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Women, Blue Economy and Entrepreneurship

Women, Blue Economy and Entrepreneurship

In March 2020, the European Commission adopted a Communication named “A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025”. A strategy to make significant progress by 2025 towards a gender-equal Europe.

This strategy will help to reduce the unemployment rates and to break the ‘glass ceiling’ for women to progress to senior positions and other barriers. As an example, in the Mediterranean, female unemployment reaches 41% among young women, according to the latest studies.

Blue economy sectors and, particularly fishing and aquaculture, ocean engineering, maritime transports and ports are predominantly male dominated activities across the world. For example, only 3.7% of those employed in the EU fishing fleet are women.

In terms of entrepreneurship, the figures change positively, as one in three start-ups in the Mediterranean region is founded or led by women. That is a higher percentage than in Silicon Valley, according to a recent study.

Wealth loss due to the gender gap is estimated at 10% of GDP (gross domestic product) in advanced economies and more than 30% in the Mediterranean region.

The role of women in the blue economy sectors is indisputable.

Here, we have gathered successful cases of women who have decided to embark themselves on an entrepreneurial adventure to enhance blue economy. 

'The ocean faces many challenges, but together we can find solutions'

Patricia Martí Puig
CEO and Founder Oceanogami

What is your background and how are you linked to the oceans: 

I was raised in the Mediterranean coast in Alicante, Spain, where my love for the underwater world and its incredible biodiversity was born. As a marine scientist, I’ve had the privilege of working on projects across the globe such as the Maldives, Galapagos Islands, Ascension Island and Sao Tome and Principe. Through my journey, I’ve realized that protecting the ocean requires collaboration between people and the ocean, and understanding the importance of learning from local communities who depend on it.

Tell us a bit more about your entrepreneurship adventure and your business: 

Inspired by my time in the Galapagos Islands and the gap I saw between marine science and society, I founded Oceanogami, a marine consultancy dedicated to finding sustainable and responsible solutions for the ocean. I lead a team of experts who work with a range of stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, the private sector, and academia, to drive innovative thinking and action for ocean conservation.

Any advice for entrepreneurs in the blue economy: 

For entrepreneurs in the blue economy, my advice is to believe in your mission and stay focused. The ocean faces many challenges, but together we can find solutions. Surround yourself with people who complement your skills and work style, be open to new ideas and perspectives, and always keep your mission at the forefront of your work. Remember why you’re doing what you do, and stay motivated to make a real impact.

More info at:

'The most important thing is to focus on bringing value to the planet'

Amaia Rodriguez
CEO & Co-founder Gravity Wave

What is your background and how are you linked to the oceans:

I studied a degree in business and management administration, and finished my studies in China. My purpose in life is to solve the plastic pollution crisis in our oceans by entrepreneurship and social impact. I have founded with my brother Gravity Wave, a social start up where we collect plastic from the Sea with traditional fishermen and transform the marine litter into furniture and valuable products.

Tell us a bit more about your entrepreneurship adventure and your business:

Gravity Wave is my first entrepreneurship adventure, so I am definitely not an expert, but we do have a very clear objective and purpose, we know that we want to build companies and business in a different way, demonstrating that it is possible to be a social start up that grows both in impact and in economics.

When we started Gravity Wave we had no idea of what would take us to get where we are now, but we have been able to navigate through the process and the years to build a consistent business model
that allows us to live from cleaning plastic from the sea. 

Any advice for entrepreneurs in blue economy?

There is a lot to do. We are facing many challenges in many areas, but the blue economy is both a great challenge and a greater opportunity to add value, to provide people and the planet with a
The most important thing is to focus on bringing value to the planet, creating a business model that is good for the people and the ocean. You are going to face many problems, but if you have a bigger purpose than yourself and the goal of having money, you will find the way. 

Connect with amazing people that share the same values and mission, and go for it.

Learn more about the company here:

'If the quest is good for the humanity and the planet as a whole, the universe will conspire to help you'

Mayte Corbinos
CEO & Co-founder Blue Ocean Nutrition

What is your background and how are you linked to the oceans:

I studied Business Administration in Barcelona and hold an MBA from Thunderbird (USA) focused on Marketing and Entrepreneurship. The water has been a very good omen in key moments of my life. From enjoying a water birth with our first child, Clara Athena, to reconnecting with the Mediterranean Sea when returning to the motherland after having spent 15 years working abroad (Germany, USA ,

Tell us a bit more about your entrepreneurship adventure and your business:

The adventure at Blue Ocean Nutrition S.L. started when I decided to share the essence of the seawater (which contains all the minerals and trace elements that our body need to stay healthy) with the population in an easy to take nutritional supplement, with a vegetable capsule as the means of

I have been called “the entrepreneur who encapsulated the sea”. Adding synergistic ingredients to the seawater extract, such as vitamins, seaweed and mushrooms, allows us to offer 6 different products under the brand name of AMAR81, addressing 6 different therapeutical venues: IMMUNO AQUA, ZEN AQUA, PURE AQUA, DETOX AQUA, MOVING AQUA and VEGAN AQUA. The products are fully available in all pharmacies and herbalists in Spain. A patent of product and manufacturing process was filed, protecting the innovative use of the seawater extract.

Any advice for entrepreneurs in blue economy?

I am not a fan of giving advice because I believe that what works for someone may not work for another person … but if I have to pick on something, I’d say: “dare to dream big”.  Do not sweat the small details, worrying about potential obstacles. You will figure it out. The important thing is to start
moving towards the right direction. If the quest is good for the humanity and the Planet as a whole, the Universe will conspire to help you. I was referred to as “a dreamer” (with certain negative connotations, doubting whether I would be able to execute on the mission of Blue Ocean), but that only infused more
energy to the machine! Listen to everything people tell you and see what kind of lesson you can learn from it. Dreams need continuous fuel and you are the sole responsible for them to become a reality.

More info:

'We knew the potential of the algae resources in our coasts, but we were aware that the collection of seaweed was an abusive practice'

Silvia Antón
Co-founder Mediterranean Algae

What is your background and how are you linked to the oceans:

 I live very close to the sea, on the coast of Alicante, and since I was little I have felt a mixture of attraction and fear towards the sea and the oceans. Science is the search for knowledge, so I ended up studying Marine Sciences degree at the University of Alicante and later a Master in Marine Ecology at the University of the Balearic Islands. Throughout my academic career, I realized the enormous potential hidden in the oceans, and above all, the importance of their conservation and protection.

Tell us a bit more about your entrepreneurship adventure and your business:

I started my entrepreneurship career in Mediterranean Algae just over two years ago. Four curious and energetic young people developed together a completely multidisciplinary group with the aim of cultivating native Mediterranean seaweed. We knew the potential of these resources in our coasts, but we were aware that the collection of seaweed was an abusive practice. This was how we started our adventure in the blue economy, developing a prototype that optimized the cultivation of the green seaweed Ulva sp. under controlled and sustainable conditions outside of the sea. The basis of this land-based system is the recirculation of seawater, which achieves an efficient use of this resource, and the use of the sun as a source of natural light. Two years later, we are not only dedicated to the production and commercialization of this seaweed in Food as a nutritious and sustainable ingredient, but we also produce extracts from the seaweeds for their use in Cosmetics under the guidelines of the blue and circular economy. Additionally, we are developing bioremediation projects applicable in ports and fish farms with the aim of using inorganic pollutants from water to grow seaweeds, significantly increasing the sustainability of other industries.

Any advice for entrepreneurs in blue economy?

A close advice I can give you is to look for opportunities to get involved in the Blue Economy community in your area. You can attend events and conferences on the subject, join online and social media groups focused on the Blue Economy, and look for opportunities to connect with other people and organizations working in the sector. In addition to helping you establish contacts and learn more about the Blue Economy, getting involved in the community will allow you to gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the sector, and help you identify areas where you can contribute your skills and knowledge.

Learn more here: