Investors and business leaders join women entrepreneurs at EXPO Capital Quest


Women entrepreneurs, investors and private sector leaders at the EXPO Capital Quest event held on July 6 in Istanbul, Türkiye. Photos: UN Women

On July 6, twenty-three women entrepreneurs representing Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo[1], North Macedonia, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Türkiye pitched their business ideas to a group of 13 investors and business leaders from the region at the EXPO Capital Quest event held in Istanbul.

EXPO Capital Quest concluded a year-long selection process in which women entrepreneurs from across Europe and Central Asia had the chance to register their businesses, showcase their products and services both online and at in-person events, partake in practical training bootcamps to enhance their business skills and receive tailored mentorship from renowned investment experts.

EXPO CAPITAL QUEST provided women entrepreneurs, investors and private sector representatives a space for networking and collaboration, peer learning, capacity building and business development.

EXPO Voices

Ksenija Nikolovska

Quote It has been such a dream come true to be able to come to EXPO Capital Quest to network with so many other women, and just to be placed on a network that is so visible to people, to entrepreneurs, to investors, to other businesses.”

Ksenija Nikolovska
Entrepreneur - North Macedonia
CEO, Better Women, Better World


Keo Sar

Quote If you look at numbers, women-led businesses tend to be more profitable and generate more revenue, but they get very limited funding and support. When we don’t support women entrepreneurs, we lose diversity.”

Keo Sar
Investor - Serbia
Executive Director, August Hill


Olha Riznychenko

QuoteI believe that supporting women's entrepreneurship is also supporting Ukraine because we are creating a healthy economy. At the beginning of the invasion, it was very helpful to have a community of entrepreneurs around to share our emotions and still be productive.”

Olha Riznychenko
Enrtrepreneur - Ukraine
CEO, Friends of Brands


Madina Sadirdinova

QuoteWe work with rural women in remote areas. The only thing they have at hand is agriculture. They need support to be empowered, to be financially independent, to be self-sufficient, and to contribute to their communities.”

Madina Sadirdinova
Entrepreneur - Kyrgyzstan
Manager, Sebet Farmer’s Market


Heather Matson

QuoteGlobally, women get less than 3% of venture capital money around the world and yet we make up 50% of the population. Events like EXPO go a long way in addressing that imbalance.”

Heather Matson
Executive Director, Global Head of Gender Diversity and Inclusive Finance
Bankers Without Boundaries


Launched in 2021, the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO is a unique partnership platform to promote women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem building in the Europe and Central Asia region. EXPO provides an interactive space for women entrepreneurs, investors and private sector representatives for networking and collaboration, peer learning, ideas generation, capacity building and business development. EXPO 2022 is organized by UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Yıldız Holding as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator supported by Mary Kay.


[1]All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).