Šuković, Radović, Burzan-Nikolić, Drakić, Vujović
The Top Women Business Montenegro Initiative (TWBM) has contributed to the empowerment of the Montenegrin women’s business community. Activities aimed at the economic empowerment of women are part of a process that requires a systematic, horizontal approach and continuous involvement of stakeholders from the private and public sectors, as announced at a press conference promoting the second edition of TWBM.
This year, the initiative has once again brought together partners from the private and public sectors, as well as international organizations. The significance of TWBM has been recognized once more by institutional partners such as the Secretariat of the Council for Competitiveness (SCC), the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro (PKCG), and the Investment and Development Fund (IRF). NLB Bank, which is sponsoring the initiative for the second consecutive year, is also among the supporters.
Ms. Ljiljana Burzan-Nikolić, the Executive Director of TWBM and BI Communication, the agency that launched the initiative, expressed great satisfaction that the expectations of last year’s partners have been met.
She mentioned that the second year of TWBM will focus on analyzing the structure of women-owned businesses and those led by women. A panel discussion is scheduled for October 26th, where the latest analyses of both structure and results will be presented. Women-led businesses meeting the criteria will be ranked, and the top performers will be awarded at the TWBM Awards Ceremony scheduled for November 23rd.
All analyses, panel conclusions, valuable information on the institutional framework and sources of funding for women’s businesses, as well as profiles of outstanding female leaders, will be published in the TWBM23 business magazine, available upon request. She encouraged everyone to follow TWBM on social media or reach out to receive information about activities that are important for Montenegro’s women in business and the entire business community.
Nina Drakić, President of PKCG, stated, “We at the Chamber of Commerce recognize that promoting women’s entrepreneurship alone is not enough if we do not simultaneously mobilize social forces and create new opportunities.”
She emphasized that projects like TWBM send a strong message to policymakers, the credit and banking sector, and investors to pay attention to projects coming from the realm of women’s entrepreneurship and seek their economic interest while contributing to the broader societal good.
Dr. Irena Radović, Executive Director of IRF, mentioned that IRF has been supporting TWBM for two consecutive years because it celebrates the achievements of women in business by recognizing the results of the best companies owned or managed by women, including clients of IRF.
She stressed that research consistently shows that increased participation of women in corporate and economic decision-making contributes to economic growth and resilience. Therefore, projects like TWBM, which promote greater female involvement in economic decision-making, are of utmost importance for the Montenegrin economy and serve as motivation for women who are still waiting for their opportunities or are not yet empowered enough to start their businesses.
IRF has always welcomed the TWBM initiative, given that such projects contribute to inclusivity and strengthen the economy by leveraging the full potential of our society.
Initiatives like the Investment and Development Fund’s “She Starts a Business,” the Economic Empowerment Agenda for Women, and the “Women on Boards” program have significantly contributed to this as well.
Marija Šuković, the head of the Secretariat of the Council for Competitiveness (SCC), emphasized that SCC understands and promotes the economic empowerment of women as a key factor in achieving gender equality.
She stated, “Activities aimed at the economic empowerment of women are part of a process that requires a systematic, horizontal approach and the continuous participation of stakeholders from the private and public sectors.”
Šuković further added that SCC recognizes the significance of TWBM, which is reflected in its establishment of relevant criteria for evaluating women’s entrepreneurship, the recognition of outstanding female entrepreneurs, and the provision of necessary statistical data to shape incentive policies that support women’s entrepreneurship.
Jelena Vujović, an expert in strategic marketing and communications at NLB Bank, stated, “This project is an opportunity for NLB Bank to contribute to the region where we operate and our society as a whole by focusing on women’s entrepreneurship.”
She mentioned that NLB Bank supports women’s entrepreneurship through a special credit line designed for women and provides them with opportunities to acquire and enhance the knowledge and skills needed to embark on the entrepreneurial path. She concluded by saying, “We view all projects, initiatives, and ideas with the same goal of supporting women in business as our partners. I am confident that, once again, through the TWBM project, we will demonstrate what women are capable of.