Last month we looked at the groundbreaking women who changed the world of business forever. Now it's time to look to the future and to the female entrepreneurs who are blazing a trail in 2018. The list is just a small sample of the innovative, socially-conscious and potentially world-changing work that women in business are doing today.
Successful banker Erin Michelson found herself unfulfilled by her high-flying career, so did what might seem predictable at first – quit, went travelling and set up a charitable organisation. But the story doesn’t end there. From her own experiences, and with more and more people looking for meaningful work and to contribute to social good, she decided to turn to data analytics to give employers a better idea of candidates’ social priorities and charitable giving. Summery helps companies shape their charitable and CSR policies and better engage employees by aligning their values.
Newborn mortality rates remain shockingly high in developing nations, something two bio-med students from the University of Columbia are hoping to tackle with medtech. Cauvel and Shah have created a low-cost wearable, Neopenda, which monitors four vitals, building a business model as part of a college project to meet an unmet medical need.
From research in neonatal units, they heard first-hand from the doctors that vital-signs monitoring would make a huge difference in their newborn patients' lives, and have now dedicated themselves to the product full-time. They are currently seeking government approval from trials in Uganda in order to expand across East Africa.
Having grown up in Bangkok, Pae Natwilai Utoomprurkporn’s interest in drones began while studying Global Innovation Design at Imperial College London. There she realised a way to apply the technology for better safety and structural checks in the construction industry.
She describes TRIK as ‘Google Maps for large structure inspection’, gathering more detailed information and thorough assessment of buildings remotely. The device eliminates the need for scaffolding, ropes, and humans operating at height or in dangerous situations.
A qualified barrister and former Group Head of Compliance of the largest property services group in the UK, Claire Banwell Spencer developed Data Solver as a solution to impending GDPR reforms, helping companies to automate many of the requirements of the regulations through case management processing and risk mapping.
Having experienced first-hand the pain of data breach and loss during her law career, it was already an area close to her heart – searching for and realising there was no single software product available to help with GDPR was the final straw. Data Solver was developed during her time at Cranfield University with fellow MBA student Vinay Nagaraju.
In 2015, 126,000 businesses were created by women – up from 58,000 in 2006 - contributing £3.5bn to the UK economy and creating 77,000 jobs.
There have been increasing calls for more financial education for young people, and Gabriela Isas is working to better prepare younger generations for the demands of adult life admin.
With decades of experience in business and as an entrepreneur with Aegis Media, she has turned to tech and created Score, a personal financial management tool empowering young adults with their own primary financial data, presented in a dynamic and actionable way.
Christina Boyle left a comfortable position in a family business to start her company, Senergy. In her work with the family firm, she was seeing repeat problems with solar thermal panels, realising that they were being rejected due to aesthetic and cost concerns.
She decided to create an alternative: panels using plastic material at half the price of any other on the market. Senergy has found success in agriculture and schools/public buildings markets, but such an idea could potentially fulfill the need for a global future where low-cost eco homes will need to be built.
A former Miss New York, Oubou has overcome overt and relentless sexism in order to get her business off the ground. Fittingly, SWAAY was founded after identifying the disparity between the depiction of male and female professionals in the media. SWAAY focuses on female entrepreneurs and hopes to bridge the gap between magazines that are traditionally targeted at women, and those targeted at a business audience, seeing the two as not exclusive.
She also has a background in science, having graduated in Colorado State University in Fort Collins with degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology and working with cancer research startups.
Kayleigh Ziolo is a freelance journalist and writer based in Ireland. Follow her on Twitter @Kayleigh_Ziolo
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