‘Be Bold for Change’ – that’s the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.
Boldness is something we see every day in our work with women entrepreneurs, and today we’re proud to showcase just a few examples of amazing women from across the world who are boldly following their business dreams.
Anja is the Founder of Blubear Holdings Sdn Bhd, a company that employs single mothers to manufacture reusable sanitary pads. She was inspired to launch her business after discovering that many girls in Malaysia are forced to miss out on school because they cannot afford the cost of menstrual pads. As a former college dropout herself, Anja felt passionately about the importance of education and decided to design a reusable pad that would empower girls to attend school regularly. Find out more about Anja here.
Catharina is an inspiration to other young women. At just 27 years old, she was running two successful businesses and supporting her parents with their daily living expenses. Her first business, Club d’Lern, is a German language school for students aged between 17 and 30. She is also a representative for Swedish make-up company Oriflame, one of the most popular beauty brands in Indonesia. Catharina believes all women should take the opportunity to be financially independent. You can find out more about Catharina in our Evaluating Business Women report.
After Linna’s husband passed away, she realised that the income from her nursing job would not be enough to provide a secure future for herself and her four children. Linna took matters into her own hands and in 2011 she set up a small side business raising and selling poultry. Her hard work has now paid off. Her eggs and meat have become well-known for their high quality, and she is even selling her products at the hospital where she works in Tanzania. Read more about Linna here.
Ma’ali is from the Palestinian city of Tulkarem. She is married with two sons. As her sons grew up Ma’ali recognised that their educational needs were very different; her eldest son was an advanced learner, and her youngest son had learning needs. After realising that their school did not have the educational tools to support either child, she started a business creating and selling books and games for children across the learning spectrum. You can read more about Ma’ali and other inspirational Palestinian women entrepreneurs here.
Mariela has worked in logistics in Argentina for nearly 20 years. However, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, she struggled to have her ideas heard and progress to a management role. Frustrated, she and two friends decided to launch their own company, Kalima Shipping and Logistics Solutions, which offers logistical support to freight and trucking companies, focused in particular on women-run SMEs. Mariela dreams of becoming a leader in her industry and is setting up an NGO to support local artisans to export their goods to international markets. Find out more about Mariela here.
Queen had spent years as the only woman in the boardroom and felt passionately about getting more women and girls into STEM, so she decided it was time to make her mark. She launched Somila Engineering, a niche engineering company that manufactures and supplies specialised engineering products to a variety of South African industries, including mining, rail and construction. Read more about Queen here.