*This blog post is written by Laila Noort, Podcast Producer and participant in Rooral Artieda in Autumn 2023.
June 21st, 2022 was a special day for me. I received the email that I was chosen to be part of “The Break” fellowship program.
This program is funded by the EU and created by Escuela de Organización Industrial and Impact Hub Madrid, with the aim of supporting women entrepreneurs across the EU to collaborate, support, learn, teach and network with each other.
The program is called The Break because it recognizes that women entrepreneurs have to work harder to make their businesses successful, facing issues such as lack of funding, balancing family life and business, and the constant need to prove themselves. Therefore, this fellowship includes mentoring sessions, online classes, and a 24-day stay in a rural area in Spain with other female entrepreneurs, to provide a break from the daily routine, build long-term connections and a fresh perspective.
I was selected to be part of the ROORAL cohort in November and went to a super small town called Artieda in the Pyrenees. The place was wonderful and inspirational, giving me the feeling that I could take a real breather, be myself, connect with nature, and the lovely villagers.
I was immediately in awe of all the women who were chosen, like me, to be part of this amazing opportunity. Smart, brave, committed, inspiring… very quickly an idea came to my mind:
What if we share the stories of these women and what this break is doing for them? Could this be The Break Podcast?
This way their stories could serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for other women who may be considering starting their own businesses and create a sense of community of support among female entrepreneurs.
During my mentorship with Ana, Efecto Colibri & Rooral Co-founder, I mentioned this desire and she showed great interest in my podcast idea. That was the moment when everything seemed to fall into place. She said, "Laila, we are going to do this podcast together because let me tell you, I have a podcast production company just like you here in Spain."
It was a dream come true, and I started recruiting participants for the podcast, receiving an enthusiastic answer from my fellow participants.
Together with Marcela Gonzalez, a co-worker at Efecto Colibri, and Ana, we set up the recording dates, topics, etc., and started recording while everything was still fresh in everyone's memories.
So a few times per week I would sit at my little desk in my room overlooking the beautiful mountains of Artieda, recording together with 3 or 4 women who were all in different cohorts, plus Marcela, who dialed in from Barcelona. My dear housemates would make me dinner and pour me glasses of wine after the recording, listening to me being on a high of enthusiasm, love, and inspiration.
I advance you there will be six episodes in total that will be released in the coming weeks.
Because we feel it is imperative to keep sharing stories of women entrepreneurs, this podcast is just the beginning. We will be expanding to tell more stories about challenges, successes, inspiration, sisterhood, compassion and so much more that female entrepreneurs face.
If you want to know what happens next, if you are a woman entrepreneur and you would like to participate in future episodes, leave your email address HERE.