Our Founder Marian Spier

Founder Marian Spier

As one of the leading female social entrepreneurs in the Netherlands,
Marian Spier is passionate about creating positive social change and seeing women excel in
business. In 2018 she was awarded an EU Business Angel Award for her work with the TedxAmsterdamWomen StartUp Awards. The award is given to a woman who positively impacted the Early Stage Investment arena.
It’s awarded to women who are inspiring role models — who have pushed for inclusivity, female empowerment, innovation, and diversity. 

Marian seeks to continue her work and passion by launching FEM-START to build a sustainable environment for women-led startups in the Netherlands and throughout the world.


Webby Awards, 2012
Cannes Lion Awards, 2012
Lean In EU Women Business Angels: Best Newcomer Award 2018
Nominee Black Achievement Awards, 2018
Inspiring Fifty: 50 Women in Tech NL, 2013, 2017 and 2019

Sandra van der Pal has worked with Marian for years as a volunteer at the Startup Awards of TEDxAmsterdamWomen, where they found each other in their passion for female entrepreneurship. In her role as Innovation Acceleration Manager, she has years of experience in leading and training social startups throughout the world. She has contributed to setting up an accelerator program and hub in South-Africa for social startups. She is actively managing the innovation and accelerator program by ARAG, where she guides legal tech startups.

Ellen Tacoma has years of experience as both an entrepreneur and by holding diverse management positions in the corporate field. Ellen is the co-founder of Women on Wings, whose mission is to create one million jobs for women in India’s rural areas, with offices in both the Netherlands and India. As of now, a total of 284.000 jobs are realized in collaboration with Indian entrepreneurs. She’s also built her expertise by being responsible for an international accelerator with hubs in the Netherlands, Uganda, Kenia, Nigeria, and South-Africa.

Based in The Hague, the Netherlands
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