Supporting woman in business is a key part of the EBRD’s mission and over the years the Bank has developed programmes to facilitate the business initiatives of women entrepreneurs. An example of this work is the Women in Business programme in Serbia, which celebrated its achievements at an event in Belgrade.
Women’s entrepreneurship can be a major catalyst for economic development, but in Serbia the participation rate of women in business remains behind the rates seen in advanced economies.
The EBRD’s first dedicated Women in Business programme – a combination of know-how, subsidised advisory projects – has helped more than 200 women entrepreneurs in Serbia with advice and training.
Funded by Luxembourg, the Taiwan-EBRD Cooperation Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, the programme provides a comprehensive toolkit of support. In Serbia, 135 women completed training courses in entrepreneurial skills such as starting your own business and marketing it online. Serbian women entrepreneurs mainly requested advisory support in marketing, quality management, information and communication technology, and strategy development. The programme also includes a mentoring component, whereby 15 of these businesswomen share experiences and challenges with women around the world, either as a mentee or a mentor.
“We know that gender equality is important for job creation and for the economic transition process,” said Matteo Patrone, EBRD Director for Serbia. “Enabling women to act as economic, social and political agents will assist Serbia in reaching its full economic potential.”
“Since 2010, we have helped over 1,600 women entrepreneurs through our projects, including in the Western Balkans,” added Valeria Della Rosa, Senior Manager for the EBRD’s Business Advisory Services. “The next step will be expanding the support we can offer for accessing finance.”
The EBRD supports small and medium-sized enterprises through finance and know-how. The Small Business Support Team has provided advice to over 550 Serbian businesses helping them grow and become catalysts for their local and regional economies.
EBRD Contact: Bojana Vukosavljevic
Tel: +381 11 2120642