As the highlight of the Woman Business Manager of the Year competition, the Innovation Award ceremony brought together nearly 200 people at Banque Internationale à Luxembourg's Route d'Esch headquarters on Thursday, 27 April. Five projects, and five exceptional women, were honoured: Travelsify (Alexandra Fernandez-Ramos), Kliber (Nathalie Dondelinger), Supermiro (eLfy Pins), Largowind (Mathilde Argaud) and MyScienceWork (Virginie Simon).
The mixed-gender panel of judges, composed of representatives from BIL, the Luxembourg Business Association (UEL), the National Institute for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility (INDR), nyuko and Technoport, selected the winners from among 25 applicants, and invited them to present their projects. Owing to the quality of the short-listed projects, the panel reached the extraordinary decision to award two businesswomen: Alexandra Fernandez-Ramos (Travelsify) and Nathalie Dondelinger (Kliber).
Travelsify, a start-up launched in 2016, serves the tourism industry. Its algorithm ranks hotels around the world based on client comments instead of on ratings. Kliber, launched in 2015, is a recruitment application that puts employers in contact with applicants through videos.
“Competition was fierce in 2017. It was not easy to choose the five winning projects, because they are all based on excellent initiatives and the women behind them are all so talented. This competition shows the vibrancy of female entrepreneurship in Luxembourg and goes against the popular misconception that innovative companies are a man's world", said Marcel Leyers, Chief of Corporate and Institutional Banking at BIL.
Nicolas Henckes concluded the ceremony by congratulating all those who entered the competition, and calling for more women to start their own businesses in Luxembourg. UEL's Secretary General emphasised the role of parents in encouraging their children, especially girls, to develop their entrepreneurial spirit.
Since 2006, the Woman Business Manager of the Year competition showcases exceptional women whose talent and energy are helping to drive Luxembourg's economy. To be eligible for the contest, projects must use an innovative approach or technology and have a positive impact on the Luxembourgish economy. The latter has been a guiding principle of the competition since its inception.