EmpowerWISM 2024: Finalists

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are shining the spotlight on a few remarkable women making significant strides within the transportation industry, the EmpowerWISM Finalists. This year, for the first time ever, we have a tie for second place! So there are 4 finalists instead of 3!

Recognizing the invaluable contributions of women in leadership positions is a powerful statement about the kind of society and community we aspire to be.

Studies consistently reveal that diverse leadership teams produce superior results. McKinsey’s “Delivering Through Diversity” report found that companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability.

Beyond financial gains, a study by the International Labour Organization found that gender-inclusive organizations report a 54% increase in creativity, innovation, and openness. Women in leadership positions tend to foster more inclusive workplaces, driving greater innovation and employee satisfaction. When it comes to environmental responsibility, the same outcomes apply. A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY (formerly Ernst & Young) analyzed over 21,000 firms across 91 countries. They found that firms with at least 30% female leaders had a 15% higher environmental performance score than those with no female leaders.

Today, as we announce the finalists for the our EmpowerWISM award, we’re not just celebrating individual achievements, we’re championing a vision of inclusivity and equality that benefits us all! 

International Women's Day 2024

EmpowerWiSM 2024: The Finalists

(In no particular order)

A Fleet for Change

Shared transport that doesn’t break the bank.

2 1

Sheffield, United Kingdom

Established: 2023

1

Bex Winter

Co-Founder & Director

Bex Winter is an experienced product analyst with a proven track record in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Oracle Database, Databases, Continuous Improvement, Pre-sales, and HTML, she is a strong information technology professional who graduated from Wickersley Comprehensive School.

The Mission

A Fleet for Change offers an affordable on-demand transport service, finding the most efficient route for its users. No more missed buses, endless waiting at bus stops and long journeys. A Fleet for Change has a strong focus on safety, with innovative in-app features and trained bus drivers, so you can feel confident travelling at anytime of day or night. 

We are making public transport accessible for everyone, reconnecting communities and getting people where they need to be without the cost of taxis and the hassle of conventional busses.

Our not-for-profit model means that we can be competitive and flexible on pricing. We will be providing solutions direct to customers, and a fully supported network that can be leased by councils.

What's your ventures vision?

“Safe, sustainable, shared transport – making travel that is cheaper, faster and more convenient for everyone. We want to empower societal behaviour change for present and future generations.

In recent years, bus services have been cut back to be almost unusable, taxi fares have soared and congestion has been getting worse. Communities are becoming disconnected, with vulnerable groups feeling the effects most. It’s increasingly difficult for people to get around without using a car and currently bus journeys can take three times longer, sometimes putting people at risk.

A Fleet for Change will offer an affordable on-demand transport service, finding the most efficient route for its users. No more missed buses, endless waiting at bus stops and long journeys. We have a strong focus on safety, with innovative in-app features and specially trained bus drivers, so people feel confident travelling at any time of day or night.

We are making public transport accessible for everyone, reconnecting communities and getting people where they need to be without the cost of taxis and the hassle of conventional buses. We will be providing solutions designed with customers at the centre, collaborating with councils and partnering with technology companies to create a judicious solution.

We will do this by approaching business differently, while aiming to make money to provide the most efficient service we will also broker the right partners. We are committed to delivering more sustainable services and we will put our creativity and expertise in Politics, Technology and Behavior Change at the heart of every decision we make. Having spoken to other successful demand-responsive companies, we know there are many funding streams to call upon, providing transport for end users, for council and local authorities, and for other businesses, large and small.”

Bex Winter |Co-Founder & Director | A Fleet for Change

A fleet for change

How could winning EmpowerWISM 2024 help to support your vision?

“Winning the Empower WiSM program would support our vision and venture by catapulting us into a shared space of being more widely recognised, and enabling us to have the reach and impact to positively impact thousands. A Fleet for Change (AFFC) is a female-led, non-profit organisation spearheading an innovative on-demand transport initiative with a strong commitment to sustainability and inclusion. Our long-term objective is to work towards achieving net-zero goals by promoting new shared transport solutions. We believe that winning the Empower WiSM award would launch our business into new heights and provide us the support we need to facilitate widespread modal shift.”

Bex Winter |Co-Founder & Director | A Fleet for Change

Axle Mobility

Start managing electric vehicle risk and safety

3 1

Seattle, Washington

Established: 2022

5

Maryam Khan Meurer

Founder & CEO

“In November 2023, Axle launched a user-friendly platform that simplifies day-to-day operations for fleets and repair shops based on bottlenecks they identified. Our platform simplifies and consolidates tasks like safety training, regulatory compliance, personal protective equipment (PPE), and battery logistics in one accessible place.”

The Mission

We believe in integrating disruptive vehicles, not disrupting operations. Zero-emission vehicles are great, but they can make the already hard lives of fleet managers and solution providers much harder. Can we put chargers into repair bays? Should we do our own maintenance? How much should these parts cost? We get it because we’ve been there. We’ll never sell you a portal you don’t need or a product that takes a year to set up. We focus on the problems you face today with an eye for the challenges we’ll need to tackle in the future.

Screenshot 2024 02 18 at 6.53.55 PM

What's your ventures vision?

Axle Mobility is focused on building the supporting infrastructure for sustainable transportation. Mainstream EV – and e-bike – adoption requires essential services like repair to be readily available and affordable today. In 2023, car-share and e-bike companies scaled back existing fleets – some even shut down – directly because of this gap, highlighting the urgency of addressing it in tandem with their roll-out.

In November 2023, Axle launched a user-friendly platform that simplifies day-to-day operations for fleets and repair shops based on bottlenecks they identified. Our platform simplifies and consolidates tasks like safety training, regulatory compliance, personal protective equipment (PPE), and battery logistics in one accessible place. This makes it easier and much more affordable for customers to begin tackling harder repair and maintenance problems.

Looking ahead to 2024, Axle plans to expand this platform while developing training and infrastructure focused specifically on repair. Our motivation includes 1) empowering existing individuals in the technician trades to get certified, supporting them to overcome the cost barriers involved in doing so, and 2) prolonging the operational life of these vehicles, which is the far more environmentally friendly choice.”

Maryam Khan Meurer | Founder & CEO | Axle Mobility

How could winning EmpowerWISM 2024 help to support your vision?

“There are two ways EmpowerWiSM could be an especially powerful accelerant for Axle:

1) Access to an international micro-mobility / electrification network and community. We view our participation as a way to double down on our learnings across the international sustainable transportation network and

2) Specific mentorship and partnership opportunities around complex but critical focus areas like workforce development and policy.”

Loud Mobility

Raising the volume of joyful sustainable journeys

5 1

London, United Kingdom

Established: 2020

6

Georgia Yexley

Founder

Georgia is a passionate, vocal and experienced inclusive active travel advocate, and an influential voice in the micromobility industry. Georgia recently stepped down from her role leading global giant TIER Mobility’s e-scooter and e-bike operations across the UK and Ireland, launching her consultancy Loud Mobility. Shifting her focus to driving forward purpose-led and benefit focused transport strategies across the private, public and charitable sectors

The Mission

LOUD MOBILITY has been established to stimulate the system-change needed to achieve the broad reaching benefits of sustainable mobility. We do this by working on high impact and cross-sector projects that widen participation in sustainable transport and mobility. Our efforts are focused on delivering benefits for: People 👩🏽‍🤝‍👨🏼 Places 🏡 Planet 🌍 and Play 🤸🏾‍♀️

What's your ventures vision?

Loud Mobility has been founded to progress the system-change needed in the sustainable mobility and transport sector. So we are collectively able to deliver a positive experience of transport for all folks. We believe this is possible, by delivering cross sector projects that explicitly focus on improving social and environmental outcomes, for people, in the places we live and the planet at large. We take a human-centred approach, that focuses on changing people’s opportunities, experiences, and behaviours to achieve the social and cultural change we need.

This programme would provide an invaluable platform to promote our vision, mission and services. As such, supporting us in our key aims for the year ahead, growing our team and our capacity, taking on new and larger projects and raising our profile nationally and internationally.”

Georgia Yexley | Founder | Loud Mobility

Screenshot 2024 03 05 at 12.56.29 PM

How could winning EmpowerWISM 2024 help to support your vision?

“This programme would provide an invaluable platform to promote our vision, mission and services. As such, supporting us in our key aims for the year ahead, growing our team and our capacity, taking on new and larger projects and raising our profile nationally and internationally. Gaining the expertise of established mobility organisations, with access to International networks will directly support these aims and ensure we are able to protect the values at the heart of our business.”

Mobility for Africa

Renewable community based transport solutions for Sub Saharan Africa that are affordable, efficient and environmentally friendly

4 1

Harare, Zimbabwe

Established: 2019

4

Shantha Bloemen

Managing Director & Founder

Shanta Bloeman has over two decades of experience in international humanitarian and development assistance across Africa and Asia. As a practical, strategic, and trusted communication, media, and policy professional, she is committed to fostering collaborative teamwork and finding innovative solutions to complex challenges. Passionate about Africa, progressive social change, and empowering people, she is dedicated to advancing social justice, human rights, and sustainable development initiatives.

The Mission

To positively disrupt the rural African economy by bringing the electric vehicle revolution to ordinary people, especially women and in rural areas. To build an Africa where all rural households are empowered with reliable, affordable, green and fit-for-purpose transport to improve incomes and overall quality of life. To perform for our customer the highest level of quality services at fair and market comparative prices. To maintain continuous progress and self-improvement in line with international standards. To collaborate with the community in the creation local jobs and partnerships, contributing to local economic development, reducing gender inequality and improving access to social services.

What's your ventures vision?

“Mobility for Africa, a social enterprise, working in Zimbabwe, aims to bring solar powered electric transport solutions to women and their families that are affordable, efficient and adapted to peri-urban and rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tough sturdy renewable energy charged electric bikes and tricycles, branded and backstopped by trained community support services, provide an avenue for marginalized and poor families to overcome distances to services and contribute to dynamic local economies. Powered through community based off grid energy supply, e-tricycles will provide the incentive for increased economic opportunities, creating new local markets, tackling gender inequality and enhancing rural livelihoods.”

Shantha Bloemen | Managing Director & Founder | Mobility for Africa

MFA driving

How could winning EmpowerWISM 2024 help to support your vision?

“The consultancy package support to raise investment would be of great value as MFA requires high capex to scale and scaling will ensure organic growth Pan Africa. Funding would allow Mobility for Africa to expand its current fleet of 5 sites to add an additional sites of 30-50 tricycles fleets to different provinces in Zimbabwe before deploying into neighbouring Zambia. Beyond the fundraising opportunity, we hope to leverage the skills and knowledge of momvi to capacity build our current human resources. Having access to the audiences of Byte Size Podcast, Future Movers Blog and ITS International Magazine would be a valuable opportunity to spread our vision and generate traction in this unique and soon-to-be growing space of rural e-mobility in the continent.”

EmpowerWISM 2024 Prize Package

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