Alexandra ‘Santu’ Boëthius, Strategic Lead of Accelerate2030 and co-founder of Impact Hub Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland
2021 WE Empower Finalist, Europe and North America
Alexandra Boëthius is the Strategic Lead of Accelerate2030, which identifies and supports innovative companies tackling the SDG’s in emerging and developing countries. Boëthius began her journey while obtaining her M.A. in International Relations at the University of St. Andrews. Boëthius’ thesis focused on the role of women’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in ensuring the implementation of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Turkey. Boëthius went onto volunteer at an NGO, the National Centre Against Violence, whose goal is to combat domestic and sexual violence against women and children in Mongolia. She continued her journey as an intern for UN Women in Tbilisi, Georgia with a focus on migrant and refugee populations.
It is evident that Boëthius’ efforts throughout both her education and professional career have focused on the implementation of a wider gender lens in all her areas of interest. She has continuously promoted the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and this has manifested into Accelerate2030.
Advancing entrepreneurship for ALL
In alignment with UN SDG5: Gender Equality, Accelerate2030 follows the underlying principle of “leaving no one behind.” It is widely known that the ongoing pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the world’s most disadvantaged groups, such as women and girls. Accelerate2030 aims to integrate a gender lens into its work through the Accelerator as Drivers of Gender Equality – A Guide to Gender Lens Acceleration. This guide helps to identify key barriers for women entrepreneurs while also providing practices and tools to remove such barriers. The removal of these barriers aids in the success of women entrepreneurs.
Leveraging strengths and collaboration
Accelerate2030 works to implement the A2030 National Scale-Ready Program that has notably mobilized more than 100 partners internationally. The program allows entrepreneurs to scale new markets, while giving them access to resources and measuring their impact. Focusing on collaboration and partnerships, Accelerate2030 has also helped to promote UN SDG17 and SDG3 (Partnerships for Goals: Local Action, Global Vision and Good Health and Well-being) to connect innovators from the Global South with key global health organizations to support innovative grassroot solutions to the world’s most pressing health issues. Through the Global Impact Hub Network, health-related entrepreneurs are connected to key players in the healthcare system in Geneva, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and Doctors without Borders. A noteworthy example is entrepreneur Laura Menodoza who was a part of the Accelerate2030 Global Scaling week in 2019.
In spite of the challenges that followed the global pandemic, Accelerate2030 adapted and has used it as an opportunity to provide a virtual innovation space. They have provided services virtually due to lockdown and closures and have seen the positive impact this has had as well. Accelerate2030 has been able to reach even more people and create stronger partnerships while moving to new places and reaching an ever increasing audience.
By Danyelle Kawamura, WE Empower Intern