In addition to the Conference, in cooperation with ministries, city and provincial institutions, but also the IPA fund of the European Union, we are implementing several projects of great importance for the development of women’s entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment in general.
One of these projects is the Women Business HUB, within the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020, worth 354,000.00 euros. The project is intended for women entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, for whom we have provided working space and a place for get-togethers and networking, the necessary equipment for work, as well as education and mentoring. Within this project, 450 women entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs attended numerous trainings and workshops.
Part of the Women Business HUB project is a TV series called “Business in Heels”. In 20 episodes of this series, we talked to over 60 women entrepreneurs, our members, whose stories are examples of good practice and present an incentive for all women who are still hesitant about starting their own business. The series is broadcast on the network of local televisions in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and can also be seen on “Biznis in heels” YouTube channel.
We have implemented the project DIGITALLY, AND NOT BY CALCULATOR, funded by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, and recently we implemented the project SHE CAN DO EVERYTHING, for training single mothers for virtual assistant jobs, funded by The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy.
Within the Business in Heels association, we also founded a Volunteer Center, which provides an opportunity for young people with a college or high school degree to gain their first work experience, necessary for later employment and starting a career.
The members of the association are mostly owners of micro and small companies, although we also have a few that are medium or large, such as Pay Spot, Paradox Consulting, Elipsa fashion company and the like. We promote all of them through our social media channels, as well as provide them with the possibility of networking with potential clients and associates, at events that we organize on a monthly basis in the Association.
Every first Friday of the month, we organize Business in Heels Coffee Time, which is an opportunity to meet other women entrepreneurs and engage in some casual networking over coffee. Each of these events has its own theme, such as presentations of businesses, lectures on current topics, presentations of funding opportunities and various calls for proposals, of insurance programs and the like. These events are attended by 30 to 50 women.
On top of these activities, in 2021, for the first time ever, we organized the Stories on Heels conference, a competition, which allowed women to present their entrepreneurial stories to the public. The best of them won a prize of 100,000 dinars.
Also, for the first time, at the end of this year, we will organize the Autumn Humanitarian Ball, where we will raise funds to support women’s start-up companies. This will be a glamorous event very much alike those that were once part of Novi Sad’s everyday life, with a large number of visitors, and appropriate artistic content.
“Our goal is to promote the importance of women’s entrepreneurship in Serbia through various projects and thus contribute to improving conditions for creation of new jobs, but also for empowerment of women at all levels.
We are aware that the position of women in Serbia is still unfavorable, so our engagement is aimed at educating women, above all, because many still need to become aware of their own situation, in order to be able to gather the strength and courage to change.