Olena Zelenska helps launch new conference format in Rīga

The first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, took time on September 22 to help launch a conference in Rīga dedicated to empowering women economically. Latvian State President Egils Levits also participated.

In her video address to the Novatore Impact Summit, Olena Zelenska admitted that she is not only pained by the sight of houses destroyed by Russian rockets, but also by bombed shopping malls, shops and cafes, which were created through hard work.

Almost half of Ukrainian entrepreneurs are women. Under other circumstances, I would be happy to talk about the topic: what is she like as a Ukrainian woman entrepreneur in a peaceful, prosperous country? After all, before the Russian invasion, we sought to build a society of equal opportunities for all. But the war pushed us all back to questions of survival,” said Zelenska.

“A Ukrainian business woman is currently leading an offensive in the east - because thousands of our women took up arms after February 24. A Ukrainian business woman is retooling her shop for sewing fashionable clothes and sewing winter military uniforms. She gives the kitchen of her restaurant to volunteers who feed displaced people… Women in Ukraine are demonstrating strength and inspiration. They work to drive the economy - and fight to keep this economy Ukrainian. Professionalism has no gender, nor does leadership! I think that after our victory, Ukrainian society will reconsider the role of women - both during the war and post-war period,” she added.

At the conference, over 300 participants will be addressed by leaders from all over the world, including entrepreneurs, writers, investors, technology experts and representatives from other sectors. On the second day of the event, practical masterclasses will take place.

The full address by Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska in Ukrainian with subtitles in English is available here.

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