marian spier social entrepreneur FEM-START

Hello. I’m Marian,
a social impact & culture strategist.

My background includes several years working in communication, commercial operations and higher education. Today, my work focuses on projects that have social impact and create cultural change. I love seeing people excel and I’m driven to encourage and inspire others for the better. As an advocate for inclusion, my work often centers around giving back and creating opportunities for those less privileged. As the founder of TEDxAmsterdamWomen and FEM-START, I’ve been fortunate to create space for women, Gen Z and millennials, and entrepreneurs worldwide to have their voices heard. Whether it’s speaking, coaching, consulting or in my role as a board member, my work brings me into contact with many people from different paths. As a social entrepreneur, impact is my biggest motivation.

I look forward to working with you.


I consult for government organisations, and corporations on several topics such as communication strategy, people and culture curation, and leadership engagement.

I directed and researched organizational change within Endemol Shine, including a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This included extensive qualitative research amongst all layers of the organization and provided recommendations and advice on how to adjust its organizational culture.

As part of the Seed Capital regulation, I advise the government on which innovative companies in the technological and creative field need support in obtaining risk capital. The Seed Capital regulation makes it possible for investors to help start-ups turn their technical and innovative knowledge into applicable products or services. It improves the risk-return ratio for investors and increases the financing options for techno starters and innovative start-ups.

I developed a long-term project in the global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion space for Media Monks. This enveloped a large-scale research into 26 agencies worldwide and provided recommendations on how to incorporate DEI in the global corporate strategy of S4 capital.

I did a feasibility study on diversity on behalf of BNNVARA for the six big broadcasting associations. The feasibility research assessed if a studio in Rotterdam would bring a cultural shift in the content of the programs and their workforce. 

I developed a TEDx style event called BZ Talks and I coached the employees to speak about their experiences. The event allowed employees to meet each other and share positive stories with the aim of inspiring one another.

I directed and organized Hack4Humanity, a 24-hour hackathon co-created by several UN agencies to address the global refugee crisis. During the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, 30 multi-disciplinary teams worked together on unique solutions to address #RefugeesNow.

As a member of the Advisory Board, I provide essential social counsel to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). I contributed to a joint mission of being actively connected with society, while also providing guidance to the IND. I offer both solicited and unsolicited advice to the leadership team about the work, actions, and impact the IND has on society.


I coach entrepreneurs and professionals in order to better their public speaking and train them how to maximise their full potential.

I trained journalists, reporters, news anchors and radio show hosts on the importance of the media for democracy in Curaçao.

I ran and organised coaching classes, Coaching 101, for black women in the Netherlands as part of the Black Female Achievers programme for the Gemeente Amsterdam. The classes teach black women how to become a professional coach by identifying their natural strengths and providing them a toolkit to help others increase their effectiveness.


I give talks on tech and entrepreneurship, leadership, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I was invited by Google as a speaker at their Google Marketing Bootcamp project, to speak about FEM-START, social entrepreneurship, and creating impact.

I was invited by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as chairwoman of the Ambassador Conference 2023. The theme of the Ambassador Conference was international entrepreneurship.

I was invited to the Rabobank talkshow ‘Open Deuren’, to discuss the importance of key figures in life and career, inequality of opportunities, and diversity and inclusion.

I was invited by PWC to give a workshop on strategy and branding as a female leader. I touched upon subjects such as different styles of leadership and real-life examples, which are also mentioned in my book Impact.

On International Women’s Day I was invited by ING and BEING as a public speaker. I spoke about my perspective as a black woman in the workforce, my book Impact and why I wrote it, as well as discussing topics that I’ve mentioned in my book.

I was invited as a public speaker at PayPal. I spoke about gender diversity within organisations and FEM-START.

I was part of a panel at the ICRC Unconference. I spoke about creating impact and social entrepreneurship within organisations.

I was invited as a public speaker, panel member and workshop leader at the Fashion in Moldova project, produced by ZIPhouse in collaboration with the USAID Moldova Competitiveness Project. The event aimed to develop skills and inspire fashion entrepreneurs in the fashion, through interaction with local entrepreneurs and international experts.

I was invited as a public speaker at Nike’s Black Employee Network event. I spoke about how to navigate the corporate world.

I moderated an event about the perception of women in media for the fashion brand Esprit in collaboration with UN Women.


Here are some of the organisations and projects I’ve founded to create social impact.

TEDxAmsterdamWomen Marian Spier

TEDxAmsterdamWomen is a platform for women to contribute to global change and reshaping our future. This was one of the first events of its kind in the world, and has since positioned women as thought leaders of change and innovation.

FEM-START is the EDtech solution to close the startup ecosystem’s funding gap for female entrepreneurs. FEM-START removes the obstacles for female entrepreneurs and ensures that their available potential flourishes. FEM-START is different from other training programs. In line with our time’s challenges, the focus is on the platform that delivers training that meets the female entrepreneur’s needs in order of intensity. Our mission is to demystify the world of funding for female entrepreneurs.


Here are the awards I’ve received for my work to date.

We won this award for our creative campaign, Human Nature with our creative agency WE ARE Pi. The mission was to unite a nation of TEDxAmsterdam fans using one of TED’s key messages; ‘Ideas Worth Doing’. We recreated a human brain with 48 dancers from The Dutch National Ballet, this visual poetry was performed live at TEDxAmsterdam on Nov 23, 2011.

We won this award for Ideas United with our creative agency MediaMonks. The mission was to unite a nation of TEDxAmsterdam fans using one of TED’s key messages ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. We created a dynamic, 3D digital brain, which could be seen reacting to social media discussions in real-time.

In 2018 I was awarded a EU Business Angel Award for my work with the TEDxAmsterdam Women StartUp Awards. The award is granted to a woman who has made a positive impact in the Early Stage Investment arena. It’s also awarded to women who are inspiring role models – who have pushed for inclusivity, female empowerment, innovation and diversity.

In 2013, 2017 and 2019 I was awarded the Inspiring Fifty Netherlands Women in Tech award. This award is given to the fifty most inspiring female role models for driving the tech industry in the Netherlands.

Black Achievement Month Marian Spiert

I was nominated in the Entrepreneurship category for the Black Achievement Awards.

In 2019 and 2020 I was honored to receive the Top 10 Opzij Award in the category ‘Most Influential Businesswoman’.


I currently sit on the board of these organisations.



‘Alles is mogelijk’ geldt niet voor iedereen

De oprichtster van TEDxAmsterdam Women: Ook ik leef in een bubbel

Mentorles met Marian Spier: ‘Je moet 10.000 uur werken om ergens in uit te blinken’

Marian Spier: ‘Projecten voor kwetsbare vrouwen zijn zeer succesvol

Algemeen Dagblad
‘Vrouwen zijn betere managers’

Financieel Dagblad
Waarom mannen overheersen in de start-up scene
Dé trend voor 2021? ‘We moeten belachelijk creatief worden’
Marian Spier wil vrouwelijke ondernemers en investeerders samenbrengen

Het Parool
Marian Spier: ‘Door vrouwen geleide startups zijn succesvoller’

‘Hard werken leidt tot succes? Geef vrouwen dan wel een podium’

Marian Spier in de uitzending ‘Zakendoen’
Het startup-panel over de TEDxAmsterdamWomen Startup Award
Knab wil groeien naar financiële marktplaats 

NPO Radio1
DWoDD Big Improvement Day
Marian Spier en Prins Constantijn van Oranje over startups

De Ondernemer
Marian Spier: ‘Vrouwen zijn betere managers’
Marian Spier (TEDxAmsterdamWomen): ‘Het doel is vrouwen en mannen te inspireren’

Marian Spier: “Ik hoop op innovaties die bruggen bouwen tussen boeken en lezers”

Innovation Origins
Marian Spier wil het gat dichten tussen vrouwelijke ondernemers en investeerders

Harpers’ Bazaar
Marian Spier: ‘Een vrouw met ambitie wordt al snel agressief genoemd.’ 
Lekker drie maanden werken  in een ander land? Karoli Hindriks regelt het voor je
Zin om geïnspireerd te raken? Ga 2 november naar TEDxAmsterdamWomen 
Oprichter TEDxAmsterdamWomen Marian Spier start nieuw initiatief voor vrouwelijke start-ups

‘Het gesprek over gelijkheid wordt gevoerd, nu alleen de daden nog’

Verliefd op TED, Marian Spier business consultant en founder TEDxAmsterdamWomen
Marian Spier, oprichtster TEDxAmsterdamWomen, genomineerd voor VIVA400
Fempreneurhulp in tijden van COVID-19

Entertainment Business
Warner Music Group zet in op International Women’s Day 

Fashion United
Expert advies: 9 tips voor opkomende ontwerpers


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