European Commission awards 4 innovative women entrepreneurs

On 8 March, International Women’s Day, Commissioner Carlos Moedas, from the European Commission, and Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness announced at an award ceremony in the European Parliament in Brussels the four winners of the Women Innovators Prize 2017.

Only 31% of entrepreneurs in the EU are women, which means they are underrepresented in terms of creating innovative enterprises. For that reason, the European Commission created the EU Prize for Women Innovators, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship among women, recognising women’s success in innovation and raising public awareness on the need of creating strong role models.

This year there was a shortlist of 12 finalists, women entrepreneurs who have brought their innovative ideas to the market. For the first time, three finalists were selected in the new category “Rising Innovator”, which recognises excellence in female entrepreneurs aged 30 or under.

The winners

The four winners of the 2017 contest have been:

  • 1st Prize (€100,000): Ms Michela Magas, of Croatian/British nationality, founder of Stromatolite, a UK Design Innovation Lab with a studio in Sweden, building a new generation of incubation and creative technology toolkits for innovation. [Watch video]
  • 2nd Prize (€50,000): Ms Petra Wadström from Sweden, founder of Solvatten, which produces a portable water purifier and water heater that are powered by solar energy. [Watch video]
  • 3rd Prize (€30,000): Ms Claudia Gärtner from Germany, founder of microfluidic ChipShop, which provides “lab-on-a-chip” systems as miniaturised solutions for better diagnostics. [Watch video]
  • Rising Innovators Award (€20,000): Ms Kristina Tsvetanova from Bulgaria, who is CEO and co-founder of the Austrian company, BLITAB Technology, which has produced the first tablet for blind users, called BLITAB. [Watch video]


For more information, you can watch a summary video of the ceremony, as well as a video of Carlos Moedas talking about the importance of this EU prize, or you can watch the video of the whole ceremony as it happened.

You can also meet this year’s 12 outstanding finalists, watch the video clips and read the interviews to find out more about their life, work and inspiration.



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