18 Jun Successful Completion of the Project “Reduction of Unemployment of Women in Rural Environment”
Association of Business Women in Serbia held in the state-room of the National Bank of Serbia the closing press conference in view of the project “Reduction of unemployment of young women in underdeveloped municipalities through support to self-employment in the services and tourism sector”, financed by the European Union within the programme “Supporting Civil Society”.
On that occasion were promoted a special publication and a documentary film on the participants and on the results achieved in the project.
In the conference part took the Project Coordinator, President of the Association of Business Women in Serbia, Sanja Popović-Pantić MS, State Secretary for Tourism at the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Goran Petković, and Coordinator of Mentor Activities, Vice President of the Association of Business Women in Serbia, Olivera Popović.
Addressing the audience, President of the Association of Business Women in Serbia, Sanja Popović-Pantić MS, said it was a real pleasure to watch all those women attendants who, at the time of a serious crisis, found new prospects and exit, thanks to this project and their one-year long commitment to achieving results.
“Results of the project show that people more often need encouragement, professional support and orientation with reference to money”, pointed outthe Project Coordinator, President of the Association of Business Women in Serbia, and added that a package of financial and non-financial support make possible sustainability of newly-established women businesses.
Sanja Popović-Pantić said that she hoped that support to such companies would soon become a system support, and that in this sense the State would allocate the necessary financial resources through its development programmes.
Training of women in the scope of the project “Reduction of unemployment of young women in underdeveloped municipalities through support to self-employment in the services and tourism sector” lasted for 10 months.
The programme of training and support was attended by 23 women from suburban and rural municipalities of Belgrade, Valjevo, Kraljevo, Čačak and Šabac.
Initiated were businesses of rural tourism, production of organic and traditional food, growing and marketing medicinal plants, making souvenirs, “wellness” in rural tourism, and production of internet websites.
Besides eight new companies, two new business areas were established, and two women got informal unemployment.
The State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Goran Petković, emphasized that this project was complementary with the Strategy of Development of Rural Tourism adopted by the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development in 2010.
“The strategy of development of this segment of tourism identified some tasks that have to be accomplished in order to really develop this touristic product, which is always quoted as good potential but rarely has good results, and make it get significance in economic and not only in social sense”, said Petković.
Goran Petković said that the ABW project contributes to education and transfer of knowledge in rural tourism, and he added that rural areas are lacking good business opportunities for women, and that in Serbia there are no good “hook ups” with the service sector, which is more favourable for female employment.
Goran Petković, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development
Vice-President of the Association of Business Women in Serbia and Coordinator of Mentor Activities, Olivera Popović, specified that there were a total of 20 mentor pairs, and that attendants were assisted by experienced business women, whom they met at least once a month.
“Mentors also learned a lot during this project. While working with start-ups they discovered new business ideas, improved their knowledge and acquired incentives for upgrading their businesses”, pointed out Ms Popović. “Relations made within the mentor process are important and provide a long-term sustainability of the achieved project results because the “chemistry” that emerged in the course of the project will remain and last through business partnerships and mentor relations, for many years to come”, emphasized the ABW Vice-President.
She mentioned that the Association will continue working on new mentor programmes.
The press conference at the National Bank of Serbia was attended by a large number of guests and media, to whom some of the attendants conveyed their experience regarding participation in the ABW project. These were: Sanja Jovanović from Belgrade, owner of the company “Go oglasi” (Go advertisements), Marta Jaćimović from Pančevo, owner of a farm on the Palić Lake, Nataša Basarić and Dejana Zarić from Čačak, owners of the “Div” Agency, as well as Tanja Jevđović Ružić from Mrčajevci near Čačak, owner of the ethno village “Raj na Moravi, kod Jevđa” (Paradise on the Morava, at Jevđa’s).
Significant Support by Media
During implementation of the EU project “Reduction of Unemployment of Women in Rural Environment” significant cooperation was also achieved with a large number of media. We single out editorial offices that gave us constant support during implementation of the project: Serbian Radio and Television, TV Avala, independent production Mreža (Network), daily Politika, magazines “Ekonometar”, “Blicžena” (Blic Woman) and “Poslovnažena “ (Business Woman”), as well as news agencies Tanjug and Fonet.
Regarding local media, regular information on the project were given by TV Šabac, TV Galaksija 32 from Čačak, TV Kraljevo, independent production “Čačak Video”, portal “Ozzon Press” and “Čačanski glas “ (Čačak Voice).
Promotion of the project is continuing by presentation of the documentary film all over Serbia. We believe it to be very important to motivate other women all over Serbia as well, to recognize in their local environment a chance for self-employment, and to learn how to develop it and who can assist them in doing so.