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Dear WE Empower and Vital Voices Community,

With the heaviest of hearts, we are writing to inform you of the passing of one of our own – Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, a WE Empower Awardee from the inaugural 2018 cohort, who was involved in a lethal traffic accident in Israel on Sunday.


Shimrit was a mother of three, wife, sister, marine biologist, and brilliant entrepreneur who inspired and touched the hearts of everyone she met. A trailblazer in every sense of the word, Shimrit had an unparalleled love of the ocean and a fiery dedication for rescuing it, which she pioneered through her business, ECOncrete®, and her bio-enhancing concrete solutions for seawalls, ports, and other coastal and marine infrastructure. She was an inspiration to women entrepreneurs and women in STEM everywhere, breaking through barriers in male-dominated construction and engineering industries, and bringing women and others along with her.


This loss is heartbreaking, especially on the heels of International Women’s Day, where we celebrated leaders like her.


In addition to her WE Empower accolade, Shimrit’s company, ECOncrete®, was selected as one of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2019 and was chosen as TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019. Shimrit also won the 2019 Woman Innovators Award from the European Union, and in the same year, delivered a winning pitch during Sir Richard Branson’s “Pitch to Rich” event at a business conference in Tel Aviv. In 2020, Shimrit was able to secure US$5 million in Series A funding, planning to expand the work of ECOncrete® worldwide.


Shimrit’s legacy will live on through her family and her three daughters, her company ECOncrete® and co-founder Dr. Ido Sella, her adoring friends and colleagues, and through the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge. Although we will never be able to fill the shoes she’s left behind, we are committed to continuing her vision to make this world and planet a better place for all.


If you want to learn more about Shimrit, this Forbes article highlights the legacy she leaves behind.



The WE Empower Team