The inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Satellite EXPO 2023 in Bosnia and Herzegovina lays the foundation for a better future for women entrepreneurs
For the first time, 25 women entrepreneurs from Bosnia and Herzegovina had a unique opportunity to connect with 10 investors from both the country and the Western Balkans at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Satellite EXPO 2023. The event, themed “Dream. Plan. Achieve. Because You Can!”, was organized by UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina in collaboration with Foundation 787, a non-profit organization renowned for its entrepreneurial programs for individuals from across Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Satellite EXPO 2023 event exceeded my expectations on every level,“ remarked Jelena Tripkovic, the founder of Future 3D Studio. Jelena Tripkovic was among the 25 women entrepreneurs who had a chance to meet with the 10 investors from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans at satellite Expo event, taking place within the framework of the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO 2023. She highlighted the mutual support among women entrepreneurs and the empowering atmosphere present at the event. “I was thrilled to see how women entrepreneurs support and appreciate each other, and the positive business environment further motivates and empowers me in my work,” emphasized Ms. Tripkovic.
“Our goal was to empower women entrepreneurs, to give them the opportunity to share their ambitions with potential investors, while also encouraging them to seek feedback and explore new possibilities. This collaborative effort unites us in building new opportunities, bridging different perspectives, thinking regionally, and advancing gender equality in our society,” stated Jo-Anne Bishop, UN Women Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Satellite EXPO 2023 in Bosnia and Herzegovina took place on 20 October in Tarcin, situated 40 kilometers from Sarajevo. The event commenced with a round table discussion on the Business Angels Summit (BAS) that took place on October 19, dedicated to enhancing the local business and startup scene through financial investments and active participation. The BAS uniquely unites individual investors from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans.
“The first EXPO satellite event in Bosnia and Herzegovina was marked by the productive exchange of experiences and ideas, as well as a specially designed and interactive approach to work. It was a unique opportunity for a significant number of women entrepreneurs and investors from BiH, and Foundation 787 is very grateful to have been part of this exceptional experience and the creation of this one-of-a-kind meeting place,” said Dajana Dzindo, Executive Director of the Foundation 787.
The event aimed to encourage dialogue and share best practices vital to women's entrepreneurship in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the broader region. It featured workshops, including “Early Stage Investing through the lens of The Art,” led by Maria Carolina Romero, an angel investor and early stage investing expert from Efino, and Maaike Doyer, entrepreneur, educator, investor and founder of Epic Angels. Additionally, a workshop focused on goal setting and challenging transformation was guided by Ivana Barisic, a human resources consultant and NLP practitioner from Yellow Brick. Moreover, the networking and MeetUp sessions encouraged discussions revolving around bridging perspectives and creating opportunities, facilitated by Maaike Doyer.
Ivana Kuresevic, Founder of Ivy Q Studio, expressed the invaluable experience of meeting with angel investors. “Their advice and insights on business were invaluable, offering me a new perspective and motivation for the further development of my business,” emphasized Ivana, adding that this event was not just an exhibition of business opportunities but also a platform for learning, networking, and inspiration.
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 2023 is organized by UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Yıldız Holding as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator supported by Mary Kay.