In the middle of June, 30 women from all over the EU got together to explore their entrepreneurial ambitions. It was the first module celebrated by the WE Health Network, under the name “Unlock your innovative potential”, and took place at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

To guide the participants in taking their first step towards leadership and entrepreneurship in health innovation, the first module saw the participants work with inspirational speakers and through interactive learning techniques and coached reflection. They also engaged with the methodology used in the “business model canvas” (a visual shorthand for simplifying complex organisations) but applied to explore the entrepreneurial possibilities of the individual. The participants used the canvas as a blueprint to analyse both the present and the future they personally would like to attain (identified through various exercises).

Using the canvases, the participants were able to identify the gaps between their plans for the present and the future, a challenge that they solved using design thinking. The invited inspirational speakers are stars on the local entrepreneurial scene in Stockholm and they shared their own entrepreneurial journeys and helped coach the participants.

The methodology became more than just a tool for exploring ideas or business blueprints; it became a tool for personal development. The participants found individual solutions to collective problems and new unexpected paths. The women in Module 1 had a wide range of experience and backgrounds, something that we were happy about as it brought life to the module and enriched the participants’ experience.  

One of the participants (Erin Fears) shared with us her journey from the three days: […] I wanted to connect with other similarly interested women. My hope was that through these connections, I could have dialogues that might make me think about things differently, and possibly receive advice that might help me on my own path.

Module 1 actually took me somewhere unexpected, instead of continuing on the path of becoming an intra-preneur. I have committed to forging my own path, by starting a business. In fact, I already have a partner, and have found funding sources, so hopefully it will be launched within the next 12 months.

Erin’s key insight: You have to be the change you want to see, and you need to do it now! 

It seems like the programme managed to hit the spot. There is a need for role models, networks and the sharing of other women’s experiences and it is also important to be able to access the right tools.

We are very excited for the two modules that are coming next and that can be taken separately. Are you ready to join us so we can take the next step forward together?