Have you ever wondered why, despite their undeniable talent and innovative spirit, women entrepreneurs often struggle to reach the same heights as their male counterparts? What systemic barriers are holding back half of our potential entrepreneurial force? 

Welcome to our Female Entrepreneurship Seminar, where we delve into the phenomenon known as the Second Glass Ceiling. In Southeast Asia, a region brimming with entrepreneurial potential, women face unique challenges such as limited access to capital, gender biases in business decisions, and exclusion from critical networks and mentorship opportunities. Societal norms and stereotypes further constrain their entrepreneurial aspirations, perpetuating a cycle of inequality. In this seminar, we are committed to incubate impact projects addressing these systemic biases, fostering inclusive ecosystems, and providing tailored support mechanisms for women entrepreneurs. Ultimately, by dismantling the second glass ceiling, we can unlock the full potential of female entrepreneurship, driving innovation, economic growth, and social progress across the region. Join us as we explore and tackle these critical issues head-on.

The ideal candidate

Not restricted to women only. This is not a seminar only for women. Neither is this a seminar that teaches how to develop a startup. This seminar is for those individuals interested in developing agency and competencies that helps building more inclusive, diverse and connected entrepreneurial ecosystems across Southeast Asia.


Of course, the regular YSEALI Academy criteria also apply.. We will recruit 30 YSEALI fellows, who are young professionals between the ages of 25-40, highly qualified and motivated, from all 10 ASEAN member states and Timor-Leste. Ideally, participants are budding managers, i.e. have experience or are about to manage and supervise a middle management team, multiple teams or entire organizations and communities. Participants are required to commit at least 8 online hours for pre-seminar tasks (attending lecture and reading materials) from September 3–6, 2024, and at least 38 hours to in-person seminar activities in Vietnam from September 9-13, 2024. Therefore, participants are required to commit full-time to the seminar period for successful completion and obtaining the certificate. 


Key timeline:

  • Application opening: June 21, 2024
  • Info-session webinar: June 27, 2024, 19:00 – 20:00 Hanoi/Bangkok/Jakarta time (Register here)
  • Application deadline: July 14, 2024.
  • Announcement of results: Early August.
  • Pre-seminar online sessions: September 3 & 5, 2024
  • Seminar dates: September 9-13, 2024 (Monday– Friday, in person) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


NOTE: Selection for our seminar is highly competitive. All travel, accommodation and participation costs will be fully covered by the YSEALI Academy.


The second glass ceiling of female entrepreneurship encapsulates the systemic barriers hindering women's advancement in entrepreneurial pursuits. It encompasses challenges such as limited access to capital, gender biases in investment decisions, and exclusion from critical networks and mentorship opportunities. Societal norms and stereotypes further constrain women's entrepreneurial aspirations, perpetuating a cycle of inequality. Overcoming this barrier demands concerted efforts to address systemic biases, foster inclusive ecosystems, and provide support mechanisms tailored to women entrepreneurs. By dismantling the second glass ceiling, we can unlock the full potential of female entrepreneurship and drive innovation, economic growth, and social progress.

Skillset Topic 1 – Bridging the Funding Gap

The funding gap remains one of the most significant challenges for female entrepreneurs. Despite evidence of the profitability of women-led businesses, they receive disproportionately less venture capital funding than their male counterparts. In this topic, participants learn skills to strategize for securing funding, explore case studies of successful funding campaigns led by women entrepreneurs, and participate in practical exercises to develop funding pitches tailored to their ventures.

Skillset Topic 2 – Expanding networks

Ingroup/outgroup gender mentality of a male-dominated system in business and related areas precludes women from critical networks and mentorship opportunities. Creating inclusive networks and mentorship programs that actively engage and support women entrepreneurs is vital. This involves facilitating connections with experienced mentors, fostering peer support networks, and providing resources for skill development and professional growth. Participants will join breakout sessions focused on building and leveraging networks and mentorship opportunities in entrepreneurship. Networking events will allow participants to connect with mentors, peers, and industry leaders, fostering meaningful relationships and collaborations.

Skillset Topic 3 – Addressing systemic biases

Multiple institutions affect female entrepreneurial activities. Among which, systemic biases against women’s capacity for leadership and entrepreneurship prevent women from deciding to follow this career path, and for society to refrain from offering women support when they choose to do so. Recognizing and addressing these biases is essential for creating a more equitable environment for female entrepreneurs. Fellows will attend keynote presentations, panel discussions, and roundtable sessions to explore the root causes and impacts of systemic biases in entrepreneurship.

Skillset Topic 4 – Balancing Work-life and other societal expectations

Balancing entrepreneurship with personal and family responsibilities is a unique challenge for many women. This involves honing negotiation skills, offering/arranging flexible work arrangements, access to childcare and family support services, and promoting a culture of wellness and self-care. Fellows will participate in workshops, and wellness activities focused on promoting work-life balance and holistic well-being in entrepreneurship. They will learn about innovative approaches to managing time, stress, and negotiate responsibilities while building and scaling their ventures. Interactive sessions will explore the intersection of entrepreneurship, family, and personal wellness, providing participants with practical strategies for achieving balance and fulfillment in their professional and personal lives.

Skillset Topic 5 – Serving as Role Model for other women entrepreneurs

Highlighting and celebrating the achievements of women entrepreneurs can help dispel stereotypes, challenge gender norms, and inspire confidence in other women. By showcasing diverse role models and empowering women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions, we can create a ripple effect that expands opportunities and drives positive change in the entrepreneurial landscape. Conference participants will engage in storytelling sessions, panel discussions, and mentoring circles featuring successful women entrepreneurs sharing their journeys, challenges, and lessons learned. They will hear inspiring stories of resilience, perseverance, and success, gaining valuable insights and inspiration for their entrepreneurial endeavors. Interactive workshops will empower participants to identify and leverage their unique strengths and experiences to become role models and mentors for other women entrepreneurs.


We bring together a renowned group of educators and experts dedicated to empowering leaders like you to learn about Female Entrepreneurship and lifting the Second Glass Ceiling and bring its benefits to your communities. Through their diverse expertise and engaging presentations, they will guide you on this learning journey. Click here to see the full list of speakers and their profiles.

Webinar Registration

Please join our first info session to find out more about the seminar:


Register here:

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Admission Calendar