ZAGREB, May 22, 2018 – In Croatia, the situation with women’s entrepreneurship is slightly better than in Southeast Europe, but is still bad because women do not have sufficient support either from institutions or from their family, which requires change in social consciousness, the head of the International Business Women’s Network of Croatia Ivana Radić told a conference in Zagreb on Tuesday.
The conference, entitled “The role of entrepreneurship in Southeast Europe – Challenges and opportunities”, attracted about 200 participants from the region, including entrepreneurs who had only just started up their business and already well established ones.
The purpose of this conference is to show that entrepreneurs are not irrelevant in society, but that they are very important because in most countries in the world they generate about 90 percent of their country’s total revenues, Radić said.
“Women are important in this regard, because it has been proved that sometimes they are more successful at work than men, and in any case they have a more complete view of the world and life. Entering into business ventures can be more difficult for them than it is for men, and not just because of the poor support of their environment but also because they often fight both with their own prejudices and those of their environment. That is why awareness of women’s entrepreneurship should be encouraged and strengthened all the time,” Radić said.
Both Radić and other speakers noted that women were not inclined to go into business or start their own business ventures without institutional support and especially without the support of their family. There are various organisations that can help them in this regard, including the International Business Women’s Network, which was launched last autumn and now has about 50 members.
One of the few men at the conference, Sven Thorsten Potthoff, the director of the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Trade, highlighted the words “challenges and opportunities” as being key for getting people involved in business.
“Women are still not sufficiently involved in business anywhere in the world, including Europe and Germany, although everyone is making an effort in that regard. Although these trends are slow, they are positive, especially for women who are getting together and cooperating through different networks and associations. Governments and non-governmental organisations can do a lot about this, and we can see that a lot is being done about it in Croatia as well, but this is not so much about politics but about companies which should see the potential in women and give them a chance,” Potthoff said.