Wants to give young women positive role models

Susanne Thue Photo: Magnus Torvund
Start NHH welcomes students from the Bergen area to an evening of talks from entrepreneurs and female leaders who have set up businesses in male-dominated sectors. A three-course meal will also be served and entertainment provided. Third-year student Susanne Thue is project manager of the team behind She Innovates 2020. Photo: Magnus Torvund/NHHS
By Anna D. Mageli

18 February 2020 09:19

Wants to give young women positive role models

‘Only one in three entrepreneurs are women. Through this event, we want to support each other and diversity,’ says project manager of She Innovates, Susanne Thue.

She Innovates 2020:

  • Hosted at Scandic Ørnen on 26 February.
  • The evening focuses on innovation, women and diversity.
  • A further development of ‘Jentemiddagen’, which was organised by Start NHH earlier this year.

Start NHH hosts an evening with speakers, entertainment and a three-course dinner to focus on innovation and equality. Ten minutes after the 160 tickets went on sale, the event was sold out.

‘We didn’t expect it to be so popular,’ says third-year student and project manager Susanne Thue (24).

Argentum on the team

She had planned to promote the event through Facebook, Instagram and other channels in the time leading up to the event on 26 February, but, as it turned out, this was not necessary.

‘After we created a Facebook event, the word spread. There will be participants from BI Norwegian Business School, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and the University of Bergen, in addition to those from NHH,’ she adds.

In addition to contributions from DNB and the City of Bergen, the private equity company Argentum is on board as the main sponsor of the event.

‘Private equity is a sector that has traditionally been very male-dominated. Argentum will give a talk on just that,’ says Thue.

Wants to inspire

The background for the event is that Start NHH wants to give young women positive role models.

‘We have many great female leaders, but not as many high-profile, female entrepreneurs in Norway.’

Thue mentions Isabel Ringnes and Jenny Skavlan with the second-hand clothes app, Tise, as role models. For this year’s event, she has found a young speaker, who is the founder of Scandinavia’s biggest leadership development programme, Elin Nørve.

‘At a young age, Elin Nørve has already achieved a lot – she developed Future leaders and was one of those included in the newspaper DN’s list of 30 talents under 30 in 2019. She also takes the chances she is given,’ says Thue.

Tone Marie Wahlstrøm will also be attending. She is head of Customer Centric Banking at TietoEVRY, one of the Nordic Countries’ biggest IT companies. She will talk about intrapreneurship. Thue explains:

‘Intrapreneurship is about innovation within companies. Having a framework can make innovation feel less daunting.’

The government’s action plan

It is not only the student organisation Start NHH that is working to ensure more women succeed as entrepreneurs. The government presented 13 measures in September last year to make it easier for women to start and expand their own businesses.

‘It's not only men that have good ideas – we want to make it easier for women to become entrepreneurs. We must use the whole population when creating the new, green jobs of the future,’ said the then Minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H).

Forty-five per cent of those who want to start their own company are women. Only thirty-three per cent actually do so, and only nineteen per cent survive five years.

Entrepreneurial futures

Thue is one of those who wants to take a chance. She became a member of Start NHH when she started studying at NHH, and has among other things helped organise the Nordic countries’ largest business plan competition for students, Venture Cup. This summer she will visit the entrepreneurial school in San Francisco.

‘I want to challenge myself and work creatively. As an entrepreneur you have to think outside the box,’ she says.