Zagreb Blog

More and More Women Entrepreneurs Start Business in Zagreb

By 1 October 2017

Out of 763 beginner entrepreneurs who use self-employment measures in Zagreb, 54.8% are women.

The potential of women entrepreneurship is being recognised more and more in Croatia, Women in Adria reports on September 27, 2017.

For this reason, the state, the financial institutions and the local government are creating better and better programs that encourage women to set up their sole proprioterships and businesses and enable the development of women's entrepreneurship. It was highlighted at the conference on Financing Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs (Mogućnosti financiranja za poduzetnice), organised by the Adria Institute for Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership and Women and Women in Adria Entrepreneurs and Businesswomen Network.

Marija Halić, head of the Regional Office of the Croatian Employment Bureau (Hrvatski zavod za zapošljavanje), said that a significant number of unemployed women saw the opportunity to develop a professional career in using self-employment incentives.

"Currently, at the level of the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County, there are 763 active beginner entrepreneurs who use self-employment incentives from the HZZ Active Employment Policy Measures. Among them, there are 418 women, i.e. 54.8 percent. Unemployed persons use HRK 35,000 to open their own sole proprietorships and businesses. The amount can be used for bookkeeping services, intellectual services, cosmetic and hairdressing salons, fast food restaurants and childcare," said Ms Halić.

Ana Mandac, Assistant to the Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, presented the open tenders currently available at the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts and acquainted the participants of the conference with the measures and activities the Ministry is carrying out with the goal of administrative relief of all entrepreneurs, including women entrepreneurs.

Financing opportunities for women entrepreneurs

The City of Zagreb assists future women entrepreneurs in three ways: by providing infrastructure, financial resources and education programmes.

"Start-up entrepreneurs can use the business space at Zagreb Fair. In addition to the financial support in starting a business, entrepreneurs are extremely interested in education programmes. Thanks to our Plavi ured, our entrepreneurial centre, they gain valuable business knowledge from areas that are not their core business. These include marketing, business plan making, finance management, etc. The number of interested people keeps growing year after year, so there will be even more education programmes in 2018," said Nera Pavić, head of the City Office for Economy, Labor and Entrepreneurship of the City of Zagreb. She added that the City allocated 1,600 grants to business owners, and most of them were women.

Raiffeisen Bank is one of the first banks to recognize the specific needs of entrepreneurs and, in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, it has developed a special line of credit for them. The EBRD has confirmed that a mix of advisory services and financial support is necessary for the development of entrepreneurship.

"In 2015 we launched a programme intended for Croatian women entrepreneurs. In order to increase their market competitiveness, the programme now also offers advisory services and financing through crediting in commercial banks. Almost three hundred women entrepreneurs are involved in their education and mentoring, and we are also working on getting them out in foreign markets. That is why next week, twenty Croatian entrepreneurs will take a study trip to Taiwan with us to meet with businesspeople there," said Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Croatia.

In order to get as many entrepreneurs as possible with financing possibilities, a conference of the same name will be held in Split, Varaždin and Osijek in the next two months, also sponsored by Raiffeisen. The first conference will take place in Split on Thursday, October 12.

Translated from Women in Adria.