SocialNest, an accelerator for companies with a social or environmental impact. During her time at university, she realized the huge contrast between her world and the homeless. Since that discovery, she decided to act in favor of social enterprises. Her non-profit is based in Valencia and promotes entrepreneurship, investment, and technology with a focus on social impact.
Margarita aims to aid companies, by helping them from the start, to grow and positively change the world. SocialNest is working to promote and facilitate social entrepreneurship. Thanks to their SocialCafe they’re creating a community, a social space where people can meet and talk about various topics.
Roser Ballesteros – Voxprima
Roser Ballesteros teaches innovation focused on writing through her method called “Pictoescritura”. Fundador of Voxprima, Roser created a new teaching and learning method focused on writing and reading. Roser wants to solve a big problem in Spain as they have one of the lowest writing competences of their students. Moreover, creative capacity is decreasing when children start school. Roser wants to solve these problems through her innovative method.
Pictoescritura provides materials that stimulate creativity, drawing, visual thinking and storytelling. It’s a method that works in every language. Because of this method, students can work in a more collaborative way that allows them to find their own voices without limiting their creativity.
Clara Jiménez Cruz – Maldita.es
Journalist, Clara Jiménez Cruz dedicates herself to the fight against fake news. Nowadays, we have access to a lot of information but also to a huge amount of false information. The problem lies in knowing what’s right and wrong. To fight against the lies and rumors in public and political discourse, Clara founded Maldita.es to provide tools to differentiate the truth from lies. Moreover, it’s a community that combats together to create a significant impact.
Maldita.es communicates with members of its community to identify and stop fake news from circulating. This non-profit promotes transparency in public and private institutions. For Clara, the community aspect is really important as due to it Maldita.es can exist.
Isabel Guirao – A Toda Vela
Since 1997, Isabel Guirao has been fighting for the right for people suffering from intellectual disabilities to have inclusive free time. This group of people is isolated from society – a lot of them don’t have friends and are not included in social life – and this is the problem Isabel is solving. With A Toda Vela, Isabel offers these people opportunities to find their desires and interests and have hobbies. Moreover, it allows people to meet with each other which helps them create friendships.
The organization offers training to disabled people as well as professionals who are interested in the topic. A Toda Vela is working to help these people by providing personalized services for employment. Its mission is to help people with disabilities gain autonomy to have a more complete life.
Bibliography information provided by Margot Schneider