Women entrepreneurs talk climate business in Bonn

What characteristics do people think of when they hear the word ‘entrepreneur’?

Ambitious, decisive, outgoing – these are characteristics many people would associate more with men than women. However, to be successful entrepreneurs also need to be creative, open, conscientious, and according to recent research they need to be affable.  A panel of five female entrepreneurs from across Europe demonstrated all the above characteristics as they shared their stories of becoming entrepreneurs, taking forward business solutions that solve climate change challenges. Held during the Conference of Youth (COY13) in Bonn, the event highlighted the role that women are playing in the field of climate entrepreneurship. The personal experiences of the speakers showed how they had identified a problem and their determination and ability to learn has lead them to initiate solutions that present significant challenges to existing practice. Their business ideas spanned key sectors including food, mobility, waste and fashion.

Climate Action is needed on a huge scale and these young women represent inspiring role models for delegates at COY to follow. The diversity of ideas and approaches was evident from their ventures.

  • Food Cloud diverts food waste from landfill with a software platform connecting supermarkets to charities.
  • Nüwiel founded in Hamburg, helps consumers carry heavy purchases around the city as well as trying to bring about change in the courier sector.
  • The Nu Wardrobe, founded in Dublin is a platform that enables students and young professionals to swap cloths rather than always buying new items
  • NGrain began developing an alternative to disposable coffee cups using waste from the brewing industry. They changed focus in response to customer feedback, instead focusing their business on behavior change.

The panel agreed about the importance of trusting your own ideas, learning from failure and seeking support from people and organisations who provide knowledge, networking and funding. They commented on the positive experience they had at Climate-KIC’s Greenhouse Programme, the Climate Launchpad and the entrepreneurship programmes they took part in. Their final piece of advice was to view criticism positively – if someone gets in contact to suggest an improvement this great because they want to help you make your business better.

NOTES

COY13 is a conference for young people held before the Conference of Parties (COP) which ran from the 2nd to the 4th of November 2017. The COY brings together the energy, commitment and vision of the youth constituency from around the world to create change. It is organized by young people for young people, with over 1300 participants from 114 countries gathering for three days to connect and collaborate in preparation for COP23.

 
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