EBRD Women in Business conference for female entrepreneurs in Belarus

By Anton Usov

EBRD Women in Business programme in Belarus

More Belarusian women in business share best cases with their counterparts

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has organised the first national business conference in Belarus on “Business Territory: Women’s Approach” as part of its multi-faceted regional Women in Business programme in the countries of the Eastern Partnership, which include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The conference took place on 7 September in Minsk, bringing together around 150 women from the business community.

Speakers from Belarus and abroad looked in detail at questions of leadership, management and innovation, gave examples of best practice and shared their insights on running a business.

“I am developing my business with caution. Sometimes I feel that I am moving too slowly, but I want the business to fly. External support is very valuable. I am grateful for this opportunity to be surrounded by fellow businesswomen who openly share their achievements,” said Elena Sergieva, one of the participants, founder of the private firm BusinessKniga VIP.

The Women in Business programme in the Eastern Partnership countries is funded by the EBRD, the European Union under its EU4Business Initiative, Sweden and the Early Transition Countries Fund*.

Alexander Pivovarsky, EBRD Head of Belarus, said: “The Women in Business programme is an important tool to help women-led SMEs in Belarus access the finance and the advice they need to grow and reach their full potential. We are pleased to be partnering with Belinvestbank, BNB-Bank and IdeaBank on this programme, expanding the finance available to women-led businesses in the market.”

The programme offers a toolbox of services to promote women’s entrepreneurship, including financing through local partner financial institutions, technical assistance for participating financial institutions and business advice for female entrepreneurs. The EBRD recently launched its new online self-assessment business tool for these entrepreneurs, Business Lens, available at http://www.ebrdwomeninbusiness.com/.

The EBRD is currently implementing the Women in Business programme in 17 countries.

*The Early Transition Fund donors are: Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United Kingdom.