Supporting women in business is a key part of the EBRD’s mission, and over the years the Bank has developed programmes to support women’s entrepreneurship. At a conference in Sarajevo, the EBRD, the businesswomen’s One Association, and Deloitte SheXO Club are reviewing the achievements of the Power of Women, a programme that combines advice and assistance for women entrepreneurs.
Women’s entrepreneurship can be a major catalyst for economic development, but in Bosnia and Herzegovina the participation rate of women in business lags behind the rates seen in advanced economies. The EBRD’s first dedicated Women in Business programme – a combination of advice, know-how and non-financial support services – has helped 51 women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Funded by Luxembourg, the Taiwan-EBRD Cooperation Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, the programme provides a comprehensive toolkit of support. Training courses in entrepreneurial skills – such as starting your own business and online marketing – are complemented by advisory projects connecting businesswomen with local management consultants. The programme also includes a mentoring component, through which women entrepreneurs from Bosnia and Herzegovina share their experiences and challenges with women around the world, either as mentee or mentor.
Libor Krkoska, EBRD Head of Office, Sarajevo said: “Promoting women’s entrepreneurship has a wider economic impact for any country. Programmes like this one play an important part in sharing knowledge and making entrepreneurship a realistic possibility for women.”
"A single woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina can fulfil so many roles on a daily basis. She can be a mother, wife, daughter, but also a successful entrepreneur. Women’s entrepreneurship in Bosnia and Herzegovina can help our economy become more prosperous," added Aida Zubčević, President of the One Association.
One Association was established with the aim of strengthening women's entrepreneurship. It seeks to do this by providing networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, offering advice on how to start and develop a business, and giving its members information about opportunities for investment and education. The association provides support to women who face difficulties in achieving economic independence, whether they are unemployed or have just started a business.
The Deloitte SheXO Club is a networking organisation run by the local Deloitte offices. It is specifically dedicated to the promotion of successful women in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the fields of business, culture, social contribution, and education.
“Deloitte SheXO Club members are dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs, employees and students by providing them with support and sharing their know-how. Women entrepreneurs are indeed a great asset to our country. They contribute to economic growth, create jobs, encourage new talent, develop partnerships and business relationships, and succeed internationally,” said Sabina Softic, leader of the Deloitte SheXO Club.
The EBRD supports small and medium-sized enterprises through finance and access to expertise. Since starting activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997, the EBRD’s Small Business Support Team has provided advice to over 700 businesses, helping them grow and become catalysts for the development of their local and regional economies.
EBRD Contact: Edina Uzunovic
Tel: +387 33 266 985