Not long ago, the startup universe was predominantly male. Within the past few years, however, the number of female-founded startups has been rapidly increasing.  

This story isn’t different at the European Innovation Academy Summer programs. In 2019, more than 300 female entrepreneurs took the challenge to create a startup in a short period of time. 

The participation of powerful women in entrepreneurship isn’t something new at EIA. Since the very first edition, the organization has worked towards gender equality across the board, from participants to mentors, and even the EIA team. 

In this article, we want to introduce to you three women entrepreneurs from EIA and their inspiring stories. 

1. Shayanne Wright

Passionate about startups, Shayanne Wright joined the program in 2017 and is an inspiration in the hall of women entrepreneurs from EIA. The 3-week program was very intense for Shayanne, who developed LEFT, a B2B software for group travelers and travel organizations.

Shayanne Wright
Shayanne Wright

The CEO of this unique framework describes herself as a global awareness and social innovation advocate. Since the program, LEFT has been taken to a whole new level. In this article, Shayanne writes about study abroad program development and how an international experience can change people’s lives.  

Learn more about Shayanne Wright.

2. Jeniffer Mpho Lebethe

Despite being only 25 years, Jeniffer Mpho Lebethe has an incredible background in the entrepreneurship field. The chairperson of Miss Empowered and CEO of Building Blocks joined EIA Hong Kong in 2019.

The young entrepreneur has a positive mindset and strong attitude when it comes to overcoming challenges. Jeniffer affirms she doesn’t believe in failure, but moments of learning and clarity,

Want to know more about Jeniffer’s story? Read this article!

3. Sierra Calhoun-Pollard

Sierra Pollard has studied Innovation for 10 years. She was one of 16 people to graduate from the nation’s first Innovation Academy at the University of Florida. After earning a B.S. in Digital Marketing and Innovation, Sierra was hired on at an international corporation to direct a social marketing team. She learned from her experiences and wanted to start her own venture. She founded a digital marketing firm: Ginger Media Marketing to create innovative marketing strategies for small businesses.

In 2019, Sierra was accepted to Virginia Commonwealth to earn her Master’s in Product Innovation. The MPI program sent Sierra to the European Innovation Academy in Turin, Italy. While at EIA, she joined a team of amazing people from all around the world. Her team won the Sparks IP scholarship worth $15K awarded by Nixon Peabody. Winning this award allowed Sierra to start thinking of new ventures. Sierra founded the Winnovation Agency for women in innovation. She wants to build a community that would uplift the amazing women who are actively creating, design and innovating within their field.

“Being a part of EIA was thrilling. It was one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences of my life. The friends I made live all over the world, and yet we have such a strong connection. I was so lucky to have won the IP Scholarship and trademark my business. If you have the chance to attend EIA, it will be an experience like no other in the world. You will learn more and work harder than ever before, while making connections that will last a lifetime!”

You can find Sierra on LinkedIn.

There are still plenty of incredible stories of women entrepreneurs from EIA. Keep up with our blog to read more posts about our rockstar participants!