My name is Maria Nefeli Chatziioannidou and I am a social entrepreneur. I graduated from Bocconi University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economics, Finance, and Management and from the University of Northampton with a Master’s Degree in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I founded my first social enterprise "Code it Like a Girl" (CLG) in 2013, aiming to solve the problem of gender inequality in STEM fields. CLG in 2015 was an enterprise with 72 active volunteers and 5 cofounders and it was supported by the US Embassy, Angelopoulos and Clinton Foundation, the Ministry of Education and organizations like Microsoft and Redbull. Since 2015 I collaborate and provide consulting services on social innovation and entrepreneurship to several organizations and start-ups in Greece, like Mindspace, Think Young, Entrepreneurship School, DEI College Social Innovation Hub, and Ethelon Organization, and I am a mentor in Prince’s Trust International- Be Your Own Boss. I have participated in various conferences with proposals for the refugee crisis and I was accepted in “WOMEN INNOVATORS in SOCIAL ENTERPRISES” (WISE) Program, a program of the European Commission where I was awarded as one of the five Top Women Innovators of the Program. In January 2019, I created my second social venture, an online platform called “Yperoxes Gynaikes” (Great Women), aiming to empower women by creating an online community in which women interact with each other, share the admiration for other women and raise awareness about problems that need solutions. Yperoxes Gynaikes is after one year, a community of 20.000 women. During COVID-19 quarantine, I have created a crowd funding campaign in order to raise funds to buy medical gloves for doctors, and managed to donate more than 100.000 medical gloves to the first line fighting with the virus.
EUROPEAN PILOT PROJECT
Women Innovators in Social Enterprises (WISE)
WISE is a pilot edition of a programme funded by the European Commission. The WISE objective is to elaborate and extend an integral training programme based on cutting-edge methodologies and an experiential pedagogical plan with a user centered perspective and to develop an interactive e-community to allow women with work experience and willing to start-up socially-focused projects to ideate and plan them as effective social businesses.
*One of the Five Top Women Innovators of the program*