Over 2,500 nominations were submitted globally in our first year of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project to recognise #WomenWhoDontHoldBack and celebrate their commendable achievements and societal contributions. From these, 50 inspirational and talented women from 17 different countries have now been shortlisted for their significant efforts, and now have a chance to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 (USD).
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Adriana is the founder of TdeVé, a sustainable Puerto Rican fashion brand championing female empowerment and inclusivity. Its motto “yo soy tan tanto” translates to “I am so much more”. Adriana has dedicated her work to a philosophy of inclusivity and empowerment for women in her whole community, and the adaptable fashion pieces in TdeVe's collection encourage wearers to embrace self-love and social empowerment, whilst setting the stage for lasting change in the fashion industry for sustainability and inclusivity.
Alejandra is the co-founder of Sarape Films: A producer of documentaries, animations and films that aim to transform society. Alejandra’s career began within civil organisations focused on social issues. On a mission to make the world a better place, Alejandra became dedicated to telling the stories of diverse communities around the world and the social, cultural and environmental realities they face. Seven years on, Sarape continues to make a difference through the arts, creating content for organisations such as OXFAM Mexico, raising awareness for land defenders in Oaxaca, as well as campaigns against xenophobia with UNHCR, and UNICEF.
Representing Latino talent in global tech companies, Alejandra is on a mission to help people find balance in their personal and professional lives through accessible remote job opportunities. She established letsremotee.com to redefine the world of work by promoting the benefits of remote work and by providing job opportunities unrestricted by geographical location, a concept that only grew during the pandemic. Large companies in the headhunting sector are now approaching her site, making Alejandra a leading industry voice, working as an asset alongside major headhunting companies and encouraging women into the technology sector.
Alice founded Badass Unicorn, a personal development company focused on empowering women with the combined personal and professional development that she personally experienced after a demotion in a high-profile marketing role. Today, Alice uses her strengths of speaking, coaching and storytelling to ignite people's potential. Badass Unicorn offers free workshops and content that inspires others to unleash more of their inner trailblazer by recognising their own resilience and ability to overcome barriers to progress in the professional world. The excellent work of Badass Unicorn has already benefited major companies including Tesco, Gousto, Bloom & Wild, and Bumble.
Ana María’s work as a photographer, singer and artist is driven by the goal to create positive change. She explores the world through her camera lens to provide direct and honest emotional storytelling to fight for women’s rights and raise awareness of environmental issues. Ana María’s mission is to provoke lasting social change against social injustice by blending rigorous research that raises awareness and educates with intimate stories and powerful photographs that touch people’s hearts.
Aura champions the power of education to improve the quality of lives in Mexico. Her mission began by approaching communities, offering courses to help people finish their studies. Soon after, Aura opened the Azttaedu Centro de Educación y Desarrollo Profesional which has changed the lives of people who didn’t believe they could finish school, due to lack of resources and time. Since opening the centre, Aura holds many success stories close to her heart, including a 50-year-old man who came to the centre with only a high school diploma. Today, thanks to Aura’s work - he now holds a Doctorate of Law.
Carla is the founder of Moonk, a Spanish sustainable sportswear brand with the unique specialism of sports jumpsuits, helping women to feel more secure, comfortable and confident in their appearance. Moonk is the product of Carla’s steadfast values, including self-love, overcoming the stressors of life that hold us back and sustainability. Carla’s passion and creativity continue to be a force for good for the industry, for the planet and for the women she inspires to comfortably become the best version of themselves.
Cynthia is the founder of Trivu and Co-founder of Ambassadors for Accessibility, which focus on educational innovation and upskilling those living with disabilities with entrepreneurship skills. Beginning with aiding 40 children with Down Syndrome in Jalisco, Cynthia now promotes education, empowerment and leadership to 1,800 students and teachers in schools and organisations across Mexico, recently extending to major brands such as Samsung and AES. An expert in AI and the creative use of technology, she is also an Innovation Leader at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London and at the Secretary of the Economy in Mexico.
Fulfilling her childhood dream despite no external funding or prior business experience, Deborah founded her own award-winning luxury clothing label designed for modern women on the move. It has since established itself in the luxury industry, being showcased at London Fashion Week and partnering with a private jet company and The St. Regis Maldives resort. But Deborah didn’t stop there, passionate about extending her knowledge to other budding female entrepreneurs, Deborah launched a platform to give her business blueprint to women on how to build their own successful brands and be their own boss without sacrificing life balance.
Diana found her passion and purpose in the world within her love of craftsmanship. She specialises in her own sustainable creations from fabric, foam material, and felt, whilst running live and in-person classes for thousands of women from Latin America, including a regular feature on the craft section of the "Punto de Partida" television program. Diana teaches women how to create their own products, whilst providing coaching on how to create their goals, chase their dreams and build their businesses with a clear message of empowerment to provide for themselves.
Born from her countryside origins and an acute awareness of the global issues facing food systems, Eunice opened the doors to Maria Granel in 2015, a pioneering 100% organic bulk grocery shop in Lisbon dedicated to promoting healthy eating and sustainable food consumption. The store is designed as a sensory experience that encourages consumers to engage and learn about the products they are purchasing. Eunice has gone on to design an environmental education program for companies and schools, has written a book on practising waste reduction, and has harnessed social media to expand awareness of sustainability practices, leading challenges such as “Plastic Free July” in Portugal.
In her day job, Eve is a Vice President, Relationship Manager at the Glenmede Trust Company and an attorney by background. She advises high-net-worth families and provides thoughtful wealth management advice and solutions. Beyond this, her focus is on supporting those in need. Throughout Eve’s education and career, she has been dedicated to volunteering and helping local communities. From volunteering on her Spring Break in the wake of the 2011 Texas wildfires to rebuilding homes and providing food for impacted communities; and, more recently, volunteering for projects providing legal services and representation to low-income families in Philadelphia. Eve is a force for good in the world and selfless in the generosity of her time, energy and care.
Gema is a driving force in the world of technology and game development, motivated by a desire to create a reflective experience that would allow an exploration of mental well-being. The result is Mempathy, a video game that is a unique fusion of technology, art and mental health. It revolutionises how we perceive anxiety by using AI and immersive storytelling to offer a transformative and supportive experience that fosters empathy, self-reflection and personal growth by providing a safe environment for players to explore their emotions. Over 3,000 people have benefitted from Mempathy’s immersive watercolour art and personalised storytelling and it is sure to change the game through bringing mental health and AI together as a resource to many.
After her 2-year-old son Liam was diagnosed with cancer, Gretchen was shocked by the lack of effective treatments and insufficient funding for paediatric cancers. She took the traditional bake sale fundraiser to a whole new level, hosting a ‘bake-a-thon’ alongside 250 volunteers which made 96,000 cookies and raised $420,000 for childhood cancer research. Gretchen has since founded Cookies for Kids’ Cancer which has organised more than 16,000 grassroots events across all 50 states and 24 countries and granted $20 million to support leading research centres, inspired by her son’s legacy.
Itzel founded GMUN, the Model United Nations for the State of Guanajuato, which is dedicated to internationalisation within education. She has engaged over 500 students to participate in political debates and has taken her initiative to such forums as the Legal & Social Commission of Women in New York. She is also proudly the youngest female advisor to the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the youngest director in her organisation, responsible for all international relations at her University. Itzel hopes to inspire other females to step outside their comfort zones and explore beyond their limits.
Izabele is a young female entrepreneur with a passion for nutrition and wellness. Battling iron deficiency for over 9 years, Izabele sought a natural, healthy and sustainable solution to support her daily life and that of others. She developed Sauvé, nutritional snacks that are naturally rich in iron to optimise and boost iron intake. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world and one that particularly affects women, and through Sauvé, Izabele strives to offer a natural and impactful new energy solution, free from risk of iron overdose or digestive issues to enhance overall health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jenna sought ways to uplift others and began ‘Food Hugs’, a meal delivery service for frontline workers, hospitality workers and the elderly. Jenna understood the importance of a warm meal in an incredibly emotional and energy-draining time. Food hugs became her way of bringing joy back into the community during a difficult period. Post-pandemic, her zest for change continued, and in the lead up to her 50th birthday, Jenna is hosting a fundraiser targeting $50,000 to support her local community.
In 2021, Jennifer started a movement in Mexico to protect women and children against coercive control and post-separation abuse. What started as a grassroots project with a small group of women, quickly turned into a group of over 3,850 women working alongside local authorities and national senators helping women suffering terrible violence. Jennifer and her team also set up a 24/7 access portal so women could access medical, psychological and psychiatric help. Her initiatives - approved in 25 of the 32 states - have garnered international recognition for their effectiveness, with other countries now adopting the same protocols.
Kanika founded NihKan to evolve the gluten-free industry using 100% plant-based ingredients. Her mission is to provide more nutritious options for gluten-intolerant people with fibre and protein-rich products free of preservatives that use ancient grains such as millet and green banana flour. Her vision is to introduce her products into schools and hospitals so that nutrient-rich food can be part of consumers’ daily lifestyle. NihKan prides itself on using the same craft processes as its ancestors to enhance the quality of produce, through sun-drying cereal grains and storing them properly so they have a long shelf life.
Inspired by her mother and an amazing support system around her, Karleen has since dedicated her life to creating safe and supportive communities for those less fortunate. In 2014 Karleen adopted a homeless shelter in South Bronx, where she facilitated programs ranging from job readiness to an annual spa day where residents are pampered for the day. To support minority entrepreneurs during the pandemic, Karleen also started an online business centre that offered access to $2 million in grants, helping address and provide solutions to systematic barriers.
Realising the extent of sexual misinformation (only 20% of the Mexican population has received comprehensive sexual education), Karol started a project focusing on sexual education for young people, providing a safe space where people aged 10 to 24 can learn and interact with experts. At only 23 years old, she has managed to inform more than 2,000 people in the city of León and Monterrey. Her success led her to be chosen as a Youth Ambassador where she created spaces for young people to talk and hosted various workshops, forums, and events.
After graduating from the most competitive engineering schools in France, Kety decided to step outside of her comfort zone and build her own natural, eco-friendly cosmetics brand, Homnès. The brand encourages making a responsible choice in everyday consumption with its range of solid hair and body cosmetic products which combine science, craftsmanship and sustainability. Community plays a big role in Homnès’ ethos, collaborating with local artisans and providing employment for regional producers as her business grows.
Kim and her husband founded Climate Smart Gardiner, a group that facilitates climate action from a grassroots level. Kim works hard behind the scenes of the group and always has a hands-on approach to environmental activism within her community, leading local tree-planting, energy saving and recycling efforts. Her passion for the community extended to other areas of life during the pandemic, supporting essential workers and working to improve remote learning. Kim’s mission is to educate others on how to reduce their carbon footprint in their day-to-day lives where possible and protect the planet.
Kim founded Equal Education (EE), a social enterprise that harnesses the power of 1:1 tuition to improve the outcomes of the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged students, including those with Special Educational Needs. EE works with over 600 qualified tutors across the UK, and during the COVID-19 pandemic created a crisis response centre for children, transitioning tuition online and ensuring no vulnerable children were left behind. Kim hopes to expand EE by creating a resilience program, offering work on equality, diversity and inclusion with the Global Equality Collective.
Krista left her career in education to join MYTIME, an organisation which supports young carers by providing them with the opportunities and friendships they deserve. They believe no child’s destiny should be defined by their beginning. Now working in nearly 200 schools across the UK, Krista has scaled her small team of 3 to a high energy team of 23. They run nationally recognised school and employability programs which help young carers reach their full potential. As well as giving young carers the chance to ‘take a break’ from their caring role through their “Making Memories” programme.
As co-founder of Women In Jazz, Louise and her team have made it their mission to rectify gender disparity in the jazz community. Despite women playing a pivotal role in shaping the genre, only 5% of Jazz instrumentalists in the UK are female. Through targeted initiatives, radio shows, mentorship programs and curated events Louise actively champions the visibility and recognition of female jazz musicians. She hopes to fully commit to expanding her venture with the creation of the Women in Jazz record label.
Maliha is a Pakistani-American multidisciplinary artist and author. Born and raised in Karachi, she migrated to California at the age of 14. As a South Asian immigrant, her experiences play a huge role in her work. Her art focuses on advocating for social justice including women’s rights, girls’ education and mental health. In 2021, she launched Women Rise to continue this work in the Web3 space. Using bright and bold colours, Maliha hopes to get people interested in complex issues that impact our societies. “Come for the art, stay for the cause.” - Maliha Abidi.
Maria has been the voice of female empowerment through the social ventures she has founded over the last decade. In 2013 she founded ‘Code it like a Girl’ with a mission to eliminate the gender gap in STEM, and went on to found ‘Great Women’ in 2019, the first online women’s community in Greece with over 200,000 female members across its platforms. Maria touches on key issues – from gender-based violence and how crises affect women, to the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. She is a mentor of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Greece and abroad, and in 2023 has become a member of the Greek Parliament.
Marine set up Les Miamies, an association that recognises how many elderly people feel useless and forgotten in society. The mission of Les Miamies is to encourage an innovative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach to demonstrate the useful role of the elderly in society by promoting their contribution to companies, communities and associations. Marine believes that a world with our elders can and needs to be built.
Melissa is a Faculty Associate at Arizona University. She has nurtured and launched hundreds of careers in the arts. Community has been at the core of her work, directly translating into her personal life. Over the last two decades, Melissa has become an international teacher, sponsor and mother figure to many in need. She has housed and supported the education of students from around the world, ensuring that they finish school. Melissa also assists refugees transitioning to their new homes, continuing her selfless work to empower those in need and help them find their own way in the world.
Monica founded her clinic, Equilibrium Neurofunctional, to change the lives of neurodivergent individuals or those who have experienced neurological consequences due to accidents. Monica brought the first TEDx franchise to her city and has distributed hundreds of scholarships to assist people who do not have the resources to receive specialised care. She also served as the local president of Jóvenes Coparmex (Young Entrepreneurs) and the National Secretary of the same chamber.
Na Young has been an activist for 20 years and is passionate about expanding the guarantee of sexual and reproductive health and rights without discrimination, violence or stigma. She launched the “Joint Action for Reproductive Justice” with various organisations and has fought for the abolition of the abortion law in South Korea and safe abortion with the “Network to Assure Rights for Safe Abortion to Everyone”. Currently, she is a co-founder and representative of SHARE, the Centre for Sexual rights And Reproductive justice” which supports the sexual and reproductive health of social minorities.
Dr. Martinez came to Puerto Rico in 2010 with the ambition to increase access to fundamental mental health support. She has since become a leading light for mental health among the Hispanic community. In response to the increased emotional difficulties during the pandemic, she launched Mentes Saludables, an online support service that has grown to offer virtual workshops and in-person conferences. It has directly served 800 patients and is a huge resource for mental health professionals from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe who provide emotional support to Hispanic communities under Dr. Martinez’s direction.
Nikki immigrated from Iran and has completed a law degree in her second language - English - with the purpose of helping other immigrant women in South Australia who are or have been victims of domestic violence. She actively engages with the local government to ensure there is a shift in attitude regarding domestic violence and that new laws are drafted that ensure immigrants are protected.
Nour is a Lebanese illustrator and storyteller who grew up in Kuwait. She embraces her heritage through her art by representing the modern face of oriental women. In 2019 Flayhan joined the Let Girls Dream campaign using the power of illustration to generate hope and opportunities in cultures that limit freedoms for women. Her romantic colour palette and distinctive style have caught the attention of global brands like Gucci.
A licensed psychologist with a mission to provide quality emotional support to help patients with childhood traumas, Paloma recently opened a therapy clinic, Espacio Psicológico (Psychological Space). As a certified Yoga teacher, Paloma emphasises a holistic approach, and her centre has eight psychologists who provide different types of therapy from mindfulness to Ericksonian Hypnosis. Together, they provide accessible mental health care to over 4,800 people per year.
Sisters Pauline and Camille always dreamt of bringing their skills together to create their own business, which was recently realised in their launch of Saveurs Câlines, a high-quality and sustainable pasta business. Pauline’s legal and farming skills with Camille’s proficiency with people and business acumen complement one another to create something marvellous. They are also both trained in pasta production. The Saveurs Câlines project will use sustainable cultural agricultural practices from field to plate to deliver a fair trade to those involved in the production and a quality finished product to offer to consumers.
Passionate about the environment and conservation, Rashmi founded the movement ‘Mumbai Ploggers’ as an advocate of the city’s sustainable development goals and to inspire citizens of Mumbai to look after their surroundings. Mumbai Ploggers combine jogging and picking up waste to keep Mumbai and its surrounding areas clean through weekly plogging drives and beach clean-up efforts. Rashmi was also a United Nations Volunteers Indian Awardee in 2021 for her work toward mobilising communities to care for their natural jewels.
Rebecca is a mum of three who started a Postnatal Jamu Massage business from scratch. Rebecca’s support for women in business led her to hire and train single mothers from low-income families and mature women without previous experience in the workforce, empowering and upskilling them to become self-sufficient. Her business expanded to design and manufacture products to cater to the needs of new mums, providing reliable and good quality products. In 2021 she also became an advocate for reducing the use of chemicals in the home, using recycled materials that educate & promote sustainability to ensure that we are all doing our part for the environment.
Rosa Vanessa is an award-winning author of eight books and a respected senior editor at the University of Puerto Rico Press, where she produces and hosts the “Alapoesía” radio show at Radio UPR, which discusses issues affecting the book community and features literary readings. Rosa recognised the importance of the arts to help others cope during the pandemic, and set up an at-home recording studio and wrote three new books, winning two literary contests. Having also survived breast cancer in 2022, Rosa continues to inspire her colleagues and students through her dedication to family and a career in the arts.
After being a journalist for over 23 years, in 2013 Sandra created ‘Short Stories’, a project dedicated to storytelling and working with artisans who specialise in activities that are currently dying in Portugal. As an extension of this, Sandra launched the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun networking events, which bring together groups of women to connect and uplift one another. From 12 to 500, the community grew through word of mouth reaching women between Lisbon and Porto and allowing individuals to feel empowered through vulnerable conversations with like-minded women.
Sandra founded the F Collective, a network of over 500 female entrepreneurs. Sandra’s mission is to support women in the development of their businesses and allow them to become financially independent through networking, coaching and training. The network has contributed to the increasing number of women in business and is committed to creating significant change for gender inequality, particularly within the French economic landscape.
#TalkAboutHer is a project that was co-founded by Sarah and three other female students, who travelled across seven African countries to encourage other African women to take up leadership roles within their communities. The aim of the project was to highlight the critical role that African women play in the long-term viability of communities. Sarah currently works as a student leader at Operation Compassion South Africa Hatfield Welfare Society, a centre dedicated to holistic student development and providing leadership skills that will aid the future emergence of leaders in their communities.
After growing up in Mumbai and settling in Dubai, Seema noticed on a trip to India that there were hundreds of women working to create textile products for brokers and sellers who would sell them for more money. Her mission was to support them by setting them up with their own self-sufficient businesses. She now works with over 400 rural female artisans and businesswomen. In addition to this work, she also started a project on menstrual hygiene for women to provide sufficient resources for the women in these communities.
Shaïna is an award-winning entrepreneur, ecosystem architect and digital transformation strategist. She founded #SHE_BUILDS Global Initiative in 2018 with a mission to accelerate social, economic and environmental progress in her native country Haiti, by equipping female entrepreneurs, innovators and change-makers with the tools to scale their impact. Today, the platform has evolved to unify a diverse community of women of colour founders across the globe, and leverages technology to connect them to capital networks and global value chains.
Shanice founded Salt & Light, a creative sanctuary that provides job opportunities for underprivileged communities including single mothers, abused women, and indigenous communities. She is passionate about focusing on empowerment through skill-building allowing women to overcome self-doubt and realise their worth. Her mission is to provide meaningful employment with fair wages and foster self-sufficiency.
Veronica coordinates Méxicos Posibles, a diverse and inclusive social initiative which brings together leaders from diverse backgrounds who often hold conflicting views. With the aim to collaborate and learn from one another about complex issues in Mexico such as illegality, inequality and insecurity, “Méxicos Posibles” is a beacon of hope, where leaders, business people and citizens can work together to create a better future for the country.
Yannie Yong is the founder of Rose of Sharon, an award-winning fashion boutique. She is a nurturing mother of four and despite losing her husband in a car accident and facing the challenges of the COVID pandemic in retail, she remained a visionary leader who took action to identify opportunities to retain her workforce through job redesign and reskilling. She has also introduced an upcycling project to her clothing business and set up a business consultancy company to coach aspiring entrepreneurs and help women with mental and physical wellness via Zoom and small gatherings.
As a Deaf woman, Yarrett has fought for equality and to uphold the rights of the Deaf Community in Puerto Rico. Educated with a Master's Degree level in Educational Neuroscience, she has collaborated with international universities, founded the company ASLES (Advancement in Sign Language Education and Services) to offer sign language and interpretation courses and works as a Sign Language Interpreter around the island to facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing individuals. She also supports the families of Deaf children with communication and provides an accessible service. She is a living example that limits only exist in the mind.
Yukti Jain is a dedicated woman who inspires young girls to become leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) fields. She spends her free time volunteer-coaching grade-school girls in STEM competitions such as First Lego League (a robotics competition that gets girls involved in science and technology) and ProjectCSGirls (a coding and project competition). Both teams in her projects have received awards and recognition at regional and national competitions. Yukti’s selfless commitment and hundreds of hours volunteering is inspiring and leading the next generation of intelligent and confident girls to work hard to gain skills for success.
A pioneer of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project and trailblazing co-founder of the female-led agency, Capture Communications, Saskia was a much beloved member of our extended Häagen-Dazs team who championed and brought The Rose Project to life. Sadly, Saskia passed away during the project. As feisty and determined as she was intelligent, beautiful and warm, her Don't Hold Back spirit will forever live on alongside Rose with The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project as part of her legacy on the brand.
We love you,you are magic!