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Published: 01 Feb, 2022

Positive industry impact gives international award to alumni from USBE

NEWS Kerstin Cooley, Managing Partner at Brightly Ventures, is a pioneer among investors. She has long worked for diversity and equal conditions on the investor side and is also a successful entrepreneur. The Influential Leader award draws attention to the importance of her efforts on an even more international arena.

AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), one of the world's largest organizations for business schools, wants to draw attention to alumni who make a difference through the annual Influential Leader award. This year, 27 alumni are selected from the approximately 900 business schools that are accredited according to AACSB's quality standard. For the second time, an alumni from Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics (USBE) at Umeå University receives the award. Three years ago, H & M's CEO Helena Helmersson was awarded the award for her sustainability work.

– Through the award, we get the opportunity to highlight some of all our talented alumni and show what a difference they can make. It shows the societal value of our educations in a broad sense, says Sofia Lundberg, Dean of USBE

USBE laid the foundation for an international career

Kerstin Cooley graduated with an international one year master's degree from USBE in 1995. She began her career at the Silicon Valley-based company Echelon and also has a background in communication via the company Cognito and has worked at SEB. Since 2013, when she founded the private capital company MOOR, she has been a leading force for increased gender equality and diversity in the industry. She is now one of 27 alumni from AACSB-accredited business schools globally who are awarded the Influential Leader Class of 2022 award.

– An award that makes me very happy and proud! I would like to thank the AACSB, which focuses on positive, sustainable and passionate leadership, but also USBE, which laid the foundation for my international career and nominated me. Through the privilege of working with unique and fantastic people around the world, I have been inspired to break new ground. If the award can encourage young people to take action and dare to challenge the status quo, it is very worthwhile, says Kerstin Cooley.

The journey towards a more gender equal investment industry

In Kerstin Cooley's current company Brightly Ventures, 30% percent of the companies they invest in have female founders, a significant increase compared to the global average of 1-10%. Brightly Ventures measures gender equality, reports back to all investors driving an active dialogue on issues related to diversity and inclusion.

In recent years, Kerstin Cooley has also served as a mentor for women in several organizations, including Level 20, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving gender equality in the European private equity industry. She is also a member of Women in VC, a global organization for promoting and supporting other women in the industry.

Kerstin Cooley also receives regular attention on issues concerning gender equality in the investment industry in the media, for example in Sweden’s leading daily business magazine Dagens Industri.

We are well on our way to a positive change in the industry regarding more gender equality.

For more information about AACSB Influential Leaders and the entire portrait of Kerstin Cooley and others who will receive the 2022 award, visit www.aacsb.edu/influential-leaders.

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AACSB

As the world's largest business education alliance, AACSB International (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to more than 1,700 member organizations and over 900 accredited business schools worldwide. AACSB's mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. The global organization has offices located in Tampa, Florida, USA; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Singapore.

For more information, visit www.aacsb.edu.