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The second public event in the framework of the program "Share your knowledge - become a mentor 2015/2016" on the topic"Women’s Entrepreneurship" was held on Saturday May 7, 2016 in Bački Petrovac.

Present mentors and mentees, were welcomed by Svetlana Stefanović, Project Manager at European Movement in Serbia, who reminded that Serbia has proclaimed the year 2016 for the Year of the Entrepreneurship and emphasized that women’s entrepreneurship is one of the great potential for development in Serbia and potentially serious source of new employment. She said that according to data from the last year, one of the four companies is owned by women. Some of the reasons for such statistics are, among the others, gender discrimination, stereotypes and traditional understanding of gender roles, and an unfavorable business environment.

On the topic of women's entrepreneurship, as well as of their professional and personal experiences spoke: Aleksandra Vladisavljević, owner of the company BIZZ, Biljana Planić, owner of a travel agency Atos from Kragujevac, Milica Čalija, co-owner of the company Angels cakes, and Nataša Haska, co-owner of the restaurant Cassablanca – Lira in Kulpin, a debate was moderated by Jana Zabunov, director of the Academy of female entrepreneurship.

Jana Zabunov as a host at the Academy of Women's Entrepreneurship in Bački Pretrovac, where the round table was held, welcomed all participants and briefly presented the activities that the Academy realized during previous period, as well as projects on which she is currently working on.


Aleksandra Vladisavljević, who comes from field of the economy of the knowledge, talked about her career path, and pointed out that in general there are a lot of stories about entrepreneurship, but very little knowledge. She believes that it is very important for business to create some innovations and growth because it is easy to start a business, but it is difficult to constantly improve and expand it and to keep up with the competition. She emphasized that a good and thoughtful plan is basis for the successful entrepreneurial story, and that's why she is trying to help those who are at the beginning, and those who want to improve their business. She pointed out that in Serbia 90% of companies employ less than 10 employees and therefore are considered as small businesses. For her, entrepreneurship is a concept of living. Finally, she told all participants "do not sit on your dreams, but work on them."

Milica Čalija introduced the participants to the topic of entrepreneurship, the story of her entrepreneurial start and about her experiences and beginnings. She emphasized that it is necessary to make a difference between the self-employment, which actually means that you work only for yourself, and a completely new dimension, when you have to hire additional work power and therefore become responsible for your employees. She pointed out that "entrepreneurship requires energy, time, nerves, but that it also brings a lot of satisfaction because you know that you built success by yourself." Also, your own business gives you the ability to self-prioritize and manage time. She ended with the message that the motive why you're getting into the entrepreneurial waters, leads through the further growth of your business and therefore it is important to examine the business from different angles.

Biljana Planić shared with the participants her entrepreneurial beginnings and revealed that the initial steps are the hardest ones because you are still in doubt, to stay or to give up, due to a series of obstacles that stand in front of you and about which you do not have lots of knowledge. She emphasized that economic independence is very important for all the women, it is important for them to have money for their own desires. It is also always important to keep in mind that it's OK to give up, do not go through if there are objectively insurmountable obstacles. She pointed out the importance of mentoring and networking and the use of what is already established and available. She noted to all future entrepreneurs that "impossible is just what you do not want."

Nataša Haska through his inspirational story about the opening of her restaurant with her husband has explained all the stages through which the entrepreneurs go when they want to be involved in conduct of business. She underlined that she constantly works on improving the business, but also that regardless of the freedom to make herself time for a break, in fact there is never a break, because she constantly thinks about suppliers, employees and all the other things that are important so that the story unfolds in the right direction. She repeated that it is not easy to open and run a business, and that she learned the most from her own mistakes and that mentor’s help in these certain situations could be more than helpful.

In a very interactive discussion participants also learned a lot about self-motivation when there is a lack of support from outside, as well as on the ways of networking. Most of present people showed a desire to engage in a entrepreneurial waters. One of the conclusions of the whole debate is that women need to be confident and convincing, but also to forget perfectionism. 


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