Stories

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UN Women and Yıldız Holding partner to support women’s entrepreneurship and inclusive supply chains across Europe and Central Asia. Within the framework of the new partnership on promoting gender-responsive investment and procurement, Yıldız Holding is committing over $4,000,000 in women entrepreneurs. The strategic collaboration will help create market opportunities for women-led businesses and accelerate women’s entrepreneurship within the region and beyond.
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Two years ago, to overcome unemployment, a difficult economic situation, and few income opportunities, five women's associations from rural parts of northern Serbia founded the Women's Divan network. They recently launched a common brand called Pletenia to market their products. Their work is supported by a UN Women programme aimed at promoting gender equality in Serbia, with funding from the European Union.
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Mergita Hoti is a 24-year-old Roma entrepreneur on a mission to empower young girls from her community to follow their dreams. She specializes in photography and videography and believes that her profession allows her to best express herself, share her perspective on everyday matters and become the voice of other people.
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25 women entrepreneurs from 9 countries across Europe and Central Asia joined a bootcamp through an intensive training programme to increase their capacities in attracting investors to their businesses. Organized jointly by UN Women and KAGİDER as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator Initiative supported by Mary Kay, the bootcamp culminated in the “Investors Pitch Finale” on 29 April and brought women entrepreneurs together with investors to pitch their early-stage startups, minimum viable products and business blueprints to investors and businesspeople.
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Klimentina Ilijevski is the Executive Director of the Association for Research, Communications and Development “Public,” an organisation that has been actively working in the field of social inclusion, social entrepreneurship, and social impact in North Macedonia for ten years.
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15 micro and small women-owned businesses were supported through the BizUp programme, implemented by Foundation 787 and UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina under an economic empowerment project supported by the United Kingdom. BizUp focuses on providing women entrepreneurs with tailor-made support and mentorship to increase their resilience and capacities in design, branding, management and other areas to enable them to develop and sustain their businesses.
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Aigul Dogdurova established Aha.Kg to provide personal development and soft skills learning in Kyrgyz language. Her goal is to provide people with access to personal growth in a language that is relevant to the needs of local communities. She wants to trigger development in Kyrgyzstan by investing in soft skills.
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After working in the finance industry for 13 years, Merjem Hamzic made the life-changing decision to follow her passion and love for chocolate. With limited funds, she established Bashka chocolatier, a small artisan-chocolatier business in Bosnia and Herzegovina that offers organically grown hand-crafted chocolates.
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Driven by her love for nature, in 2016 Elona Bejo built a farm and bio-boutique for tourists who love nature and outdoor activities in the countryside of southern Albania. Her eco-friendly farm contributes to the economic development of the local area, which continues to see people leaving for better opportunities in urban centers. Despite the obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bejo’s aims to create new income opportunities for her business and for the rural women in her community.
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Ruxanda Sapatari and Vasiluta Vasilache, two artists from Chisinau, Moldova, started their online business to help connect art lovers with unique products, called Galeria OU, in 2020. Galeria OU offers wall prints and home goods with printed artwork from local artists and and print on-demand art services.
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In the remote villages of Kyrgyzstan, women without an education often find it difficult to gain work. In most cases they have to stay at home or leave to work in other countries, even though there are business opportunities in their local areas. Meet two women who smashed the prevailing stereotypes and became independent entrepreneurs, with the help of the rural women's economic empowerment (RWEE) project.
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UN Women’s first virtual Women’s Entrepreneurship Expo attracted more than 500 participants, including 200 women entrepreneurs from Europe and Central Asia. Women entrepreneurs connected with each another and private sector partners to expand their networks. They benefited from exposure to practical business techniques, including pitching business plans to investors.
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UN Women’s first regional “Women’s Entrepreneurship Expo” in Europe and Central Asia will be held virtually with the participation of hundreds of women entrepreneurs from 12 countries. The Expo aims to support and empower women entrepreneurs during and after COVID-19.
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During the 16 Days of Activism, Business Fights Poverty are holding a Virtual Gender Summit on Thursday 3rd December 2020 in partnership with UN Women, CDC Group, The 2X Challenge and CARE International.
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Aisulu Jenalieva, 48, has gone from being an abandoned wife of a migrant worker without the means to support her family, to leading a self-help group and collective that runs Jirgatol district’s first dairy production facility in north-east Tajikistan. Her entire perspective has changed since participating in the project. “Earlier, my only wish for my daughter was that she got a good husband, a good household and a piece of land. Now, I want a good education for her,” says Jenalieva.
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Saudita Marku, a city girl, looked for new income opportunities to support her family when after marriage she moved to rural village in Albania. She now runs a guest house for tourists, and also a bee-keeping business.
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A UN Women-supported event launches the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Implementation Guide, which seeks a more prosperous future for Turkey by engaging companies to promote gender equality.
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Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a collaborative effort between UN Women and Global Compact Turkey, provide a framework of 7 principles for the private sector to guide their work towards gender equality. An Implementation Guide has been prepared to offer guidance to businesses that have signed the WEPs and made a commitment to implement the principles. A meeting held to launch the Guide brought together company CEOs and representatives of civil society organizations as well as United Nations agencies.
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Created to boost Moldova's innovation capacity by teaching young women digital tech and IT skills, UN Women’s GirlsGoIT plans more local IT clubs for girls and an IT summer camp in 2016.
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Within a few months, Olufta Kaarbekova has gone from being an abandoned, homeless wife to leading Jirgatol’s first dairy. We share her story as a start-up entrepreneur from Tajikistan, her business plans and dreams.