We will be inviting 10 promising Future Founders aged 10 to 15 years old to participate in Startup Iceland 2015. The idea to do this started when I got an email from Rakel Solvadottir, the Founder and CEO of reKode Education and Skema asking if there is a scholarship for kids to participate in the event. She further explained that Olina (her daughter) wanted to interview Ingrid Vanderveldt for her blog and participate in the event. Ingrid is one of the keynote speakers this year at Startup Iceland. I offered her something more fun, I asked her to invite 9 of Olina’s friends and other aspiring Future Founders, we are going to sponsor all the 10 kids to participate in Startup Iceland.

Canada_Wordmark-colWhen I shared that with the Canadian Ambassador, he was thrilled and wanted to support the initiative. Here is what the Canadian Embassy had to say:

Inspired by Canada’s priority focus on building prosperity and encouraging opportunities that grow economic relations, the Embassy of Canada in Iceland is pleased to support the participation of ten young female students at StartUp Iceland’s Annual Conference next month in Reykjavik. This initiative is in line with one of Canada’s key international development priorities of growing businesses internationally by strengthening support for micro, small and medium-sized private sector businesses, particularly those owned by women.

In a speech last year on International Women’s Day, Canada’s Minister of Labour and the Status of Women, the Hon. Kellie Leitch said that one of the most important ways to help unleash the entrepreneurial spirit is by offering mentorship and identifying champions. “Very often, it can be the difference between a promising business and a successful business.  Mentorship can be especially important for young entrepreneurs, and for young women entrepreneurs in particular.”

“Sparks of inspiration and motivation fly when you bring together enthusiastic young minds with entrepreneurs and leaders of innovation who serve as mentors and role models. StartUp Iceland offers an amazing opportunity for that fusion to take place,” said Stewart Wheeler, Canadian Ambassador in Reykjavik. “With participants coming from around the world, including leading entrepreneurs from StartUp communities across Canada, the Canadian Embassy in Iceland is proud to make it possible for more young Icelandic women to take part in this year’s conference.”

We are very excited about the partnership with the Canadian Embassy, a number of Founders from Edmonton, Halifax and Newfoundland are coming to participate in Startup Iceland. We will be announcing their names in the following posts. I am really inspired by this Future Founders initiatives because it allows us to change a number of things at the grassroot level. I wrote about Reducing the Gender Gap before. I am happy we are doing something about it early in the development of Girls and Future Founders of Iceland. Thank you Ambassador Wheeler and the Canadian Embassy of Iceland.