The Top Women Business Montenegro project has been launched!

The Top Women Business Montenegro project (TWBM), which aims to empower women in business, has been presented to the public today at the press conference organized on the premises of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro.

Our initiative has gathered partners from the private and public sectors and international organizations – which makes us particularly proud! The initiator of the TWBM project is BI Communication. Its importance has been recognized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Secretariat of the Competitiveness Council of Montenegro, the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, and the Investment and Development Fund (IRF) as institutional partners, as well as by NLB Bank AD Podgorica, which has appeared in the capacity of the general sponsor.


Mrs Ljiljana Burzan Nikolić, executive director of BI Communication, and the initiator and director of TWBM, has said at the press conference that the idea for such a multi-content project was conceived three years ago and that its implementation makes her extremely proud, especially considering recognition and support that have come from respected and relevant institutions, with which TWBM is creating a valuable story that will last and become a true reflection of the power of women’s business.

“Top Women Business Montenegro consists of five parts. The first and fundamental one is the analysis and publication of the results of the best Montenegrin companies owned or run by women: micro, small, medium, and large. Next comes a panel discussion where we will shed light on the institutional framework supporting the development of women’s businesses and access to finances. The third essential part of our TWBM mix is the eponymous business magazine, where we will publish ranking results and analyses made by our analytical partner BI Consulting. In addition, we will use the magazine to introduce all award-winning companies, events, and individuals that have influenced the empowerment of the women’s business community. Furthermore, we will organize an awards ceremony in late November. All the above mentioned are covered by a promotional campaign that we are implementing in cooperation with our media partners,” Mrs Burzan-Nikolić has said.

Ms Daniela Gašparikova, UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro, has pointed out that women account for 60% of all unemployed people in Montenegro, that women own only a quarter of companies, and that there are only 32% women entrepreneurs in Montenegro.

“This is an indicator of deep-rooted stereotypes and of the belief that it is almost impossible to find a balance between parenthood and women’s economic and business activities. This rarely applies to men. As a result, we have the untapped potential of women to contribute to society’s development in all spheres – economic, public, social, and family life – which affects society’s potential in general. The remnants of the customary law are most obvious in property inheritance sphere, which directly affects women’s economic empowerment. Less than 10% of all property in Montenegro is owned by women, which is a serious barrier to their economic independence and efforts to secure the initial capital they need to start a business,”
she has added.

Ms Gašparikova has recalled the vital role of the entire society in achieving gender equality and highlighted her satisfaction with UNDP’s support to the plan to influence decision-makers at all levels and create policies to boost women’s entrepreneurship.

imageMs Irena Radović, the director of the Investment and Development Fund (IRF), has pointed out that the economic empowerment of women in Montenegro is essential and is one of the key priorities for IRF. the IRF.

“At a time when Montenegro is facing numerous challenges, women’s economic and overall empowerment deserves to inspire the entire society to synchronized action and must be our common goal. At IRF, we dedicated the past year to the empowerment of women. Through our “She Starts a Business” campaign, we have empowered, motivated, and rewarded female entrepreneurs who contribute to the green and digital transformation of the Montenegrin economy with their projects. We have provided more favourable credit terms for women entrepreneurs, owners, and executive directors of Montenegrin companies, and we are committed to the implementation of new projects,”
Ms Radović has said.

She is pleased that their campaign and the IRF’s proactive attitude have contributed to and strengthened new initiatives that are primarily aimed at the economic and other empowerment of women. Ms Radović has added that they are pleased to support the Top Women Business Montenegro initiative and look forward to this project as an institutional partner.

“We expect it to turn into a tradition and a tail wind for all women and companies in which women are in management positions and business owners,” Ms Radović has added. ,” Ms Radović has added.

imageMs Nina Drakić, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, has expressed her satisfaction with the fact that CCM is an institutional partner in the Top Women Business Montenegro project.

“With this project, we are all opening a new stage in women’s business together. The TWBM project will promote the best women entrepreneurs and strengthen and encourage other women to develop their business ideas. This is especially important considering the untapped potential of women’s entrepreneurship for economic development. Projects that strengthen the position of women should be high on the priority list of all social actors.”,

imageMs Marija Šuković, the head of the Secretariat of the Competitiveness Council of Montenegro,, has said that the Top Women Business Montenegro initiative is another instrument that will indicate the need to create a more favorable business environment for companies owned or managed by women to develop and indicate the steps that need to be taken, and all with the aim of achieving the country’s economic growth and gender equality.

“The Secretariat’s mission is to improve public-private dialogue, strengthen competitiveness and create preconditions for the most favourable business environment. We do that primarily through the Competitiveness Council and especially through the prism of the so-called gender mission, which is aimed mainly at the economic empowerment of women that we see as a key prerequisite for achieving equality and as a vast economic potential. We know how important it is to establish criteria that will adequately acknowledge and value women’s businesses. Therefore, special thanks to the organizers for applying the international document MEST IWA 34 in their methodology. We believe this is an introduction to the correct definition of the target group, which will also facilitate financing of women’s companies by financial institutions,” ,” Ms Šuković has said.

imageMr Marko Čelebić, executive assistant for sales of the Board of Directors of NLB Banka Podgorica, has said that women account for more than 60 percent of NLB Banka’s staff.

“This shows that NLB Banka is a good example of successful women in business, and they are one of the key reasons for the bank’s success and competitiveness in the market. I would like to highlight that women in business are not alone and that NLB Bank is always with you. We have had a credit line in cooperation with the EBRD for two years now and we are trying to use it to create a special line just for women’s entrepreneurship. On the one hand, we offer a well/designed concept of financial support, while on the other hand, we also offer trainings, which is very important,”Mr Čelebić has said

He has added that NLB Bank is pleased to participate in the Top Women Business Montenegro project. He has added that NLB Bank is pleased to participate in the Top Women Business Montenegro project. “I hope we will try to contribute together as much as possible to women’s entrepreneurship. In our opinion, this segment has great potential in Montenegro and will contribute to the overall prosperity of the society and the country,” Mr Čelebić has said.

We have also used this opportunity to announce a panel discussion, which will be held on November 11, 2022, at the CUE Hotel, starting at 11 a.m. The panel will discuss the institutional framework for developing women’s businesses, ways and funds to finance women’s companies, and other topics from this field.

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