International Round Table for Female Founders 1
Foto: Nixxipixx

International Round Table for Female Founders

FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Sabine Proßnegg,

The International Round Table, which is an online event, took place for the third time already and it was again a huge success. The event is organized by the FH JOANNEUM Kapfenberg with all its partners.

This year, the event started with a keynote by Diana Pasek-Atkinson and Henriette Stokes from the Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in the UK. Diana Pasek-Atkinson is an Enterprise Adviser at the Dryden Enterprise Centre, the DEC, at the NTU.

8 top tips to podcasting

With the Octopus Of Enterprise, Diana Pasek-Atkinson hosts a live WOIxTOOE podcast herself as part of one of NTU Enterprise’s Entrepreneur Clubs, asking guests their take on topics such as networking, the importance of failing, as well as the necessary skill sets and steps you need to succeed during an entrepreneur journey. In her keynote, she and Henriette gave inspiring insights into how to create a successful podcast, starting with the thoughts you have to give to the focus and the format, the topics you want to address and who your audience is going to be. Diana pointed out the importance of creating an identity, which is ideally a catchy phrase or which could be just three words. She then turned to the briefing paper and the script that she is using herself. Finally, she advises to consider the technology as well as the platform you are going to use. And don’t forget to create a catchy title for each episode. Henriette added her insights as a producer, so out of an hour record she takes the best 20 minutes to create an episode. Re-records are your best friends, as she says, there is no need to be perfect.

Discussion with four female founders

After the keynote, four female founders from four different countries discussed their enterprises and their experience to set it up with Huriye Toker from Yasar University. Click on their names to read what they said.

Pervin Aydar Emeklioğlu

Pervin Aydar Emeklioğlu is co-founder of KEP Textile Atelier as its co-founder. KEP Textile Atelier is a socially responsible enterprise offering clothing and accessory production services with a focus on empowering women and respecting the environment. From material sourcing to production, KEP Textile Atelier supports those positively impacting the textile industry. Through solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and fair working conditions, KEP minimizes their environmental impact. Pervin adds that: “More than just an atelier, we embrace inclusivity, provide a 5-month textile training program for women, and empower them to join our team, making us a unique force in socially minded business.” For more please go to, you can also find KEP Textile Atelier on Instagram: and LinkedIn: Pervin put in her view that barriers are sometimes incentives for innovations. She also recommends not to try to be perfect in whatever you do, better get things done. After all, business is not your hobby nor is it your friend. Give it a good thought, be clear about your goals and then just give it a try. It can be exhaustive, like jumping into cold water, but it is a great experience, especially if you help other and create value for your customers.

Georgina Fairhall

Georgina Fairhall is a female founder in tech, an award-winning entrepreneur with her UK based business WAC. WAC app enables workers from all sectors to track their hours, add their rota and get live payslip estimates, including deductions such as tax. By that she has helped thousands of hourly-paid workers spot underpayments which would have been missed without tracking their hours, for more please go to Georgina shared her difficulties in getting funds with the audience, since most funds are given by men to men, usually white, similar age and with the same questions, as she puts it. Georgina is not only successful in getting funding for her business, she is now devoted to promote and support other female founders, too. There's an organisation in the UK who are trying to address the funding gap for women entrepreneurs. They are OBU "Over Being Underfunded", to find out more, please go to: Their motto is: “Invest in businesses you believe in with the angel investment platform built for women, allies – and a fairer future.” Asked what she thinks of the startup journey, Georgina said that she was overwhelmed. She took one step at a time and got help wherever she could. She also recommends not to put too much pressure on yourself.

Katharina Köglberger

Katharina Köglberger from Austria is co-founder of cyclebee, a company that offers an all-in-one bike travel App. Katharina pointed out the huge advantage of working in a mixed team. Her main advise to other female founders is to be self-confident, to take and appreciate advise given, but to choose wisely to whom to listen. Not every person, family member or friend is qualified to give advise about your business. She also stressed that being a female founder has its advantages, too, like in her case good management and communication skills. Women can take advantage of their family commitment for their entrepreneurship by using the skills they took ab when managing their family. Katharina always knows how to address customers best, some prefer written communication, some prefer a personal chat or a phone call.

Nazlee Mayhew

Nazlee Mayhew from Malta is a social entrepreneur. She set up a business called Global Mindset Solutions with the vision to empower, educate and equip women to enhance their leadership and business skills and help strengthen the communities they serve. Mindset mastery is the foundation of Nazlee's coaching services where she helps women overcome Imposter Syndrome, self-limiting beliefs and the fear of failure or success! Nazlee is convinced that: “We often stand in our way which stops us from reaching our full potential and reframing our beliefs will help us live a purposeful life.” Nazlee’s word of advice was not to underestimate the importance of networking and the power of word of mouth. The more you give, the more you receive. In hard times she turns to her whys to stay focused. Strategies are great but don’t linger too long with them, rather move along with the people you like and your customers. She also points out not to compare yourself too much to other entrepreneurs. Her motto is to stay true to herself. After all, every founder and every startup journey is unique.

We also want to share the answers two questions from the audience. Asked if being a female founder was a disadvantage, all four founders agreed that sometimes that was the case, but there are advantages on the other side as well. The second question was about the mistakes they made and all four founders assured that they wouldn’t want to miss them. This is a great and inspiring message to all people who are thinking of putting their idea into a business, don’t be scared. All four founders talked also about the unhelpful myth about founders having to work all the time. Stay honest to yourself and don’t forget that you have great people around you and maybe even a whole team behind you. We want to conclude with a great saying in the UK that as you go up the ladder, reach down and give a hand up to another woman. Don't be the woman who stands on another woman's fingers as you step up. Be sure not to miss it next year!

About Green KAIT

Green KAIT is the incubator and accelerator of the FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg. KAIT inspires people, especially students, to start their own business in the region. A particular focus is on IT/digitalization, on sustainable/green ideas and on female founders. KAIT evolved from an EU project, so it is “international by design”. If you want to know more about the KAIT partners, please go to, check out the Green KAIT Website.