UN Regional Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO 2023

The third edition of the UN Regional Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO 2023 on the 17 November 2023 was an enlightening session with our very own Vice President, Selma Prodanovic, discussing ‘Being a Woman in the Start-up World.’

In this session, Selma underscored the critical role we play – recognizing gender equality not only as a challenge but as a pivotal solution. She also mentioned the power of understanding and navigating challenges when embarking an entrepreneurial adventure, leaning on support for a smoother entrepreneurial ride.

Selma urged women to embrace their unique role in the startup world. Rather than viewing perceived weaknesses as hindrances, she encouraged turning them into strengths, recognizing the exceptional value they bring. These are some of the key highlights of the amazing event:

-Gender Equality as a Solution:
Selma emphasised that gender equality is both a problem and a solution. She urged the audience to recognize their role in addressing this issue.

-The Startup Journey:
She likened the startup journey to driving a bumpy road in the dark. It’s challenging, especially in innovative spaces, but as more people join (co-founders, investors, etc.), the journey becomes smoother.

-Exceptional Women in Startups:
She acknowledged that being a woman in the startup world, especially in male-dominated fields, makes you an exception. She encouraged women to see themselves as role models and to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths.

-Investing in Women-led Startups:
Selma presented compelling statistics on the performance of female-only startups, emphasising higher returns and revenue. She highlighted the importance of changing the perception of women as investors and encouraged women to perceive themselves as investors.

-Changing the Narrative:
At the end of the session, Selma stressed the need to change the narrative around women in entrepreneurship, moving from discussing challenges to focusing on solutions. She urged women to be visible, dare to dream big, and become role models for the next generation.
Selma’s Mission – The Selma Effect: Selma expressed her mission to change the way women are perceived and spoke about the importance of empowering women to create a better future. She invited the audience to connect with her on LinkedIn for opportunities and workshops.

It was a great session and we look forward to future collaborations with UN Women!
You can see the MoU between EBAN and UN Women here.

The event was organized by the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, in partnership with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Yıldız Holding as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator supported by Mary Kay Inc

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