“Believe in yourself. Challenge yourself. Push yourself”, said Anne-Grete Ellingsen, CEO of GCE NODE, to a group of female entrepreneurs.

On the International Women’s Day, Innoventus Sør celebrated female entrepreneurs and offered advice on how to turn an idea into a successful business.

“Only 3 out of 10 entrepreneurs are female. From 150 ideas we considered for our programs last year, only 23 came from women. Diversity contributes to innovation, creativity and growth. Today, we are here to encourage and support women entrepreneurs,” said Kristine Ribe-Christensen, Business Developer at Innoventus Sør.

Innoventus Sør has established its first Female Accelerator, accepting 8 projects from female entrepreneurs in Southern Norway. The projects and their entrepreneurs have undergone a program, which includes developing a business plan, digital marketing and finance.

6 entrepreneurs from the Female Accelerator program pitched their ideas with excellence and earned applause from the audience and compliments from a panel of judges at a meeting in Kristiansand Thursday.

CEO of Innoventus Sør, Kamilla Sharma, voted Female Executive of the Year in Southern Norway last year – and CEO of GCE NODE, Anne-Grete Ellingsen, the world’s first female Platform Manager, shared their stories.

“My mother was always my role model. She installed in me ‘You are the writer of your own life story’. That phrase has stuck with me and inspired me,” said Sharma.

She encouraged the female entrepreneurs to take control and to plan. “Because,” said Sharma, quoting the French author Antoine de Saint Exupéry: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Anne-Grete Ellingsen added: “Believe in yourself. Challenge yourself. Push yourself. Pursue positions that challenge you. Go places you have not gone before. Put on a shirt that is too big!”

“As an entrepreneur you should focus on liquidity. When dealing with investors, you should be aware of what kind of role you are comfortable with if your company grows. When choosing a board, do not ask your aunts and uncles, assemble a competent board to assist and challenge you. And in this day and age, be sure to develop a digital strategy for your company,” said Ellingsen.

Six entrepreneurs came to pitch their ideas Thursday.
Kamilla Sharma, CEO of Innoventus Sør, encourages female entrepreneurs to create their own path and write their own story.
Pitching her idea: Vera Zsabo from Aersea
Pitching her idea: Veronica Dalen from Troa
Pitching her idea: Marte S. Tuseth from Our Family Software
Pitching her idea: Birgith Rosseland from Always Cargo
Pitching her idea: Tone Pernille Sivertsen from Wannado
Pitching her idea: Hanne Elizabeth McIver Swatland from Tranzlated