IDEA Event: How talking about diversity is making entrepreneurship more inclusive

22nd June 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
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A panel, organised by the IDEA Programme the University of Oxford, will explore how diversity & inclusivity can create a dynamic entrepreneurial eco-system

About this event

How talking about diversity is making entrepreneurship more inclusive.

Tuesday 22nd June 2021 (12:30pm-1:30pm BST).

Diversity and equality have emerged as important societal and academic topics as people all over the world are learning to fulfil their potential by becoming successful and supportive decision makers while seeking more representation and cultural change. It is an exciting time for conversations as the accelerated digital transformation in the past year has facilitated connectivity and people from different parts of the world are now more connected than ever!

If you are ambitious, have an entrepreneurial appetite and want to learn how to navigate the process of creating impact and changing the world, join us for what should be an exciting conversation!

The speakers will explore how advancing diversity, inclusivity, equity, and sustainability will continue to create dynamic and supportive ecosystems where people can empower one another at different career stages and further support their communities.

The panel will capture the experience and wisdom of entrepreneurs, academics, and investors from the Oxford University ecosystem and will discuss the perspectives for students, minorities, and younger generations. The panel will also discuss challenges often faced by women entrepreneurs and ways to overcome them. Further, the panellists will examine the role of women in shaping transformative agenda in academic and entrepreneurial settings. The conversation will also allow to collectively review the impact and efficiency of diversity and inclusion initiatives in improving women’s access to enterprise opportunities and investments.


Dr Mira Kassouf is a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford. Her research unravels how non-coding sequences of DNA act as “on/off switches” for genes in different biological contexts. Mira strongly believes in measuring the scientific contribution through impact that reaches beyond academia. Mira co-founded Innovation Forum Oxford (IFO) in 2016, and has been leading IFO since 2017. Acting on her belief in the research scientists’ untapped potential as innovative entrepreneurs, Mira initiated the knowledge exchange platform (ACE Saturdays series) that not only inspired and educated entrepreneurially inclined early career health and life sciences researchers but also connected them with like-minded peers and enablers.

With an orchestrated effort between the IFO team and IF Global, the IMAGINE IF! Oxford, science pre-accelerator, continues to mentor life sciences-focussed start-ups, propelling their venture to the next level.  In 2020, to celebrate and support women entrepreneurs, Mira introduced WE ACE, a programme with a personalised approach to addressing the needs of women at various stages in their early entrepreneurial journey. It also aims at nucleating a community of trailblazing women entrepreneurs in the health and life sciences and feeding into the virtuous circle created by The University of Oxford initiative, IDEA Women.

For her work in innovation at the University of Oxford, Mira was awarded Knowledge Exchange Seed Funds, various grants, and three independent nominations for IFO for the 2018 Vice-Chancellor Inaugural Innovation Award. Mira is also an advisor for the Start-up visa program at the Careers Service and a committee member for The Knowledge Exchange Seed Fund, part of the Research Services funding schemes that support innovative approaches to knowledge exchange and impact beyond academia. Mira has been recently named by BioBeat as one of the ‘50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness’.

Nicole Beach is an MBA student at the Saïd Business School and a member of Brasenose College. Additionally, she is a Director on the Oxford Seed Fund where she leads the DEI efforts for the team. Prior to starting the MBA, she built her career in the Fashion/Retail sector on a global scale and has worked in various locations, including the US, UK, Europe, and Japan. She led teams developing and executing strategy for product development, customer acquisition, branding and marketing. In addition to the product side, she was responsible for conducting market research on key locations in the expansion efforts for her company. Nicole is a New Yorker through and through but enjoys traveling the world. She is passionate about women’s empowerment and representation in business, particularly in leadership positions; and in her spare time, she mentors young women at her Alma Mater. Other passions include running, traveling, trying new foods and learning about new cultures. Nicole holds a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Nathania Aritao (Tanya) is an artist, entrepreneur, and social justice advocate. She has over thirteen years of experience in innovation and entrepreneurship; serving vulnerable groups such as children at risk, families living with chronic or terminal illnesses, survivors of trafficking and trauma, and migrant workers. She is the founder of TAYO International, a venture that builds simple and rewarding tools that help migrant domestic workers build confidence and competence in their personal finance management. Tanya is also a leadership, wellbeing, and creativity coach. Website: . IG and Twitter: @tanyaaritao

Please sign up to our IDEA mailing list and  IDEA LinkedIn group to stay up to date with IDEA’s work to increase diversity in enterprising activities.



22nd June 2021
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
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