15-16 November, 2013 , Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan, SOFIA, SREDETS hall


On 15 and 16 November, 2013, the Bulgarian Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) held the Third International Forum on Women Entrepreneurship together with the Eighth BPW Danube Net Businesswomen Forum, hosted at Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan by Business and Professional Women (BPW) - Sofia, associate member of the global organisation BPW International.

The forum was held under the patronage of Bulgarian PM Plamen Oresharski. The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA) were co-organisers of the event which enjoyed great interest and was attended by over 130 participants.

The forum was opened by Dipl. Eng. Radka  Stamenova, Chairwoman of BAWE and President of BPW - Sofia, who welcomed the participants and presented the guests. The event was attended by representatives of the Bulgarian government: Ms Desislava Terzieva, Minister of Regional Development, Ms Anna Yaneva, Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy, and Ms Rositsa Yankova, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, who spoke about the strength of women entrepreneurs and their contribution to the development of the economy of each country. Deputy Minister Terzieva paid particular attention to the objectives of the Danube Strategy and Bulgaria’s priorities in this connection.

Ms Dijana Bezjak, Assistant Minister for EU Programmes, Bilateral Cooperation and other International Projects in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Croatia, congratulated the participants and voiced her satisfaction with the opportunity to attend the forum.
Mr Evgeni Ivanov, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA) and Mr Tsvetan Simeonov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), wished the forum successful work and strength and opportunity to the women entrepreneurs to actively participate in all spheres of the economy and contribute to its development.

Addresses to the participants were made by ambassadors of Danube Net countries: HE Ms. Ljerka Alajbek, Republic of Croatia, HE Gerhard Reiweger, Republic of Austria, HE Vladimir Curgus, Republic of Serbia, who greeted the participants and wished success to the forum. Dr. Michael Angerer, Commercial Counselor of the Republic of Austria in Sofia, took part in the forum, presenting in an interesting and untraditional manner what has been done and is being done in the sphere of women entrepreneurship in Austria.

Dipl. Eng. Radka Stamenova, Chairwoman of BAWE and President of BPW-Sofia, presented the objectives and priorities of the two organisations, the difficulties female entrepreneurs face and the opportunities to address their  problems.

Foreign guests shared their experiences and good practices: Ms Alida Perkov PhD, Chair of BPW Danube Net 2009-2012 and 2013-2016, Ms Marion Volk, Vice Chair and founder of BPW Danube Net, Ms Sabine Schmelzer,  BPW Europe Regional Coordinator, Ms Dragica Karajic, Deputy Minister of Economy, Croatia, Ms Arzu Ozyol, President of BPW Turkey.

The speeches of both Bulgarian participants and foreign guests aroused interesting discussions and issues concerning the difficulties women entrepreneurs face in their countries and their ambition to overcome these and move forward were considered.

At the official opening of the forum, the participants were pleasantly surprised by a musical greeting, sang by pupils from the Meridian 22 Private School who presented the guests roses, which are Bulgaria’s symbol.

The participants in the event - women entrepreneurs and associations expressed interest in joining BAWE. They gave the idea that BAWE and similar organisations should cooperate in the name of a common cause - the development of women entrepreneurship and prosperity of our country. BAWE was invited to support the “Female Entrepreneur and Manager of the Year” competition, which presently has the status of a regional event, organised by the “Preserve the Woman” association, Varna, and which raise the status of the contest to a national level.

The second day of the forum continued with the scheduled discussions, sharing of experience, b2b meetings and presentation of Regensburg, Germany as the next host of the Ninth BPW Danube Net Forum by Ms Marion Stadlober-Degwerth.

The forum ended with a decision to support women entrepreneurship, implementing the recommendations of the EU recommendations in various documents, as well as regional and national priorities for each country.
На 30 март 2012 ще се проведе кръгла маса на тема "Равенство в заплащането между мъжете и жените" организирана от BPW Sofia и БТПП с подкрепата на BPW International. Срещата ще се проведе в сградата на БТПП.
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