FemTech Marketing & Branding Entreprenista, Daniela Schardinger, on the Intersection of Women’s Health and Entrepreneurship


Hello Daniela! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hi Ladies! I am a FemTech Marketing & Branding Entreprenista, Featured Forbes SUPERWOMAN & 500 Femtech Analytics Personality. With my expertise in marketing and branding, I am specifically dedicated to supporting FemTech (Female Technology) companies in introducing innovative solutions to the market and building brands that resonate with women. I started Elafy Consulting because I believe that every woman deserves access to cutting-edge health technology that can help them live their best lives. I am passionate about advocating for women’s health to be taken seriously, and I believe that Femtech companies have the power to transform the industry. Let’s educate and raise awareness for women’s health issues – follow me on LinkedIn.

So Daniela, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

Connecting with other like-minded women who are driven, creative, and passionate about their businesses is incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to share my own experiences, learn from others, and be part of a supportive community that understands the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

When did you initially take the leap to become an entreperenista?

Not too long after finishing my university studies – I was living in New Zealand at that time – I established my first company, a graphic design studio. Being someone who always valued independence and freedom of movement, I found entrepreneurship to be the ideal career path that could support my lifestyle. Over the years, I have built and led numerous businesses and strong brands across different parts of the world, including Europe, Switzerland, and the Middle East. In the last decade, I have focused my efforts on advocating for women’s health, an underserved area that I am passionate about. I established and led a Swiss women’s health/pharmaceutical company, and it was an incredibly fulfilling experience to create and develop that brand and community and to help women improve their quality of life. However, the challenges associated with this industry, such as social media blocks and taboos, motivated me to assist other companies in the same field with their marketing and branding efforts to bring new technologies to women worldwide.

What was your background in marketing and design prior to starting your own business?

My journey began in the advertising industry, where I had the pleasure of working with exciting brands like L’oreal. Working at various agencies in Australasia and Europe taught me invaluable lessons. It didn’t take long for me to realize that starting my own company and working independently with those agencies would be more rewarding. Later, I transitioned to marketing for law firms, which turned out to be a phenomenal learning experience. I had the opportunity to create a brand for a top tier law firm across 14 countries in Europe. This led me to explore the healthcare industry, and eventually, I found my calling in Women’s Health. This has been a fulfilling journey that aligns with my passion and purpose.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I did know quite early in my life that I wanted to be independent and have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. Working with different businesses, I began to realize that I had a talent for helping others create and grow their brands. Being an entrepreneur also allows me to work on projects that I am truly passionate about. I am able to take risks and make decisions that align with my values and goals, and that sense of control over my professional life is empowering.

As a marketer by trade, did you have a master marketing plan before you launched your own business?

It may sound too simple for some of you – but I am a true believer in word-of-mouth and networking as the best marketing strategy for any company, and particularly for female-owned businesses, for a number of reasons: Firstly, as a female entrepreneur, you may face additional barriers in terms of access to funding and resources compared to male entrepreneurs. This means that you may have limited marketing budgets and resources, making it difficult to invest in traditional advertising channels. However, word-of-mouth and networking can be low-cost or even free ways to promote your business and reach potential customers. Secondly, women tend to rely heavily on personal relationships and referrals when making purchasing decisions. Studies have shown that women are more likely to trust recommendations from their friends and family than traditional advertising channels. By building a strong network and encouraging your existing customers to spread the word about your business, you can tap into this preference and generate valuable leads and sales. Finally, as a female entrepreneur, you may face additional challenges in terms of visibility and recognition compared to male entrepreneurs. Networking can help you to establish your reputation and build your personal brand, which can be particularly important in industries that are traditionally male-dominated. Building a brand community can be a powerful marketing strategy, allowing you to leverage personal relationships and build a strong reputation for your brand, even with limited resources.

So Daniela, what would you say is the biggest challenge you have encountered thus far into your entreprenista journey?

Female entrepreneurs in women’s health face several challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of funding and investment opportunities. Women-owned businesses receive less than 5% of venture capital funding, and this is particularly true in the healthcare industry targeting women, where this number is closer to 1%. Another challenge is the stigma surrounding women’s health issues. Many women’s health issues are still considered taboo or “embarrassing” to discuss openly, which can make it difficult for female entrepreneurs to market their products or services. My campaigns, around menstruation or contraception for example, were blocked from social media numerous times. In addition, women’s health issues are often overlooked or marginalized in medical research and healthcare policies, which can limit the development of new products and services for women’s health. Being a female entrepreneur can be challenging, as we face additional barriers due to gender biases and discrimination. I learned that we need to stick together, advocate for women and speak up about injustices in order to make a difference!

Daniela, we are so proud of YOU! What is the accomplishment YOU are proudest of to date?

I was part of making Women’s Health a topic being recognized as important within the World Economic Forum. Knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of women makes me proud, and it motivates me to continue pushing the boundaries in women’s health.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Definitely! I remember when I was leading the pharmaceutical company in Switzerland, just having turned 30, I was overwhelmed by the responsibility. During an interview I recall admitting that being a CEO of a start-up company made me ‘sleep like a baby – waking up every few hours crying’. At that time, I had not yet achieved a healthy work-life balance. Through my Wharton Business Program, focused on Neuroscience, I discovered that chronic stress can be detrimental to brain health, leading to damaged brain cells, memory loss, and impaired cognitive function. Additionally, it can trigger inflammation in the brain, which has been linked to various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Fortunately, engaging in activities outside of work can have a positive impact on brain health. Activities such as hobbies, exercise, learning a new language or instrument, and most importantly, connecting with people and loved ones, can help reduce stress, boost mood, and stimulate the growth of new brain cells. Personally, I find playing the piano a great way to disconnect from work, I love playing and watching tennis and whenever I need a good laugh I attend stand-up comedy shows.

Daniela, this has been so much fun! What’s a final piece of advice you can leave us with as well all embark on our own entreprenista journeys?

Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to collaborate with and gain knowledge from powerful female mentors and leaders. During the early stages of my career, I didn’t realize that mentorship was a feasible option. However, I now act as a mentor on FemTech Accelerators, where I offer my expertise to startup founders embarking on their journey, sharing my mistakes and lessons learned. If you’re just starting out, I encourage you to seek a mentor in your field to learn from. If you’re further along in your career, I urge you to give back to the community by becoming a mentor yourself. Don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back! And remember: A win for one woman is a win for all women!

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Grants You Need to Apply to For Your Business!

The FedEx® Entrepreneur Fund Who can apply? Entrepreneurs who have a connection to the military and/or entrepreneurs with disabilities. What you could receive: $10,000 Deadline: October 6, 2023 15th Anniversary Entrepreneurship Who can apply? Any entrepreneur who submits an engaging pitch of up to 1,000 words highlighting your business and how it would benefit from…

How to Plan for the Unpredictable with Emily Cisek

“You want to do everything you want to be everything to everyone. You want to be the perfect founder, but the perfect founder doesn’t exist you need to be authentic and true to yourself and the type of leader you are.” – Emily Cisek Named the 2021 Women Who Mean Business Honoree by the Houston Business…

Courtney Boyer on Starting a Biz of Her Own to Elevate the Dialogue Around Women’s Health and Sexuality

Hi Courtney! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello! I am a relationship and sexuality expert. I was trained as a mental health and sex therapist, life coach, and Reiki Practitioner. Recently, I published the book, “Not Tonight, Honey: Why Women Actually Don’t Want Sex and What We Can Do About…

The Scoop on Building a Business from Scratch with Kim Malek

“Money is always available, you will find it believe it or not, it really is, but finding the right money. It could not be more important.” – Kim Malek Kim Malek is the Co-Founder and CEO of Salt & Straw, an ice cream company that produces and serves boldly unique flavors made by hand, where customers…

Taking An Integrative Approach To Medicine and Business with Dr. Cindy Tsai

“Life is a serie“I really realized that we need to take this very integrative holistic approach to wellbeing. So often we are focused on productivity and being busy. And we forget about listening to what we’re actually going through.”  – Dr. Cindy Tsai Dr. Cindy Tsai is an award-winning board-certified physician, TEDx speaker, best-selling author,…

Creative Kelsey Kloss on Launching a PR and Social Media Company to Empower Industry Thought Leaders

Hi Kelsey! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Absolutely! I am the CEO of Kloss Creatives, a PR and social media company that scales CEOs and companies as industry thought leaders. Kloss Creatives clients have been featured by The New York Times, HuffPost, Bustle, and beyond. Previously, I was a journalist and in-house…

Mamaprenista Cinder Trout on Opening a Natural Beauty Brand, Abature, with Her Daughter

Hi Cinder! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello, my name is Cinder. My daughter and I co-founded a natural beauty brand dedicated to lip care called Abature. We make lip scrubs, lip serums, and lip balms all proudly packaged plastic free. Our wholesale distribution channel is currently only available to…

Finding Your Purpose and Fulfilling Your Mission with Dr. Nadine Collins

“When you understand who you are, and why you’re here, you will recognize that you have no competition. Because there’s nobody in the world like you but you. And whatever you’ve been divinely called to do. There is nobody in the world who can do it like you but you because it’s your assignment.” –…

Nicole Pearl Kaplan on How She Created a Business that Provides Her Clients Insights, Strategies and Personalized guidance

Hi Nicole Pearl! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi! I’m a PR & Media consultant who helps small business founders get noticed, grow their brand awareness and become a household name. When the pandemic hit, I heard a lot of people asking how to get featured, and I heard a…

Learning How to Start Over with Olivia Howell

“Life is a series of fresh starts, and everybody is worthy of the support. We are about meeting people where they are and celebrating them.”  – Olivia Dreizen Howell After her own divorce and watching her sister call off her engagement the following year, Olivia was left with two significant questions: Why do we only…

Entreprenistas, Go for These Amazing Grants!

As founders we know how hard it can be to secure funding for your business, so we want to make it a bit easier! Below are our top picks of grants and resources this week!

Creating A New Business Category with Jen Batchelor

“ The more I tell my story, the more I’m like, damn, I would never have wanted to follow in the footsteps of anyone, I really have to blaze the path. Even though it’s painful as sin, I have to put something out there that’s brand new, and let people react to it.” – Jen…

Artisan Joy’s Stephanie Blanchard on Smashing the Myth of the “Starving Artist”

Hello Stephanie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I am the publisher of Artisan Joy, a website and magazine that celebrates creative entrepreneurs. Artisan Joy’s mission is to smash the myth of the starving artist by publishing success stories of artists, designers, artisans and makers who have turned their passions into…

Mamaprenista Ami Bhansali of Chai Diaries on her mission to Make Fresh Premium Teas Accessible to All

Welcome Ami! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Chai Diaries is a lifestyle brand retailing specialty teas. Inspired by my tea-enriched household (three generations of history in growing and manufacturing tea in the beautiful Nilgiris, India), the brand is all about REAL TEA, REAL HERBS, REAL SPICES! Embracing a tea culture…

“Life Coach in a Bottle”, Laura McCann, on Establishing Adoratherapy

Hello Laura! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Laura McCann and I am the Founder and CEO of Adoratherapy. At Adoratherapy, we invite you on a journey of healing through breath and intention using all natural essential oil based fragrances. After many years as a successful entrepreneur in…