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Women Empowerment Award 2023: Meet 15 female founders making strides for social change

More info on the latest edition


In collaboration with Unknown Group, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the Bayer Foundation Women Empowerment Award 2023. This award recognizes and supports 15 outstanding female entrepreneurs from the Global South (Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific) who are driving social change through their innovative health, nutrition, and agricultural solutions.



This award aims to empower and uplift female entrepreneurs, because women in the start-up world face significant challenges such as limited funding, discrimination, and a lack of networking opportunities. By granting a €25,000 cash prize, tailored coaching, networking opportunities, and participation in a global event, the award seeks to accelerate the growth and impact of these female-led enterprises.


Previous winners have experienced remarkable success. One such success story is Claire Van Enk, founder of Farm to Feed from Kenya, who shared, "During the last year, we closed our first investor, scaled our network from 800 to 6,000 farmers, and registered a 10% month-on-month growth. The award has been a game-changer, opening doors and providing us with the resources to thrive’’.


The call for applications for the Bayer Foundation Women Empowerment Award opened on February 13th, attracting a diverse range of ambitious and inspiring female founders from across Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. After a rigorous selection process involving almost 1000 applicants, 15 exceptional winners were chosen based on their potential for social impact, alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and commitment to advancing their communities with innovative business models.


The winners of each regional track are:


Winners Asia Track:


  • Akshita Sachdeva - Co-founder of Trestle Labs

  • Ayesha Zulfiqar - Chief Medical Officer of Bioniks

  • Divya Munot - Co-founder of Machau Bamboo

  • Fariel Salahuddin - Founder of UpTrade (Goats for Water)

  • Tiffany Tong - Co-founder of Aloi

Winners Africa & Middle East Track:


  • Christina Mawuse Gyisun - Co-founder of Sommalife

  • Jocelyne Agbo - Founder of Farm On Wheels

  • June Muchuku - Co-founder of Plumbee Wholefoods Ltd,

  • Madhvi Dalal - Founder of Padmad

  • Maryanne Gichanga - Co-founder of AgriTech Analytics

Winners Latin America Track:

  • Cristina Campero Peredo - CEO of Prosperia

  • Daniella Castro Araújo - Co-CEO of Huna

  • Elisa Violeta Bertini - Co-founder of Puna Bio

  • Ingrid Briggiler - Founder of Nume

  • Sávia Gavazza – Co-founder of Pluvi



“We believe in the power of social innovation and in the role of female entrepreneurs: They can be the key changemakers for their communities and enhance the nutrition and health for many people in need. Our Women Empowerment Award should help lift barriers so female entrepreneurs and their businesses can grow.”

Jana op den Winkel, Program Manager of Bayer Foundation




We would like to thank all applicants from this year's Women Empowerment Award 2023 for their interest and engagement in the program. The next application round will start in the beginning of 2024. Stay tuned!




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