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30 SEP 2009

RCC to support stronger women entrepreneurship in South East Europe

Deputy  RCC Secretary General, Jelica Minic (centre), Senior UNECE Social Affairs Officer, Malinka Koparanova (right), and Entrepreneurship Department Director of the Small and Medium Industrial Development Organisation of Turkey, Necla Haliloglu at the meeting on launching a regional project aimed at supporting women entrepreneurship in South East Europe, Sarajevo, BiH, 1 October 2009. (Photo RCC/Selma Ahatovic-Lihic)

Deputy RCC Secretary General, Jelica Minic (centre), Senior UNECE Social Affairs Officer, Malinka Koparanova (right), and Entrepreneurship Department Director of the Small and Medium Industrial Development Organisation of Turkey, Necla Haliloglu at the meeting on launching a regional project aimed at supporting women entrepreneurship in South East Europe, Sarajevo, BiH, 1 October 2009. (Photo RCC/Selma Ahatovic-Lihic)

SARAJEVO – A regional project aimed at supporting women entrepreneurship in South East Europe (SEE), focusing on expansion and job creation of women-owned businesses, will be launched at a stakeholders meeting at the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat in Sarajevo tomorrow, 1 October.

The aim of the project is to address three key obstacles to the growth of women entrepreneurship: lack of networking opportunities, difficult access to credit, and lack of specific knowledge and skills. The project has been developed in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Welcoming remarks will be delivered by the RCC Secretary General, Hido Biscevic, Senior UNECE Social Affairs Officer, Malinka Koparanova, and Entrepreneurship Department Director of the Small and Medium Industrial Development Organisation of Turkey (KOSGEB), Necla Haliloglu.

This preliminary meeting will discuss the project idea and share stakeholder experiences in supporting small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and women entrepreneurship in South East Europe, as well as identify potential donors, providers of technical expertise and credit lines, and a strategy for identifying the target group of women beneficiaries.

The ultimate goal is to establish a regional network of women entrepreneurs, provide support to the development of innovative financing options, and deliver capacity building in technical skills required to expand, access finance and support a larger business.

The event will bring together associations of businesswomen from SEE, representatives of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), European Training Foundation (ETF), Unioncamere Veneto, and other respective organisations, initiatives and institutions from SEE.

This meeting will also pave way for a regional conference envisaged to take place in Istanbul in the first half of 2010, within the framework of the Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).

Journalists are invited to attend the opening of the event on Thursday, 1 October 2009, at 10.00 hours, at the premises of the RCC Secretariat, Trg BiH 1/V, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More information about the meeting is available HERE.

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