Laura María Calderón Cuevas
Brua | bruapodcasts.com
Our guest for this episode is Vladimira Briestenska, the co-founder of Neem, a financial wellness business out of Pakistan, enabling underserved communities across emerging markets. With a global perspective and a strong commitment to social impact, she conceives entrepreneurship as a force for good, committed to create positive impact in the society.
She went on this journey when realised that once people are actually empowered financially, it can have a massive impact on other areas of their lives. For instance, when women become financially independent, they become ability to take care of their education, or the education of their children, or able to start their own businesses or leave abusive relationships because they are financially independent.
What lead her to the tech sector was intuition and curiosity. The relationship to risk of entrepreneurs to risk of entrepreneurs was refreshing. She saw entrepreneurs, and the people in the tech sector, driving and creating change. It was very exciting and liberating, compared to what she had seen before in the policy world, or in the world of NGOs, where she felt there was so much of dependency on grant funding.
She hopes that she can impact a few individuals in her life on their own journeys as change agents and help them to break, maybe the stereotypes or the boxes that have been created for them by the environment, by their upbringing, or by themselves, and that are limiting them to show up in their lives fully alive and do things that they feel are unrealistic.
Her advice to graduates:
Stay in an uncomfortable space for something new to emerge. What helped her to make the switch to fintech was to be able to stick around in a little bit uncomfortable, ambiguous, unknown spaces.
Show courage! Sometimes you have to be bold to make certain moves or changes in your life.
The spectrum of how we can apply human rights in our professional lives is very wide.
What is part of Vladimira’s support system to navigate hardship:
Create space for self-awareness, map your stressors and your energizers!
Do not ignore the other lenses or layers in your life!
Do not take yourself too seriously.
Therapy: Have somebody asking you the right questions and being your sounding board.
What helped me to make the switch to fintech was to be able to stick around in uncomfortable, ambiguous, unknown spaces.
Vladimira Briestenska is a co-founder of Neem, a financial wellness business out of Pakistan, enabling underserved communities across emerging markets. With a global perspective and a strong commitment to social impact, she resides between Karachi, London, and Bratislava. With over a decade of experience in human rights and entrepreneurship, Vladimira is a recognized entrepreneur and advocate for equality and justice.
Passionate about the intersection of technology and social change, Vladimira brings a unique perspective by combining her background in human rights with her deep interest in technological innovation, driving positive transformation in Pakistan and beyond.
Vladimira holds a European Master in human rights and is actively involved as an angel investor and advisory board member for various impactful businesses. She has been recognized for her outstanding contributions and was honored by Forbes as one of the top entrepreneurs in her field. Moreover, Vladimira has also co-founded a global initiative, The Future Farm, promoting mental health support for entrepreneurs and she hosts a NAKED podcast destigmatising this topic. Her achievements and passion for driving positive change have established her as a respected leader in the industry.
Follow her on LinkedIN.