Top 9 Women-Owned Nordic Start-Ups to watch in 2022
On the 8th of March, we celebrate International Women’s Day. It allows the world to come together and champion women, as well as shine a light on their successes. Goodwille’s founder, Annika Goodwille, felt strongly about supporting female entrepreneurship, and since her passing, we continue to support the Microloan Foundation, a charity that helps women from Sub-Saharan Africa work their way out of poverty through entrepreneurship.
Although it may go unseen by many, gender differences and stereotypes are deeply ingrained into the business world. For example, Forbes reports shocking statistics claiming that less than 1% of UK venture funding is awarded to all-female teams. As a result of this, we think it is essential to promote businesses founded and run by women (14 individuals, to be exact!).
DR ELINA BERGLUND SHCERWITZL, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF NATURAL CYCLES
Natural Cycles is a hormone-free method of birth control that requires measuring the body’s temperature to produce fertility data that identifies infertile days of a woman’s cycle. Elina used her extensive background in particle physics to help with her research. She was even part of the team that discovered the Higgs Boson particle, a significant discovery within particle physics, which went on to win a Nobel Prize!
AMANDA WESTERBOM, CO-FOUNDER OF ESTRID
Estrid is a subscription-based razor firm promising a cruelty-free, vegan, quality experience. Upon ordering their ‘Starter Kit,’ you can choose a razor blade subscription and it’s delivered right to your door with free, climate-compensated shipping.
Amanda states she feels strongly about body positivity and recognises that there aren’t enough role models that talk about body hair openly: “Our purpose is to change ideals, and we believe women should be comfortable showing fuzz.” Having only launched in 2019, they hold an estimated value of around €91 million! Undoubtedly, Estrid is becoming the big next household name across the world.
JENNY RUTH HRAFNSDOTTIR, HEKLA ARNARDOTTIR AND HELGA VALFELLS, FOUNDERS OF CROWBERRY CAPITAL
Not one, not two, but three successful women to commemorate! An all-female investment company that invests at seed and early-stage tech companies in the Nordics. They tap into the notion that a huge market is not getting the funding to accelerate their business, which we mentioned previously. They aim to increase diversity in VC and tech business. Arnardottir states they use their all-female team to their advantage, as they are able to see potential in companies that are typically overlooked.
JENIFER CLAUSELL-TORMOS, FOUNDER AND CEO OF DEVELOP DIVERSE
Develop Diverse use machine learning to assist companies with their unconscious bias language, content and hiring practices. They aim to create equal opportunities by normalising diversity, and as a result, companies can employ more inclusive language and attract a more diverse workforce in terms of race, gender, age and physical ability. Jenifer expresses the importance of wanting every single person to unlearn their unconscious bias with the aim to break down societal stereotypes. In 2021, they landed €2.5 million in funding as well as an 80% increase in female applicants as a result of her software.
LOLA AKINMADE ÅKERSTRÖM AND SARA MANSOURI, FOUNDERS OF LOCAL PURSE
Local Purse is a web-based platform that supports travel guides, local artisans and cultural vendors by using live video shopping technology to share experiences and host travellers from around the world. With live video shopping becoming a macro trend that is rapidly influencing the way we make our online purchases, it’s no wonder why their business integrates so well within the mind of a consumer who is increasingly considerate to the post-pandemic market.
PERNILLA NYRENSTEN, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF REVOLUTION RACE
Nyrensten impressively holds the title of becoming the first female founding CEO on the Stockholm stock exchange since its inception over 160 years ago. She, alongside her co-founder and husband, realised there was a market for stylish outdoor apparel. As a result, Revolution Race was created. They provide colourful and affordable outdoor clothes without compromising on their quality, as well as having a solid concentration on customer satisfaction whilst listening to what their customers want.
ESTELLE WESTLING AND THÉRÈSE MANNHEIMER, FOUNDERS OF GRACE.HEALTH
Grace.Health is the first-ever digital women’s-health clinic. They specifically provide for low- and middle-income countries, where mobile data is expensive, differentiating the user experience. Their automated health assistant, Grace, allows women to understand their reproductive health whilst offering direct access to medical assistance and femcare products. Today, Grace Health is the number one female health service trusted across East and West Africa, gaining 1 new user every minute in 2021. Impressive!
JOSEFIN LANDGARD AND STINA LÖNNKVIST, FOUNDERS OF MANTLE
Josefin and Stina are pioneers for the CBD and ‘CannaBeauty’ market within Scandinavia. After a trip to New York, Landgard realised ‘CBD’ was the topic on everyone’s lips, making her realise the market for it within Sweden and beyond. One year after their launch, their CBD oil was awarded Wellness Product of the Decade by STYLE BY magazine. Their range is made in Sweden, and their own CBD is organically grown with a small-scale farmer in Switzerland.
ANNE KIHLGREN, FOUNDER OF DYNAMIC CODE
Named Swedens Female Founder of the year in 2020 by DI Digital. Dynamic Code offers smart diagnostic and healthcare that people can use in their own homes. After a home test has been analysed at Dynamic Code’s laboratory, patients receive a clear and accurate diagnosis; they can then go to their local healthcare provider to get any follow-up treatment they might need. During the early stages of the pandemic, Dynamic Code developed one of the first PCR tests.
It’s truly inspiring to see so many women from the Nordics create and maintain the success of these businesses in multiple industries where previously they were dominated by men. We hope to continue to support businesses run by women here at Goodwille as well as provide a space to celebrate them.