Over the past few years, Melissa Rancourt has created a few companies in a typical serial entrepreneurial fashion. One of them, very near and dear to her heart, is an organisation she founded to address the issue of the declining or stagnant percentage of women in several STEM (science, engineering, technology & mathematics) fields. Greenlight for girls is an international non-profit organisation headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and operates worldwide. In just a few years, it has reached more than 15,000 students with its hands-on fun-filled science workshops & events focused on inspiring the future generation. With a team of more than 3,500 volunteers worldwide, the organisation has conducted more than 120 events on 6 continents.
Her passion for inspiring others to follow her footsteps as an engineer is also coupled with companies she has created to fulfil other interests. In addition to being a philanthropic entrepreneur, her other businesses include: an engineering business to help companies in any industry grow and design their business, products & services internationally by driving efficiency and leveraging creativity in their business – and she is an owner of a Brussels-based luxury wellness centre, Serendip Spa & Yoga, and is driving its growth by 25% each year to prepare for its international expansion. Over the past ten years, she has taught several business & technical courses as a university professor and is now the Academic Director of a Global Executive Master Degree in Strategic Design & Management at Parsons leading a new program in Paris, NYC & Shanghai.
Melissa is often asked to address professional audiences as a Keynote Speaker, Conference Moderator, Graduation Commencement and Award Presenter on various business and societal subjects. She is highly sought after for the way she engages the audience and shares her knowledge, expertise & personal stories on her business and social entrepreneurial journeys. She has been aptly described as a “passionate woman wearing many hats” as she speaks of her various business experiences from working as an engineer on the manufacturing floor, to leading life-threatening healthcare projects, to starting several businesses, to creating a contagious movement to inspire young women in science, to buying and expanding a spa & yoga wellbeing centre, to her joy of being a university professor.
She is a two-time TEDx speaker for Brussels and Luxembourg, a United Nations speaker on Human Rights, a Parliament speaker on equality and has presented at various events of all sizes in Europe, US, Brazil, India and the UAE. In addition, she has appeared on the US TV show Living Abroad, Bloomberg, Euronews and several other media.
Melissa is a dual citizen of both Belgium and the US, Italian-born and of Greek and French heritage.