Thursday, 28 October 2021

Dražen Oreščanin Opens Adria Business Network's 3rd Season

October 28, 2021 - Adria Business Network's 3rd season was opened with a lecture by Dražen Oreščanin, a partner in the company Poslovna inteligencija and the Executive Director of the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association.

The event was organized by entrepreneurs Željka Barišić, owner of Forca Digital Agency (, and Lee Kosović, owner of LOL Event Management ( at Aspira High School, which is a partner of the event. The event's goal is business networking in Croatia and the region, creating business opportunities, and encouraging continuous education. In addition, the event offers the opportunity for all participants to get to know each other better and network better and in a targeted way.

Dražen said the following about his participation in the event: “It was relaxed and inspiring, an interesting audience, we talked about many topics from the spectrum of entrepreneurship. We should definitely support events of this type that encourage the entrepreneurial climate in the country, and I am grateful for the invitation and the opportunity to share my business experience."


"I am extremely pleased with the opening of the third season of our successful event. Our guest looked back on his business journey, gave us important entrepreneurial lessons, and talked about UGP's plans and his candidacy for the Croatian Chamber of Commerce president. In short, we enjoyed it. However, the most important message for the end was - dream big," said Željka Barišić, owner of Forca Digital Agency and one of the founders of Adria Business Network, after the event.

Lea Kosović, owner of LOL Event Management and also the founder of Adria Business Network, said: "Dražen was a complete refreshment for the start of the third season. I am really looking forward to the next edition, and I am glad to be a new part of this beautiful entrepreneurial story."


The diamond partner of the event is A1. The silver sponsor is ManpowerGroup. The event is sponsored by the Bagatin Polyclinic and the Aspira High School. The event partners are Vladimir Abicic Photography, Kupinovo vino - Kupilek, and Planet Art Theater.

The media partners of the event are the magazine and portal Poduzetnik, the magazine and portal Zaposlena, Netokracija,,,, Glas Istre,, Moja Domovina, Total Croatia News, Fama, ZgExpress, Akademija Art and Radio 92 FM.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Adria Business Network 17 Features Entrepreneurship and AI with Dražen Oreščanin

October 19, 2021 - Adria Business Network 17 will be held on October 27 with entrepreneur Dražen Oreščanin.

Adria Business Network is entering its third season and is proud of their 17th edition, organized by successful entrepreneurs Željka Barišić, owner of Forca Digital Agency (, and Lee Kosović, owner of LOL Event Management ( Guests will also be able to follow current moderator Kristina Krstinić in the role of a lecturer and consultant for EU funds on their new EU Business Brunch platform.

The first Adria Business Network event this season will take place on October 27, 2021, at 6 pm at Aspira High School, Heinzelova 62a, Zagreb.

In the first part of the event, the guest is Dražen Oreščanin, one of the three founders and partners in the company Poslovna inteligencija, a leading implementer of analytical IT systems in Croatia and the region with almost 150 employees in Croatia and branches in Serbia, Montenegro, BiH, UK, Austria, and Slovenia. Since the founding of the company in 2001, he has been the Director of Strategy and Development, and since 2010 he has been the President of the Management Board. He is responsible for the development of new markets, the realization and development of relationships with strategic partners, and the development of new products and services. He participates in the most complex projects in the role of enterprise architect with clients such as Hrvatski telekom, A1 Hrvatska, United Grupa, Crnogorski telekom, Telenor, Telekom Slovenije, Tisak and many others. In 2011, he completed a postgraduate study of applied computing at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, which earned him the title of Master of Science. He is currently attending doctoral studies. From 2013 to 2015, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Croatian Independent Software Exporters CISEx. He is one of the initiators and the Executive Director of the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association and one of the initiators and mentors in the BIRD Incubator.

The second part of the event follows with a personal presentation from all participants with a one-minute pitch.

Finally, in an informal gathering with quality sponsor wines, everyone present will have the opportunity to share experiences with other participants.

The number of places is limited, and you can secure your place on time, by registering via the link
The diamond partner of the event is A1. The silver sponsor is ManpowerGroup. The event is sponsored by the Bagatin Polyclinic and the Aspira High School. Partners are Vladimir Abicic Photography, Kupovino Vino - Kupilek, Valenta Wines, and Planet Art Theater.

The media partners of the event are the magazine and portal Poduzetnik, the magazine and portal Zaposlena, Netokracija,,,, Glas Istre,, Moja Domovina, Total Croatia News, Fama, ZgExpress, Akademija Art and Radio 92 FM.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 27 September 2021

Voice of Entrepreneurs Director Running for President of Croatian Chamber of Economy

September 27, 2021 - An interesting candidate has entered the race to be the new President of Croatian Chamber of Economy - Dražen Oreščanin Executive Director of the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (Glas Poduzetnika - UGP)

The press release in full:


Dražen Oreščanin is running for president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce

After the significant role he played in founding today's leading and most massive association of entrepreneurs with almost 18,000 volunteer members, Dražen Oreščanin has decided to make his experience and knowledge available to the Croatian Chamber of Economy, an institution in a great and long-standing crisis.

The state leadership has very often made unfounded and inappropriate accusations against the Association of theVoice of Entrepreneurs that the Association wanted to destroy Croatian institutions such as the Croatian Chamber of Economy. This candidacy of one of the leading people of the Association not only denies the statements of the state leadership, but also indeed shows the opposite to be the case, that UGP wants to fix and change for the better everything that politics destroyed and spoiled in the mandates of the previous and current president, who were and are primarily the selection of political elites.

The Croatian Chamber of Economy must be led by entrepreneurs and must work in the interest of entrepreneurs. Today, the vast majority of forced members of the Croatian Chamber of Economy have no confidence in this institution and do not want to be its members. Oreščanin has the full support of UGP President Hrvoje Bujas and UGP Board of Directors for his candidacy, who believe that modern and independent chamber organizations, which are at the service of their members, are one of the fundamental goals of the Association.

"Finally, entrepreneurs have a candidate for president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and if they were elected, I am sure that Drazen would be, because with his knowledge and experience, and his work so far, he deserves it. Burilović was appointed by politics, it is time to leave, and for the Croatian Chamber of Economy to become an independent association based on voluntary membership " - said Hrvoje Bujas, president of UGP.

Dražen Oreščanin's program for restoring the trust of entrepreneurs in the Croatian Chamber of Economy is based on three strategic points.

The first point is the depoliticization and restoration of the reputation of the Croatian Chamber of Economy. The functioning of the Croatian Chamber of Economy must be depoliticized and the leadership of the Croatian Chamber of Economy should be independent of politics and political parties. The Croatian Chamber of Economy must no longer be a dumping ground for worn-out political personnel and a place for the employment of party youth.

The second point is voluntary membership. In this way, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce will get rid of all those who do not want to be members and will be able to focus on those who really want to be members and support them efficiently and well, instead of spending resources (which someone has to pay) on a large number of small members. pay the membership fee according to the existing bill. In the future, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce should function on a market basis.

The third point is to raise the quality of services and attract new volunteer members. The Croatian Chamber of Economy must provide top services to its members, and thus attract new members, whether they are existing or newly established companies. It is necessary to redefine the existing services, and to design and implement new services that will bring additional value to the membership.

Dražen Oreščanin's impeccable business and entrepreneurial career is a guarantee that these changes will be made. Dražen is one of the founders and partners, and a long-time President of the Management Board of Poslovna inteligencija d.o.o., a company that today has branches in seven countries and employs 140 people in Croatia, and a total of 170 people. Business Intelligence is the winner of the Golden Marten plaque of the Zagreb Chamber for 2018. He has many years of experience in running entrepreneurial associations - from 2013 to 2016 he was a member of the Board and President of the Croatian Association of Independent Software Exporters (CISEx), and since April 2020 he has been the executive director of the Voice of Entrepreneurs.

"The only right way to build civil society is to build independent institutions. In Croatia, all civic institutions, including the Croatian Chamber of Economy, have always been dependent on politics and political appointments. If I am elected to the position of President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, it will be a precedent and the real beginning of changes and reforms. I believe that the ruling policy will show maturity this time and that it will not interfere in the process of electing the President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy by forcing a party candidate. I would like to have an opponent who, with his knowledge, experience and attitude, is really a real competitor, and not a puppet of political players, so let the President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy become the best, not the most suitable candidate. We have to return the Croatian Chamber of Economy to its original owners, which are Croatian entrepreneurs. " - said Dražen Oreščanin, executive director of the Voice of Entrepreneurs association and candidate for president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy.


The VOICE OF ENTREPRENEURS initiative was launched as a self-organization of citizens, mostly small entrepreneurs, after the publication of the first package of economic measures of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which the initiators assessed as insufficient. Since in less than 15 days it gathered more than 100,000 entrepreneurs, craftsmen, self-employed and private sector employees and attracted a lot of media attention with its uncompromising demands and appearances, GLAS PODUZETNIKA positioned itself as a relevant factor in public debates on determining Croatia's new economic direction. The same was confirmed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which, within the second package of economic measures, adopted some of the proposals of the initiative and thus confirmed its undeniable impact. At the request of the members of the initiative, the Association GLAS PODUZETNIKA was founded, which has gathered more than 17,700 members since its establishment, and the Association is supported by over 250,000 citizens of Croatia.

For the latest news from the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association, follow the dedicated TCN section

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Donations Transparency & Action: Voice of Entrepreneurs Interview with Drazen Orescanin

January 6, 2021 - Finding a transparent, dynamic and reliable fund for donations after a natural disaster in Croatia is not necessarily that simple. TCN catches up with Glas Poduzetnika's (UGP - Voice of Entrepreneurs) co-founder Drazen Orescanin to find out why UGP started their own appeal, its focus, transparency and plans.  

After working as a humanitarian aid worker for a few years, urgent appeals for donations after natural disasters is something I am quite familiar with.  I have closely followed many such appeals both out in the field in places such as Rwanda and Tajikistan, as well as as a private citizen in both Croatia and the UK.  

Perhaps I am getting older, but it seems to me that there are a couple of differences in the response here in Croatia. The first is that I have never seen a country so strong and united in adversity as Croatia, and the sheer overwhelming desire to help is truly heartwarming. So many selfless acts from ordinary people are a privilege to observe and report on. 

The second thing I have noticed is that, despite that incredible generosity and willingness to give, there is an inherent suspicion of many official appeals and bank accounts for donations, particularly on the part of some of the most generous and big-hearted donors of them all - the Croatian diaspora. 

There is a good reason for this, after many send everything they had to help the Homeland through the war in the 1990s, and to help rebuild a new modern Croatia. I don't think I am divulging any State secrets when I say that not all the money went to its intended targets. 

Trust and transparency are essential when it comes to fundraising. The other issue which caused plenty of controversy during my days in the aid world was the percentage of donations which were given over to 'administration.' 

A lot of people have contacted TCN since the earthquake asking how they can donate. We published a list a few days ago, but I was really happy to see one more fund set up 5 days ago, from Udruga Glas Poduzetnika, or Voice of Entrepreneurs, which is a growing force for reform and change in Croatia. Run by people who want to see an end to corruption and needless red tape, I was sure that their efforts to help their fellow citizens in crisis would be transparent, dynamic, focused and effective, with all money donated going to the people who needed it most. And so it proved, which is why I am now directing anyone looking for a place to donate to UGP, as I explained a couple of days ago.

In order to convey that message of transparency, TCN has decided to follow the UGP efforts, and we plan to report daily on income and activities (as time and TCN resources permit). We begin our journey by talking one of the dynamic faces of UGP, co-founder Drazen Orescanin, who kindly found some time in his busy schedule for this email interview.

1. Natural disasters such as the Petrinja earthquake always bring lots of appeals for donations. Why did UGP decide to set up their own fund when there are official channels and established charities?

Many of our members wanted to make their donations through UGP because they consider us to be a very trustworthy organization. We knew that we can raise a lot of donations and we can distribute containers, equipment and building material very quickly, which is essential in such catastrophic situations. Also, we are doing that 100% transparently. In this way our donors can see people who got their donations, and that is something that can make people feel realy good about what they and we are doing.

2. What guarantees can you give potential donors that their donations will reach the people who most need it?

We have good cooperation with the mayors of Petrinja, Glina and other cities and villages in the region and we also have a strong team of UGP members and volunteers who are validating each recipient of the donation before we make the donation.

3. When I was an aid worker, a sizable percentage was usually allocated for 'administration'. What percentage of each donation makes it to the people who need it with your fund?

Every single kuna and Euro that is donated will be spent on containers, equipment and building material. Our employees who are supporting this charity are paid from the main UGP account and the rest of the team are volunteers.

drazen-orescanin (1).JPG

4. Tell us about your working relationship and coordination with the emergency services and authorities on the ground.

We have very good cooperation with mayors and deputies in many local authorities. We are also in daily contact with several other organizations – restaurants and chefs who are preparing meals, as well as structural engineers who are assesing damage in buildings. We hope that communication with other public services will be easier now that the crisis headquarters with deputy PM Medved is established.

5. What, in your opinion, are the most urgent aid requirements? Is it food, shelter, building materials, for example? What will be your main focus?

The most urgent need now are containers and mobile homes where people who can't leave their homes and have livestock will stay for the next months. There is a need for more than a thousand containers. After that, we will focus on building material, so we can help the rebuilding of houses. Fortunatelly, there are enough clothes, food and blankets now

6. You set up the fund just a few days ago. How much have you raised so far?

We have raised 2,3 million kuna in five days.

7. You have already started to spend those funds to help the needy. Can you give us some more details?

We have ordered already 18 containers and we have spent 770.000 kuna. Out of that 154.000 kuna is VAT that is going straight to the state budget. We have asked the Ministry of Finance to approve a decision that such donations shall be VAT-free. In that case we would be able to bo 4 more containers for the same funds.

8. UGP has become a strong voice for reform and change in Croatia, and you have been very critical at times of the government's handling of both the pandemic and the earthquake response. What are your main grievances regarding the earthquake response?

Croatia does not have defined protocols to handle such situations, and many things in the first week after the earthquake were not coordinated between different public services on the ground. Fortunatelly, many citizens, enterpreneurs and foreign governments have stepped in and sent a lot of help, also provided many public kichens and served hot meals for citizens and volunteers. Also, we are not very happy with the way how the government is communicating to the public about the situation and lack of appreciation for the citizens who helped a lot after the earthquake.

9. And what are the authorities doing well in your opinion?

I hope that now with new HQ all services will be more coordinated, and that they will smoothly take over all the infrastructure and activities done by volunteers.

10. One shocking aspect which has come to light after the earthquake is how many buildings which were built or rebuilt after the Homeland War suffered extensive damage. Can you tell us a bit more about why you think this is?

Croatia is well-known for the corrupt nature of our institutions. One of our former Prime Ministers is in prison with several sentences for corruption, and every few months a few highly positioned politicians are busted for corrupt offenses. The rebuilding of damaged areas after the war was of the biggest affairs where billions of kunas were stolen. The modus operandi was to use the minimum material to rebuild the house and take away everything else, so the houses were built without respecting earthquake safety rules. It is a well-known fact, it was in the media before, but no one has been prosecuted so far. I hope this will be the trigger for a revision of all buildings rebuilt after war.

11. Some people will donate money, others perhaps supplies, or their time and expertise. For those willing to donate materials or their time, what things are most needed, and what is your advice for those who want to volunteer? 

For this first period, we have a good team on the ground. In the following months when we will deliver building materials, people will need craftsmen who will be able to build and repair their houses. We have many members with the necessary skills, but everyone who would like to be involved should join our Facebook group and follow the announcements and offer his or her help when there will be need for their skills.

12. And finally, of course, how can people donate to the UGP fund?

Information in English for donations you can find at our web site, both for donations from Coratia and abroad.

For the latest news from the Petrinja earthquake and aftermath, follow the dedicated TCN section

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Drazen Orescanin Talks Coronavirus Crisis, Government and Future

As Moj Biz writes on the 8th of June, 2020, one of the initiators of the Voice of Entrepreneurs and Croatia 2.0 Initiative, Drazen Orescanin, answered a few questions sent to him from the portal, and he did so in just a few minutes. If everything worked that way in Croatia, it would be heaven on earth. A successful entrepreneur and the initiator of what is currently one of the strongest entrepreneurial initiatives in the country analyses the current situation and proposes new measures.

The speed, success and efficiency of Drazen Orescanin is not only recognised in Voices of Entrepreneurs and Croatia 2.0 initiatives, Drazen Orescanin is one of the three founders and partners in the company Poslovna inteligencija (Business intelligence), a leading implementer of analytical IT systems in Croatia and the region with almost 150 employees in Croatia and subsidiaries across Europe - in Great Britain, Austria, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia.

As the portal is mostly focused on the issues of faced by the self-employed and entrepreneurs trying their hands in the world of start-ups, the portal has tried to cover this group with their questions.

A look into the meaningless provision that if you own 25 percent or more of a stake in a company you cannot be registered with the Croatian Employment Service... The fact is that those who are self-employed are quite neglected in the whole situation. Their first reflex to the coronavirus crisis was closure. I know that it is easiest to restart a business entity, but why was there no solidarity of the large ones towards the self-employed? To them, sources of funding are usually limited to 3F or state incentives for self-employment. What is your general opinion on supporting self-employed entrepreneurs?

Drazen Orescanin: Every entrepreneur who had his business endangered due to the pandemic and the restrictions should have registered for the measures introduced by the government. Understandably, the problems faced by an entrepreneur employing 30 people and a self-employed entrepreneur are different, one needs to think about how to preserve 30 employees and the other needs to think about how they can preserve their own job. UGP was organised according to committees that support and monitor various industries, and there were also self-employed people in them.

Among our first 10 requests was a request to abolish the mandatory salary for directors of small businesses, but this was not approved by the government. We will continue to insist on this in negotiations with the new government after the elections.

It's true that it's also a meaningless provision that if you're the owner of a 25 percent or more stake in a company you can't be registered with the CES, so you must first delete the company from the register in order to be unemployed, which is insane. The status of a dormant enterprise needs to be introduced.

In a crisis, people will not decide to become self-employed with much ease... Currently, there is a "measure" to encourage self-employment. Many potential entrepreneurs and the unemployed don't know how to proceed with it, they're stuck between the idea of ​​starting an entrepreneurship or starting a business, a company, all at their own risk. They're waiting on the stock exchange. What do you suggest to the CES, to the government?

Drazen Orescanin: It no longer makes sense to propose anything to this government because they can hardly wait for their mandate to end and to get rid of the hot potato. Existing business models are changing, it isn't easy to expect that in this crisis people will decide to become self-employed. I know a lot of people who shut down or minimised the activities in their simple d.o.o. in the last couple of months, they either got a job with someone else or tried to find a job.

I would certainly suggest to the CES and the government to change the aforementioned rules in regard to the director's salary and the right to apply to the CES. Those who own crafts (obrts/obrtnici) and small businesses have almost been destroyed by the coronavirus crisis and the slow adoption of economic measures. The worst consequences of the coronavirus epidemic so far are being borne by small and micro-entrepreneurs and those in the service trader. The Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK) and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) conducted surveys among their members that show that about two-thirds of their members are already feeling the effects of the coronavirus epidemic. What would so-called 'fire measures' that can be used for a short time would you propose as an Association? We're talking about a period of six months to a year.

Drazen Orescanin: Were it not for the #OtpisNeOdgoda/#WriteOffNotDelay request by the UGP, the consequences for small entrepreneurs and those who own crafts would already be much greater, practically all fire measures except the minimum wage were adopted at the request of the UGP.

That way, people got some time to try to survive and find a new business model. Unfortunately, HOK and HGK didn't show themselves in the crisis, but given their leadership and structure, this was not to be expected. If they had done their job, the UGP would never have come into being. The time of fire measures has now passed, now is the time for long-term, structural changes that the new government will have to implement. In order to preserve liquidity, HOK and HGK have proposed a whole package of measures. The establishment of HBOR's loan programme with minimum interest rates, which would provide all vulnerable business entities with the rescheduling of loans with the possibility of deferred payment, the establishment of a state fund to co-finance the salaries of employees of companies suffering from the coronavirus crisis to preserve liquidity... Aren't these measures that should be constantly present to help entrepreneurs?

Drazen Orescanin: You have to keep in mind that in Croatia there is a pronounced weakness of institutions, there are simply not many capable people working in the public administration, since it is most often filled by uhljebs.

These people don't understand the problems that entrepreneurs face, and the situation is not alleviated by the catastrophic state of the state treasury and Croatia's 1.25 million retirees. There are a lot of things that should be available to entrepreneurs, but often institutions are a means to an end themselves, and from various scandals, we can see how positions are used to favour eligible people. In Croatia, it is necessary to change the anti-entrepreneurial climate and enable it to become attractive for business. Apart from the fact that many companies are now closed, layoffs are increasing, tourism can be forgotten for this year, at least in the extent we're used to, and the elections are another issue, a question that everyone has in mind: What kind of autumn can we expect? And then... what can be expected by the beginning of next year?

Drazen Orescanin: Well, a difficult autumn awaits us for sure, we'll see the true scale of the crisis only in October and November, when the number of unemployed people will reach maybe 300,000 or more. Croatia cannot borrow indefinitely, it must start reducing public sector spending and introduce some substantial reforms.

Life will be very difficult for many by the time autumn rolls around, and the courage of the next government will determine whether this crisis will last ten years as the previous one did, or if we'll manage to get out of it more quickly.

Authors: Drazen Orescanin and Mirjana Fijolic

Text processing and preparation: Mirjana Fijolic

Translator: Lauren Simmonds

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