November 19 was Women’s Entrepreneurship Dayan opportunity to highlight the achievements and resilience of women around the world, who are leading the way for social and economic change.
To celebrate, we are highlighting the achievements of three women-led businesses who are working tirelessly to grow and grow with the support of the EBRD and its donors, who are committed to empowering women entrepreneurs across the Business women program.
The program aims to help women realize their potential and provides financing and advisory services, as well as support, including tailored services to develop entrepreneurial skills and connect women entrepreneurs to opportunities and platforms. Business Development.
Health foods: a new approach
Creation of Zagorka Blazevska Vita Nova in 2006. The family business based in North Macedonia offers healthy raw materials and ingredients to the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries in the Central Balkans.
Zagorka led his company’s strategy to become an international brand of natural food components. Its unique approach goes beyond selling ingredients: the company advises clients in their own business development and offers more than 2,000 personalized product solutions.
Although it wasn’t easy for Zagorka to start her own business as a young entrepreneur – even with the support of her family – she now mentors young women in starting their own businesses, and her company collaborates with universities to organize seminars and training. students.
Meeting challenges head on
While Vita Nova faces the problem of lack of raw materials and logistical difficulties due to disruptions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemicZagorka prioritizes the diversification of its ingredient and product recipes, as well as transforming challenges into new opportunities for innovation.
With the support of the EBRD and the European Union, Vita Nova hired a consultant in 2022 to work on premix recipes and train staff on blend recipes, allowing them to optimize production. Previously, the company had sought to improve the efficiency of its management system through an earlier project to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
The digitalization project was a great success and Vita Nova significantly improved its operational productivity and efficiency, mainly in the areas of sales and development. Today, Zagorka’s ambition is to continue to grow its business by supporting continued research and development in the industries it serves. In his own words, Zagorka considers his company a “brand that stands out for a stable, quality and sustainable supply of raw materials and ingredients”.
Redefining the industrial sector in Jordan
In JordanAmina Mari founded MEHNA for Engineering Solutions and Machine Manufacturing in 2018, a social impact company aiming to make its country a hub for research and development of modern engineering and sustainability solutions. MEHNA offers tailor-made solutions and products accompanied by high quality and safety standards.
Its ability to define and implement new customized standards for each individual project as part of the Sustainable Development Goals and the circular economy sets it apart in the industrial production sector that it intends to revolutionize.
Regarding the status of female entrepreneurship in her field, Amina believes that “the participation of women in any sector today is a necessity because women bring a set of talents that make any business more complete and have become proven to be a business case in terms of profitability.”
Defending local expertise in the Jordanian industrial sector
Jordan is full of engineers and innovation capabilities, and Amina wants to invest in the local sector to enable it to grow and compete with international standards. MEHNA faces the challenge of promoting locally manufactured machines to its customers along with sustainable solutions and practices, as this area is still in its early stages of development.
During the pandemic, MEHNA had only been in the market for two years and was facing financial challenges, but Amina and her team were already prepared for possible disruptions and found a solution by leveraging available resources. While Jordan’s industrial sector is yet to grapple with complete digitalization, MEHNA has created a new, modern website with the support of the EBRD and its Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Multi-Donor Account in 2022, which made it stand out with a professional presentation.
The industrial field is not a common field for women entrepreneurs, and Amina wants to change that by proving how women’s entrepreneurial skills and achievements can be a major factor in business success and profitability.
MEHNA has already designed its own recycling operation and become the first producer of recycled hollow fibers in Jordan, which have always been imported into the country. Coming from a multicultural background and experience, Amina’s ambitious next steps include expanding into new markets in the Middle East and North Africa region over the next five years, and to build on the steps already taken in its country after its successful expansion in Saudi Arabia.
Promoting Kyrgyz talents internationally
In the Republic of KyrgyzstanAlina Makenova founded the recruitment company Make Nova shortly after taking maternity leave in 2018, she is now a market leader in the field of recruitment and talent acquisition with a success rate of 92 percent. With a mission to help people find the job of their dreams and without any prior experience or training in human resource management, Alina’s passion for supporting employment has made Make Nova a trusted resource for making match talent with vacancies.
“In Kyrgyzstan, entrepreneurship has a female face and businesswomen are very persistent and creative,” says Alina. “When Make Nova started, I realized that all my previous experience had been accumulated precisely for this mission: to help people find their dream job, identify their strengths and develop their talents.”
Perseverance and humility in the face of industry challenges
Although the recruitment industry in the Kyrgyz Republic is young, Make Nova has managed to gain the trust of its clients and has consistently matched qualified candidates with the right vacancies. Alina developed her approach through trial and error, continually refining it based on analysis of the results.
One of the notable challenges Make Nova faced was ensuring cultural fit between the candidate and the vacant position, particularly given the international reach of its operations. But Alina sees this as an opportunity to constantly learn and improve the matchmaking process at Make Nova.
She requested support from the EBRD and the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi) to promote his business and work. The EBRD connected the company with a local consultant who helped the company develop its unique brand and website. The increased visibility has led Make Nova to receive ever more recruitment requests and to expand its customer base.
Today, Alina’s vision is to develop Kyrgyz citizens into internationally sought-after talents and connect her country to the rest of the world through talent matching.
Building an inclusive future in EBRD regions
These three talented women represent the limitless possibilities that all industries can have when the right support is available for women’s aspirations.
Women’s entrepreneurship is crucial for economic development locally and globally. At the EBRD, we are proud to support this with our donors in our regions.