The Cabinet of the Minister for Innovation and Technological Development, in cooperation with the City of Belgrade and the Youth Office, has allocated 100 million dinars in grants for the second year in a row.
A number of activities have been undertaken aiming to make it easier for women to get involved in this field, one of them being the Program for Supporting the Development and Promotion of Women’s Innovative Entrepreneurship.
“With this Program, the Republic of Serbia encourages female entrepreneurs to play a more active role in the labor market, through the development of their businesses, employment of more people and generation of higher and sustainable income. I am certain that such initiatives and good practice examples will serve as inspiration to all women who want to develop and upgrade their innovative entrepreneurial potential”, said Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popović.
“We support everyone who wants to launch their entrepreneurial stories. We are helping them use the opportunity and develop their ideas, and together with the Cabinet of the Minister for Innovation and Technological Development, we have organized a Competition for the Best Entrepreneurial Idea with the prize of five million dinars, which is another form of empowerment for women”, underlined the member of the City Council and President of the Employment Council of the City of Belgrade Dragomir Petronijević.
The Program is not intended only for technology entrepreneurs, but also for homemakers in rural and less developed areas who have a good idea and a sense for business.
An excellent example is Teodora Tasić, who, with her colleagues, runs the Organela entrepreneurial startup concept which aims to make quality organic food readily available to people in urban areas. After acquiring a rural property in the vicinity of Valjevo, they founded Organela and began to grow organic fruits and vegetables and develop the concept of producing healthy food on-demand – “The Source of Countryside Food.”
This concept, which has been awarded a grant under the Program, dedicates a portion of the farm garden to growing the produce clients choose in advance. An interesting detail is that the mode of cultivation is entirely transparent, as clients can visit their garden at any time or monitor it via a webcam.
“The world we live in is changing by the day, young people are the ones who have the ability and energy to keep up with the times. Young people should reestablish a direct connection between the countryside and the city, farmers and buyers. Serbia has great potential for agriculture, which should be used. This requires organized support from the state; otherwise, young people are left to themselves”, said Teodora Tasić.
Women working at the Faculty of Science in Novi Sad are another proof that hard work, effort, knowledge and investment pay off. Nataša Simin, Marija Lesjak and Ivana Beara came up with the idea to use the scientific results they obtained through various projects at the University and apply them in practice, so they started a company called HerbElixa d.o.o. Today, the company is successfully manufacturing medicinal plants based products, and their product HerbELICO is a unique combination of essential oils obtained from aromatic medicinal plants, grown according to the principles of organic production in Serbia.
“It took us seven years to develop the product, from the scientific idea and the first scientific results, to the specific product, and winning the competition for best women’s innovative entrepreneurial idea in 2019 has significantly helped us develop our business – we gained new knowledge, established useful contacts during the training, and financial support was of particular importance to us “, said the owners of HerbElixa.
Program for Supporting the Development and Promotion of Women’s Innovative Entrepreneurship will again allocate 100 million dinars in grants in 2020, with the same goal – to help women through promotion, affirmation and direct support in the realization of their ideas.