Women Entrepreneurs Breaking Barriers

Women entrepreneurs tackling climate change

Did you know that women currently make up only 13% of environmental innovators? This is despite representing half of the world’s population and increasingly being seen as more vulnerable due to the impacts of climate change (OECD).

They are also less likely to receive funding for their businesses than their male counterparts — despite the fact that investing in women-led businesses is profitable.

The main focus of International Women’s Day 2022 is to demand “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” and call for climate action for women, by women (UN).

We have partnered with Accelerate2030, the world’s largest scaling program connecting entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — initiated by UNDP and Impact Hub —, to highlight the women creating a more sustainable and inclusive future for all. In particular, the amazing women entrepreneurs in our communities who are leading some of the most innovative impact-driven ventures in their countries and creating sustainable solutions to drive change around the world.

These entrepreneurs are part of the Accelerate2030 top ventures, selected for their visionary solutions with impact on the SDGs, international scaling potential, and highly skilled and motivated team.

From reef-safe sunscreen made from agricultural waste to simplified investment solutions for clean energy, these women are leading the way in creating entrepreneurial solutions to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Learn about their entrepreneurial journey!

Daniela Arias, Co-Founder and COO of Sibö and Co-Founder of CRIC – Costa Rica Insect Company_Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Daniela Arias, Co-Founder & COO of Sibö and Co-Founder of CRIC - Costa Rica Insect Company

Daniela Arias

Daniela is a public health and human nutrition professional, experienced in food science and multilateral program implementation — leading research, development and innovation with a focus in organic chemistry, food safety, biochemistry and the effects of nutraceutical ingredients on human health.

She is the Co-Founder and COO of Sibö and the Co-Founder of CRIC – Costa Rica Insect Company. 

I believe food can unlock the potential for real sustainable development — that’s why I want to bring balance and create the future of food through my venture. Let’s create the future of food together!

Vania Audrey Pakpahan

Vania is a graduate Bachelor of Arts, majoring in the department of international relations at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Indonesia. After developing her expertise and interests in international affairs, development and journalism, she is now involved in shaping the future of sustainable footwear through Pijak Bumi.

Alongside academists, material researchers, local artisans and manufacturers, this startup develops plant-derived materials, which are biodegradable and recycled, to reduce water use in material processing and manufacturing.

Vania Audrey, Co-founder at PT Pijak Bumi International_Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Vania Audrey Pakpahan, Co-Founder of Pijak Bumi

Together, we can create a bigger impact #ForBetterEarth.

Learn more about Daniela and Vania’s entrepreneurial stories in the LIVE with Impact Hub event we organized together with Accelerate2030 on International Women’s Day, March 8 2022, to discuss how to promote more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems.

They shared their advice to other changemakers, reflected on the challenges they have faced to scale their businesses and impact, and the most important support they have received in their entrepreneurial journeys.

Baraa Eisa_Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Baraa Eisa, Co-Founder and COO of T.Joint

Baraa Eisa

Baraa is a social entrepreneur, Co-Founder and COO of T.Joint, with +3 years of experience as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist and project management expert — focusing on economic development, empowering rural women and striving for achieving digital transformation and financial inclusion.

She is also a Sudan laureate and the East African representative for the Women in Africa initiative.

My true happiness comes from making a positive difference in people’s lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my basic needs met, a good upbringing and education, a family, and I’m not going to take that for granted.

Mariola Urgellés 

Mariola is a Costa Rican chemical engineer with a deep passion for research and development.

Experienced in managing all aspects of business and product development, she is the Founder of Sunspectra, a skincare company that upcycles agricultural waste into cosmetic products. Their first product line is reef-safe papaya based sunscreen.

Mariola Urguelles _Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Mariola Urguellés Ventura, Founder of Sunspectra

As a Costa Rican, the awareness and protection of coral reefs, often forgotten despite being essential to life on Earth, is deeply close to my roots and motivation.

Zehra Solmaz_Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Zehra Solmaz, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Ecording

Zehra Solmaz 

Zehra is an environmental engineer, currently pursuing a master’s degree in socio-ecological sustainability and working intensively to tackle the climate emergency, climate justice, and renewable energy transformation.

She is the Corporate Partnerships Manager of Ecording, a social enterprise that develops sustainable and innovative environmental technologies to address the climate crisis. For example, by using ecoDrones™ to disperse plant seeds in hard-to-reach areas.

We need to build a more equitable, environmentally friendly and ecologically oriented way of life. We owe it to all living beings on our planet and to future generations.

Paola Santiago

Paola is a management engineer in charge of leading the value generation and sustainability in Unergy startup of which she is the Co-founder and CFO. “Unergy cuts barriers to investment in renewable energy. Customers use their collaborative platform to invest in solar energy projects. These projects facilitate access to the cost-free instalment of clean energy generation for businesses.”

Jaibet Paola Santiago Ribón_Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Paola Santiago, Co-Founder and CFO at Unergy

I am passionate about mobilizing people to take action and ideas to become a reality.

Florencia Salcedo

Florencia, Co-Founder & Head of Research and Development at Unibio, has a bachelor’s degree in Biology, a PhD in science and a postdoc in bio and nanotechnology.

She has years of experience in plant physiology and functional characterization of micro and nanomaterials, is inspired by plants and has a deep consideration for nature.

Maria Florencia Salcedo_Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Florencia Salcedo, Co-Founder & Head of Research and Development at Unibio

I was convinced that it was necessary to work on the development of new technologies to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture and thus take care of nature and human health.

Duygu Yılmaz_Impact Hub, Accelerate2030
Duygu Yılmaz, Co-Founder and CEO of Biolive

Duygu Yılmaz 

Duygu, a food engineer, started researching olive seeds when her father asked her what they were made of. “In that process, I thought about how useful the antioxidant substances are and why we should evaluate this waste, and I shared it with my current colleagues.”

After graduating from university, realizing the corporate world was not for her and driven by her passion for learning, she founded Biolive, a biotechnology company that produces and sells antimicrobial and antioxidant bioplastic granules made from olive seeds.

In the beginning, no one believed in my business idea but I’ve always had faith in myself and have never given up on my dreams. Now, Biolive is an engineering company that has scaled up, established its own production facility, and has many inventions in the field of materials. 

Supporting female innovators on their journey to scale impact is crucial to building a sustainable future. Programs like Accelerate2030 and organizations like Impact Hub are at the forefront of pushing for equality in entrepreneurship. Want to join us in supporting inclusive entrepreneurship? Explore the opportunities Accelerate2030 offers and join the Impact Hub global community!

Women Entrepreneurs Stories of Impact

Read our latest inspiring stories and interviews with women entrepreneurs.