Women Entrepreneurship in Montenegro

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The challenge

As owners of small and medium sized companies, often women are not perceived as equal players in the economic arena. Compared to male entrepreneurs, women struggle to acquire equal status and credibility, they encounter more obstacles when establishing a company and it takes longer for them to be accepted into the business community.

The Montenegrin Employer’s Federation (MEF) has expressed concern  of the state of the business environment in Montenegro. MEF suggests that the consequences of this environment include economic downturn, lower incomes, unsolved debt creditor relations and problems in debt collection, lack of financial resources for ongoing activities coupled with negative bank policy regarding loans, hampered finalisation of initial investments and a great number of insolvent enterprises.

How employers’ organizations dealt with it

MEF, with the support of the ILO, assessed the business environment using the AfDB/ILO Integrated Framework Tools and Methodologies for Assessment. The assessment included a desk review, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. As a result of the assessment, the MEF produced a report‘ Assessment of the environment for women entrepreneurship in Montenegro’containing analysis and recommendations across 10 key areas.

Two key areas of focus Montenegro

In addition, MEF produced two documents in accordance with the EESE ILO toolkit. One is a comprehensive report titled ‘The Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in Montenegro’, the other is a strategic policy framework (SPF) document summarising the main constraints presented in the report, this document was titled ‘5 Business Killers’.

The result

In the report >Assessment of the environment for women entrepreneurship in Montenegro, the environment for women's entrepreneurship in Montenegro is measured according to ten key areas (defined in the AfDB/ILO Integrated Framework of Assessment Tools and Methodologies). The report of Montenegrin Employers Federation gives a total of 82 recommendations, grouped in these ten areas.  The most important are listed below.

Montenegro results

The MEF report was presented on 16 October 2013 in Podgorica, at the Conference Female business – the potential of the Montenegrin economy, jointly organized by ILO, MEF, The Association of Business Women in Montenegro as well as the Program of Gender Equality implemented in partnership by UNDP in Montenegro,  Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro.

The report is also available for download on MEF's website http://www.poslodavci.org/srp/Biblioteka-Dokumenta.asp

The immediate and expected long term result

The ILO/AREC Regional Symposium of Employers Organizations titled Enabling Business Environment for Sustainable Enterprises – Key Constraints and a Way Forward took place from the 3-4 October 2013 in Bečići. The MEF President, Predrag Mitrovic, presented the results of the report for Montenegro and also analyzed the strategic policy framework document‘ 5 Business Killers’.

Montenegro 5 business killers def

MEF should use these documents as guides in their future efforts to tackle existing issues and to provide an enabling business environment in Montenegro. These tools will contribute to making policies, social partnerships, new jobs, and an overall prosperity to the country. This will bring MEF one step closer to realising their vision of a Business environment giving each citizen a possibility for permanent and stable employment.

The report and a strategic policy framework documents are available for download on MEF's website http://www.poslodavci.org/srp/Biblioteka-Dokumenta.asp