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First Forum for South East European Women Entrepreneurs

21 - 22 September 2010

Istanbul, Turkey

 Regular dialogue to follow First Forum for South East European Women Entrepreneurs

A clear policy objective for the promotion of women's entrepreneurship is of paramount importance. This is one of the conclusions of the First Forum for South East European Women Entrepreneurs, which took place in Istanbul, Turkey, last week. Women's entrepreneurship can be a job creation engine for South-East Europe. For it to thrive, a gender-sensitive policy environment is needed. SME policies should be designed to create an enabling entrepreneurial climate for both women and men.

59 women entrepreneurs, policy makers, representatives from Chambers of Commerce and regional organizations met in Istanbul on 21 and 22 September 2010 to discuss what support is needed for women entrepreneurs in South-East Europe, ranging from improved access to training, finance, role models and networking opportunities. To address the latter, the Forum marked the first of what is intended to become a regular form of dialogue and interaction among women entrepreneurs, women's business associations, policy makers, civil society and international organizations in South-East Europe, providing a platform for information exchange, networking and mutual support.

The First Forum for South East European Women Entrepreneurs was organized under the auspice of the Turkish Chairman in Office of the South East European Cooperation Process as part of a new project developed by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and UNEECE to promote women entrepreneurship in South East Europe. It was organized by the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Administration of Turkey (KOSGEB) and the RCC in cooperation with UNECE.