hrvatska gospodarska komora - HGK.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Women are the drivers of positive changes and female entrepreneurship should be boosted, a conference organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce on promoting women in entrepreneurship heard on Friday.

The aim of the conference in Opatija was to promote women in entrepreneurship, exchange experiences, connect women in entrepreneurship and to discuss current topics regarding projects for women.

Assistant Entrepreneurship and Crafts Minister Ana Mandac assessed that it is not easy being a woman in entrepreneurship and that they need to be encouraged. She announced a tender in the next week or so as part of the entrepreneurial impulse programme, which she said had been amended to facilitate small and medium entrepreneurs and that more would be done toward gearing toward the absorption of European Union funds.

HGK deputy president for industry and IT, energy and environmental protection Tomislav Rados said that only about 40 women can be found among the top 500 managers in Croatia. There are only 20% of women in executive management and on average they earn 10 to 20 percent less than men, he said.

He noted that efforts were being made to develop female entrepreneurship through education. Discussions are being held on this topic at all levels of Adriatic-Ionian meetings. The HGK finances presentations by female innovators at fairs. He mentioned that there was only one enterprise incubator for women in Croatia - in Split.

Croatia's economy needs a lot of educated and capable people regardless of gender and there are too few women in leading positions, said Rados.

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