Working for more women in entrepreneurship

The main goal with this project is to show female students the opportunities within entrepreneurship and inspire them to pursue an entrepreneurial career, regardless of discipline or background.

By Silje Bechmann Granås

NTNU has a rich environment for innovation but this is a large and unexplored field for many students. Kvinneprosjektet is a part of Spark* NTNU, which gives us an advantage. Not only can we act as a way into this environment for female students, we also have access to an entire organization with a broad network and elaborate knowledge within many aspects of business development.

What has Kvinneprosjektet done so far?

To achieve our goal, we have focused on free and accessible events. The 1st of November 2019 the project was released to the public with a kick-off open for anyone interested and engaged in this theme. With great help from DNB and Spark* we hosted an inspiring evening with fierce female entrepreneurs and an introduction to design thinking. With food, drinks and music and nearly 80 attendees this resulted in a successful kick-off making us ready for 2020

The 1st of November 2019 the project was released to the public with a kick-off open for anyone interested and engaged in this theme.

Silje Bechmann Granås

While the kick-off was held for promoting our mission and inspiring young students, we wanted to take the next step. We created the Bedriftssimulator – a program with the intention of introducing the attendees to basic principles of business development. Over three educational nights the girls learned more about generating ideas, teams, validation and long-term survival of startups using their own business ideas. To top it all off we had a finale where they could send in their work and get evaluated. The price was 20 000 NOK to continue working with the idea and/or developing her entrepreneurial skills. After hard work from both Kvinneprosjektet and the attendees, we reached the finale. Marie Louise Sunde held an inspirational talk about entrepreneurship, gender gaps and her own journey. All the contestants got to test their business idea with success, but one idea stood out. Amanda Engeberg Andersen and her platform for buying, selling and renting microhouses and lots for microhouses won the Bedriftssimulator, and 20 000 NOK to continue her entrepreneurial journey.

The journey ahead

The last year has been filled with hard work, inspiring role models, students from a broad range of different fields and lots of support. NTNU, Engage, Spark* and DNB has been important partners throughout our journey this far. As Kvinneprosjektets founders are moving on with different projects, we are excited to hand over the project to new and engaged people who can continue inspiring young women towards their entrepreneurial goals!

History of Kvinneprosjektet

In 2018 Elise Maria Irgens and Vetle Øien conducted a research study on Spark* NTNUs idea holders. While gender wasn’t the main focus, they realized that there was a lack of female representation in the Spark-system. Today, only 14% of the idea holders are women. This issue is reflected in the Norwegian society as well, as statistics show that 7 out of 10 founders are men. With women representing half of the population this can be considered as a societal issue. As a response to this gender gap, Elise Maria Irgens initiated Kvinneprosjektet.