Female Founders Initiative

Coaching, mentoring and know-how from women for women on their way to their own business

Attention, Ladies: You’ve got a great business idea, but you don’t dare to put it into practice (yet)? You haven’t got a specific idea yet, but you can imagine being a future entrepreneur? Then you’ve come to the right place. In workshops and seminars with experts you can develop your business ideas, discuss business issues from the women’s perspective, define your female leadership personality and extend your business network. Together with a personal startup coach and a mentor you’ll work on your business pitch while you get to know other interesting women and their ideas.


Target group

  • Women with interest in starting their own business

Program requirements

  • Female student, female research associate or alumna of a university (also outside Saxony and Germany) up to ten years after graduation
  • Residence in Saxony (visa)
  • Business has not been founded yet

Start of the program

  • Each October and April


  • The European Social Fund and the Free State of Saxony


  • Free of charge


  • 6 months

Female mentors

  • Based on your ideas and your subject we are looking for matching mentors


We master challenges together

Know-how: The focus of our seminars is on “female” challenges during the startup process. Do women solve problems in a different way? How can women convince their audience during a company presentation or successfully negotiate with customers and suppliers? How is it possible to reconcile family, company and leisure?

Coaching: Together, we analyze your current status in the startup process, as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses as a businesswoman. We develop a concrete action plan specifying your next steps until founding your own business. We will give you feedback on your business model, which you can pitch in front of the mentors at the end of the program.

Mentoring: Besides entrepreneurial competence and knowledge about business management, market know-how and closeness to your customers are important success factors. Therefore, each participant will be supported by a mentor from the practical side who can provide you with important tips and tricks when starting an own company.


Please follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn for upcoming events and news from our program participants.

Every semester we offer the following workshops:

Ideas workshop – when women start a business: This one-day seminar is dedicated to you and your idea(s). What is important for you? How can you build a business by means of your skills and know-how? With fun, creativity and a little bit courage you will leave the workshop with a bunch of new ideas and a lot of self-awareness.

Female founders talk: We don’t tell you fairy tales, but stories experienced by female founders. In a relaxed atmosphere you will learn something about other successful womens’ careers and can ask (all) your questions.

How to juggle everything? Time management for female founders: Sometimes you just feel like you’re getting crushed by a mass of open tasks. We are also well versed in this problem. This workshop is about prioritizing your tasks as a female founder, mother, friend, woman, …, and structuring your time.

Business modeling workshop for women: Money makes the world go round. How can you finally earn money with your business idea? Built on your own ideas, we apply different creativity and design thinking methods to refine your business model.

I’m the boss now. Well then? Human resource management for women: How do you see yourself as a member in your team? Who has which tasks? Do we actually need a hierarchy in a start-up? Together with an experienced human resource manager we will find out interesting things on the subject of personnel and team management.

Rethinking leadership – Leadership for women: What is leadership for you? What is your purpose? How can you empower other people? Based on the Leipzig Leadership Model together we will reflect what pushes us, who or what influences us or how we can influence others.

How to assert and present yourself in an effective and professional way: Together with a communication coach we will work on the presentation of your ideas and of yourself and we’ll find out how other people perceive you. The aim of the workshop is to present your idea convincingly within 90 seconds.

Theme night: This event is not about business, but to become more familiar with each other and make new experiences. We might visit the Christmas market, a “kitchen concert”, or participate in a tour at the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei (former cotton mill). We are also open to your suggestions.

Final evening: Time to say goodbye. Within a short pitch you can show us what you have accomplished during the last six months. After that we have time to talk about the next steps and to give each other feedback.

The 4th Female Founders Class (Summer Semester 2019)

Apply now

Register today and join the Female Founders Initiative!

You have a business idea, but haven’t taken the risk to turn it into reality until now? You do not have an idea yet, but you can imagine starting your own business? Then don’t miss your chance to get one step closer to your own startup. Register now for one of the maximum of 12 places. Please send an e-mail to gruenderinnen@hhl.de.

Please let us know some details about your professional and academic background and what kind of idea you have, if you already have one. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Become a Mentor

Your experience and your know-how make the difference

You already established a company or you are a successful manager? You like to share your knowledge? You are always looking for new contacts and exciting ideas? Then we like to get to know you and to welcome you as a new voluntary mentor for our program. Please contact gruenderinnen@hhl.de for more information. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Workshop Impressions


The Female Founders Initiative is supported by the European Union, the European Social Fund and the Free State of Saxony.