Fearless Founders is Nordea’s new community engagement programme for anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship and starting their own business, and especially for future founders. Our aim is to make it easier for women to become entrepreneurs and through this narrow the gender gap which currently exists.

The Fearless Founders mentoring programme consist of four parts with inspiring speakers, live mentoring and networking opportunities.


The idea was born from a Master’s thesis written by a Nordea employee. The thesis addresses the question of why women found fewer startups and also aims to find ways to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in growth companies. The results particularly confirm the hypothesis, that there is actually a big need for mentoring programmes directed to women. The thesis addresses the question of why women found less startup companies and also aims to find ways to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in growth companies. This gender imbalance was also noticed in Nordea’s Startup and Growth unit in Finland.

The programme

One of the main themes that emerged from this thesis seemed to be the lack of mentoring programmes for women and the lack of female founder role models. In our four Fearless Founders events we offered both of these. In this programme everyone could participate in mentoring session – we had ten Nordea volunteers as a mentors in each event.

The Fearless Founders programme is part of Nordea´s Community Engagement activities. In our community engagement activities we focus on financial skills and entrepreneurship. Everyone should have the necessary financial skills to enable their financial wellbeing – and we also believe that the ability to start your own business should be made easier and available for everyone who is interested. We work with partners, create our own programmes and our employees can volunteer to support during their paid working hours.


Fearless Founders programme in a nutshell

  • Target group: Primarily women planning to start their own business but anyone interested in the topic is welcome to join.

    Age 20+
    Social background: students, refugees, immigrants, student business networks
    English speakers
    Entrepreneurial mindset

  • Purpose: Lower the barrier for becoming an entrepreneur and provide a networking opportunity for the participants.
  • We also want to create discussion around the topic. The event includes live mentoring at tables focused on various themes.
  • The goal is to encourage more women to start businesses and make start-up entrepreneurship more approachable.   

Participant feedback

Thank you so much for organising this event. This really helps us to become fearless and motivate us to jump out of our comfort zone knowing that we are not alone. More power to you!

This type of events is super super needed and there should be more!

Great catering, very well-organised (A+), strong enthusiasm from hosts and Nordea employees there.

Very positive way to spend women's day. Really enjoyed hearing Gubbe's story including the challenges they faced. This wasn't obvious from an outsider's perspective and helped give clarity to the life of a founder.

  Everything went smoothly and the event was informative and useful.

I think the whole event was a success. It was very inspirational and thoughtful.

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