María Benjumea is the president and founder of Spain Startup, the company that promotes and organizes The South Summit; an initiative aimed to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation and showcase to the world the talent, the technology and the entrepreneurial character of the South. From the very beginning of her professional career, María has been an entrepreneur. Once she got her Geography and History degree in Madrid Complutense university, when she was 25 she started her first project, Taller del Arte, a very innovative space which combined a business based in antiques, art gallery and restoration. In 1981, she founded Círculo de Progreso, years later transformed into Infoempleo, which became the top site as a job active search.
Furthermore, she is the founder partner of IWF España (International Women Forum), and vicepresident of Círculo de Empresarios y de Secot. In 2011 she was awarded with the “Premio Nacional a la Mujer Directiva” in business innovation category; as well as the Premio Clara Campoamor in 2009 by Madrid Town Hall, Business woman of the year in 2007 by ASEME; and one of the top one hundred leader women in Spain in the last editions.