In 2023, WeAreTheCity and Visa proudly published the Visa Everywhere Pioneer 20 list which celebrated incredible refugee women across Europe.

Each of the incredible women featured on this list are dispelling stigmas and stereotypes. They are also campaigning, changing lives, and challenging narratives to empower both women and girls. We would like to congratulate all of those on the list for being such role models in their respective communities.

Launched on World Refugee Day, WeAreTheCity and Visa called for nominations to shine a spotlight on the tireless efforts of 20 incredible refugee women who were giving back and supporting their communities across Europe. We received the most incredible stories of resilience, tenacity and strength. We would like to thank everyone who nominated and who was nominated for sharing your stories with our judges.

The pioneers were celebrated online and in person in London and Warsaw Visa offices on 19th September 2023.

View our Visa Everywhere Pioneer 20 below

  • It is an honour to be able to highlight the journeys of these inspirational women who make up the inaugural Pioneer 20 list. In many different ways, they have all worked incredibly hard to not only rebuild their lives after significant trauma and upheaval, but to support others who are going through similar experiences.

    Katherine Brown
    Vice-President, Inclusive Impact & Sustainability at Visa Europe
  • WeAreTheCity has been humbled to read the stories of so many incredible women who were nominated for this year’s Pioneer20. These women have shown such resilience, strength, and tenacity. Despite their own harrowing experiences, they have worked tirelessly to ensure that their fellow refugees and asylum seekers have the support they need to rebuild their lives.

    I am honoured that we have had the opportunity alongside Visa to shine a spotlight on their incredible work. Congratulations – you are an inspiration to us all.

    Vanessa Vallely OBE
    Founder of WeAreTheCity
  • Business Fights Poverty are hugely proud to support the launch of the Visa Everywhere Pioneer20 in partnership with WeAreTheCity.  This is the first list of its kind to recognise female refugees and their incredible contributions to their communities. We are excited to partner with both organisations and look forward to the nominations opening on the 3rd of July

    Zahid Torres-Rahman
    Co-Founder & CEO at Business Fights Poverty

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