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Women mentorship


In 2001 Barbro C. Ehnbom initiated the scholarship Female Economist of the Year, FEOY, at her alma mater, Stockholm School of Economics. The early funding for this came from a network of Barbro’s Friends, consisting of prominent Swedish and American business leaders, who would serve both as role models and contacts in industry for the Female Economist. Although only one young woman could win the scholarship, Ms. Ehnbom realized that access to caring Friends would accelerate other bright women’s careers as well. That very year at the official gala ceremony, in addition to presenting FEOY 2001, the very first group of selected BBB (Barbro's Best & Brightest) members was introduced. The FEOY event generated a large amount of positive press for the school through the years. 


BBB – Barbro’s Best & Brightest – was created in 2001 with the aim to promote future women leaders through mentorship and interdisciplinary idea-exchange. 

Although originally mostly consisting of female graduates from the Stockholm School of Economics, including of course the Female Economists of each year, BBB now consists of female graduates from universities all over Sweden and covers a diverse range of industries. These include traditional economical areas such as finance, management consulting, marketing/communication and accounting, but also other areas such as social entrepreneurship, applied research, life sciences, engineering, performing arts, administration and non-profit. From those who are soon beginning their careers to seasoned young professionals, BBB represents a unique network of talented and ambitious young women, eager to seek out new opportunities but who also has demonstrated a will and heart to help others. 

Besides the distinct benefits of encouragement, motivation and interdisciplinary idea-exchange within the network itself, members enjoy a unique access to the so-called Friends, who consists of an extensive list of global contacts which Barbro has acquired throughout her long career within business and culture in Sweden and the U.S. 

Barbro Ehnbom functions as a role model, mentor, and promoter, aided by 20 important Best Male Supporters and 50 Female Role Models. Today BBB includes some of Sweden’s most successful female business leaders.



The Swedish-American Life Science Summit (SALSS) was founded by Barbro Ehnbom in 2005 as an initiative to increase the level of cross-border business between one of the largest market in the world, the United States, and one of the most important Life Science industry centers in Europe, Sweden. Over the years the Summit has taken on an increasingly global nature, making it a true reflection of the Life Science industry today.


The summit is a by-invitation-only conference bringing together some of the most renowned Life Science executives, scientists, entrepreneurs and investors in the aims to build strategic and collaborative relationships between academia, industry and fundings, thus enhancing Life Science business. The intense and exclusive three-day program features insights from top-notch speakers, high-level panel discussions, presentations of promising companies including a Rising Star competition selected by a world class jury. During it’s almost 20 years of existence, SALSS has become an exclusive leader and hallmark for latest trends and developments in the Life Science Industry worldwide.

In 2022, a special “peace manifestation” edition of SALSS - SCIENCE4PEACE - was held in support of Ukrainian life science executives and scientist fleeing the war. During the special edition of the classic SALSS format, we explored the connection between Science and Peace with the long-term mission of welcoming our fellow Ukrainian colleagues into the European and American Life Science Community. The guest of honor for the evening was Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Oleksandra Romantsova, who kindly presented SALSS own peace prize - The Knotted Gun - to Anastasiia Klonova of Beredskapslyftet.


Lärargalan is a Swedish initiative ​for supporting national teachers and the education system. Barbro serves as a long-time board member and mentor for the female founder. Her extensive network has served this event with both funding and artistic talents.  


How it all started

Barbro Ehnbom grew up in Stockholm as the youngest of five siblings in an academic household. Her father was the head of the Swedish National Audit Office, and her mother was Dean of a commercial school. 

“My mother looked like a fragile butterfly, but she was strong as a lion,” says Barbro with warmth in her voice. “She had an amazing spirit. She was working full time and took care of all of us kids, but she also staged musicals as an art director. When she became ill with rheumatism she studied and received a PhD about Russian icons. So, I have definitely been inspired by my mother and I have grown up with a strong interest for the academic world. Education and culture have always been important.”

As a child Barbro dreamt about becoming a poet or a veterinarian. At home she was breeding and training dogs. Her interest in nature and animals probably came from the summers she spent at a homestead in Södermanland, a province in the south-east of Sweden. There she had the opportunity to take care of the animals, weed the turnip patch and wander around in the beautiful, enchanted forests.

Barbro Ehnbom
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