Europe

Lisa Warner

As a young mother, Lisa Warner struggled to get her family to gather around the dinner table and talk. In a flash of inspiration, she wrote questions on some pieces of paper. The homemade cards transformed her family’s mealtimes. In 2008, Lisa decided to help other families communicate by turning her cards into a business, and Fink Cards was born. Building on the successful launch of the Family Edition in 2008, she now offers a range of products to encourage family interaction, which are available on her website, through online retailers and in stores across the UK.

Halla Tómasdóttir & Kristin Pétursdóttir

Win-lose scenarios, short-term gains and high‑risk behaviors have traditionally dominated the financial sector. Seeking an alternative, former bank executive Kristin Pétursdóttir joined forces with Halla Tómasdóttir, previously the managing director of Iceland’s Chamber of Commerce, to found Audur Capital, a financial services company. Their mission: to incorporate “feminine” values into the world of finance by offering their clients a long-term perspective and a win-win approach.

Martina Hoffhaus

Tired of the constraints of the corporate world, Martina Hoffhaus struck out on her own, founding the LOHAS CompetenceCenter (LCC) in 2008. This unique international network brings together communications, marketing and business development professionals with expertise in Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). LOHAS is a fast-growing market segment of socially and environmentally conscious consumers in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia.

Sanne Scheffer

It’s a well-known preconception that being Dutch and cycling go almost hand in hand, a match made in heaven on flat reclaimed roads. Not necessarily, claims Sanne Scheffer, a 27 year-old Business Psychology graduate who soon found the daily 40-minute cycle commute to work in Amsterdam less than heavenly in the winter rain. A lack of convenient connections meant that public transport was not a viable solution for her either. ‘I’d be pedalling away and wondering why all the cars only ever have one person in them, so I set about finding a colleague to share the ride with.

Mah Hussain-Gambles (MBE)

In Mah Hussain-Gambles’ world, science does not have to be exclusively technical or industrial, it can be pure and ethical. As a trained pharmaceutical chemist, she drew on this reasoning to launch Saaf Pure Skincare, a line of products that takes its name from the Persian word for pure. ‘I first started developing creams for my husband, who has very sensitive skin and needed pure ingredients.

Bettina Götzenberger

In Spain, as in many other countries, obtaining sound legal advice can be a complicated and costly process. Bettina Götzenberger aims to change all that with her idea of legal consultation shops that makes legal advice from qualified professionals more accessible, and available at predefined, fixed prices.

Jenny Carenco

Jenny Carenco knows a thing or two about the pressures of motherhood. The 34-year-old former management consultant used to come home after a long day's work to turn her kitchen into a small baby food factory. Preparing tasty, nutritious meals for her young daughter after the rest of the family was fast asleep was a choice that eventually led to a business.

Katalin Berenyi

With a wealth of experience in the fashion and cosmetics industries behind her, Katalin Berenyi knows what it takes to make a new idea succeed in even the most competitive of markets. She's confident that Erborian, her new skincare range inspired by Korean herbal medicine, will make the grade.

Wendy McMillan

Anyone who has ever had to tackle pressing legal, educational or financial issues knows that the first question is simply: who to ask? 34-year-old Wendy McMillan has decided to come up with an answer through a virtual marketplace for professional services, an eponymous initiative that gets queries sorted with ease.

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