The NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro on November 11th organized the final conference of the project “Through business to equality” which was financially supported by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights. The goal of the project is to improve women’s entrepreneurship, and the specific goal is to raise the level of knowledge about entrepreneurship and improve entrepreneurial skills of 15 women from Podgorica, Nikšić and Berane.
“We realized a total of six workshops: Introduction to entrepreneurship, Basics of accounting, Presentation and sale of products and services, Basics of marketing and digital marketing, Canvas business model and Entrepreneurship through motivation, education and examples of good practice. More than 15 women of different ages had the opportunity to go through these trainings. We also organized a three-day training for writing business plans, as well as a visit to the Mtel digital factory and Technopolis. The goal was not only to educate women and encourage them to start a business, but also to point out all the possibilities that exist in the form of loans, grants, free work spaces and other support from both, local institutions and organizations. What we can be proud of is that one of the participants received a grant from the Employment Agency of Montenegro, and the other applied for credit assistance from the Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro”, said Milica Žugić, president of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro.
The conference was also attended by the head of the department for gender equality in the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Biljana Pejović, who pointed out the importance of economic empowerment of women in order to achieve gender equality.
“The Ministry of Human and Minority Rights not only financially supported the project, but in a way recognized the quality and goals of this project in the way we envisioned in the strategic documents. I am glad that one such project was recognized by the Ministry and that it was successfully implemented. I am also happy to hear that one of the women has already started creating her business. I want as many women as possible to enter women’s entrepreneurship and in that way strengthen our economy and create better living conditions for all of us”, Pejović pointed out. She said that the involvement of women in entrepreneurship is around 23%, which means that there is still work to be done in that field. She invited non-governmental organizations to apply for the Ministry’s competitions with quality ideas and projects.
Secretary of the Secretariat for Entrepreneurship Kemal Grbović spoke about the support to entrepreneurship provided by the capital, Podgorica.
“Every year in the capital, we are increasingly developing cooperation with young entrepreneurs. In recent years, our relationship with entrepreneurs and young people is much higher, given that it is a great potential, a potential that can be expressed even more in the future. We have a lot of support programs, through various activities such as: strengthening entrepreneurial awareness, education of potential entrepreneurs and young people, various business incubators that provide additional knowledge and education, and of course all this would not be enough if we did not include financial resources. This year, we increased that budget to 242,000 euros”, Grbovic said.
He said that the COVID 19 hindered their plans because they had various fairs and trainings before, but that a lot has been done eitherway, and that COVID 19 showed that we can be more engaged in the field of agriculture, to produce crops ourselves instead of importing. He also stated that the capital would give the use of municipal land for agricultural use under favorable conditions.
The participants of the project also presented themselves at the conference and promoted their ideas that they plan to implement.
The participants of the event also talked about the existing initiatives in the field of entrepreneurship in the civil sector, as well as with institutions. The problem of the lack of a base of women entrepreneurs was also pointed out.
The conclusion of the conference is that the private sector, which includes both NGOs and companies, as well as the public sector, should be more open and pay even more attention to informing both young people and women about opportunities for financial and non-financial support to entrepreneurship, but also that those who want to start their own business need to be proactive and look and search for themselves.