The GHWCC Development Mission Trip to France

Oct 23, 2018 | Blog


The GHWCC recently hosted a successful economic development trip to Paris & Nice, France, to encourage leaders there to start a women’s chamber in their respective cities. The delegation included (as pictured from left to right) Samina Farid, Entrepreneur/Investor; Dr. Juliet Breeze, Next Level Urgent Care; Janette Marx, Airswift; Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards; Jurga Zilinskiene; Suzan Deison, GHWCC.

“When I signed up to be part of GHWCC’s mission trip to France, I was unsure of what to expect.  But since the main focus of the trip was promoting organizations supporting women in business and entrepreneurism (topics both near to my heart), I decided to join the group.  I am so glad that I made that decision! In France, we had the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs, hear their stories, and learn about what France is doing to promote women, innovation and new business. We toured Station F in Paris, a model for the world in terms of business accelerator programs.  We also flew to Nice where we spent the day learning about their approach to small business promotion.  Aside from sparking my enthusiasm and allowing me to make some great foreign business connections, the highlight of the trip for me was getting to know the other members of our delegation.  I was humbled to be in a group of such remarkable women. We had the chance to converse about meaningful topics and also had a great deal of fun getting to know each other and exploring Paris. The opportunity to share the experience with such fascinating women leaders was the icing on the cake -or should I say the ‘ganache on the French pastry’?  I’m already looking forward to the next trip!”

Dr. Juliet Breeze

Chief Executive Office, Next Level Urgent Care

“Unfortunately I could only be in France four days but the time in Paris was well worth the trip. Not only did I enjoy the company of some incredible Houston women including our City Council Member, Amanda Edwards, but we were also joined by Jurga Zilinskiene who some may know from the GHWCC mission to London. We were able to do a bit of sightseeing like visiting the fun Paris Flea Market, the historic Notre Dame Cathedral and my favorite, the incredible newly built Louis Vuitton Foundation with its unique architecture. The hotel was perfect and the food delicious especially the incredible dinner we had at the Market Restaurant as guest of AirSwift (CEO Jannette Marx and her impressive team in Paris). The highlight of the trip (besides the dinner:) was our visit to Station F.  Station F is the world’s largest StartUp Campus.  Created in 2017 with funding from billionaire tech entrepreneur Xavier Niel and the French government, it is designed to attract and connect the best entrepreneurs with the best companies and resources needed for commercial success. It is an amazing environment – 370,000 square feet in an old railway depot currently housing over one thousand startups, with meeting rooms, stages where the most sought Tech leaders give talks, a very hip and massive 1000-seating restaurant area, and artwork from the likes of Jeff Koons and Ai Weiwei.  Station F’s corporate tenants are a Who’s Who of the world’s leading tech firms- Google, FaceBook, Microsoft, etc.  While it is hard to match its over-the-top campus, Station F teaches us a lot about what is  needed to attract.”

Samina Farid


“The GHWCC took a delegation to Paris France to reach out to business women, entrepreneurs and government officials to share our experiences in supporting women to achieve more and to advise on opening their own Women’s Council.  One of my favorite parts of this trip was hosting a dinner with my Airswift French colleagues who intermingled and learned from the experience and wisdom of our delegation from the US.  It was a magical night where conversation flowed so easily and the learning of different cultures and approaches to business left a profound impact on all who participated.  Another impactful day was at Station F.  Imagine 3 large train stations transformed into entrepreneurial working spaces for startups.  The US and French companies that support this private vision of helping entrepreneurs get their start with the support they need was unimaginable.  40% of the 1000 startups have a woman in their C Suite.  They are doing something right!  To bring our learnings to France and to learn in return from them, made this trip quite memorable on top of all the historic sights.”

Janette Marx

Chief Executive Officer, Airswift