The University of Iceland received 70 valid applications for participation in the Academy for Woman Entrepreneurs (AWE), now held for the third time. The selection committee had their work cut out for them when selecting from the applications, but finally 25 business ideas were chosen to participate in the programme, and the women behind them start their journey today, developing their ideas under the guidance of an experienced group of women from the Icelandic business community. The ideas are diverse and in the field of software, education and services to disabled children, e-books, sustainability, food product development, tourism, and augmented reality - to name but a few.
A call for participation was sent out at the beginning of the year, the majority of applications came from women in the capital area, but 18 applications were from women all over Iceland, or 27%. Special emphasis was placed on reaching women of foreign origin in Iceland and to our distinct please it was a success as almost 40% of the applications were from women of foreign origin or with a dual citizenship.
AWE aims at supporting women in further developing their business ideas and increasing their presence in innovation and entrepreneurship. This creates a knowledge-based community where participants are mentored by experienced women in innovation and entrepreneurship in building businesses, networking and strengthening work development and professional competence.
Fida Abu Libdeh, CEO and co-founder of GeoSilica, and Sandra Mjöll Jónsdóttir Buch, Product Marketing Manager at Florealis, will share their vast experience in innovation and entrepreneurship as mentors in the programme. Furthermore, a dynamic and experienced group of specialists from the University community, industry and the innovation sector in Iceland is involved in training and teaching. Participants also take the online training programme, DreamBuilder, organised by Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management.
The Academy for Woman Entrepreneurs (AWE) is organised in collaboration with the American Embassy in Iceland. Other collaborators are the Association of Business Women in Iceland (FKA), Young Professional women (UAK) and Women of multicultural ethnicity network in Iceland. AWE is an initiative from the United States and is offered in over 80 countries all over the world and Iceland is the first of the Nordic countries to participate.