Winners of the Western Balkans Women Entrepreneurs of year 2023 announced

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) celebrated the outstanding successes of female entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans by naming six women “Women Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2023” in Sarajevo. Rigersa Loku (Green Woman Entrepreneur), Ilda Humić (Social Star Woman Entrepreneur), Hana Qerimi (Young Woman Entrepreneur), Nikolina Kovačević (Tourism Woman Entrepreneur), Irena Chaushevska Danilovska (ICT Woman Entrepreneur) and Marija Ivanković Jurišić (Artistic Woman Entrepreneur) were chosen from 250 applicants, reflecting an array of businesses from green to technology and artistic initiatives.

“Out of about 250 nominations this year, the jury had a tough job selecting six women entrepreneurs of the year for 2023, but I believe they chose well. Thanks to all the nominees, and congratulations to those who won this prestigious title tonight. To you I am bowing my head and applauding you for letting us take the inspiration from your success. I know that behind each of you there is a story of hard work, sleepless nights, sacrifice, but also strength, persistence, dedication and bravery. Women entrepreneurs are vital contributors to the prosperity of the Western Balkans and through this initiative, we give a humble recognition to brave and fierce women who dared to fight stereotypes and bring about the change,” said Amer Kapetanovic, Head of RCC Political Department in his welcoming speech on behalf of RCC Secretary General.

The ceremony, which also featured speeches from Anna Vezyroglou from the European Commission, and moderation by international news anchor Nafisa Latic, celebrated the initiative’s success in promoting female entrepreneurship. Responding to the outstanding quality of nominations, a Special Recognition Jury was introduced this year, honoring six additional women for their contributions to reshaping societal norms, promoting healthy lifestyles, Balkan cuisine, mental health, women’s empowerment, and family business development.
The project is part of Regional Cooperation Council’s Women Economic Empowerment Agenda and the common Regional Market Action Plan 2021-2024, aiming to recognize and assist women who have set up and grown businesses, creating new and sustainable job opportunities in the region. Funded by the European Union, the project will reward through the years the best women entrepreneurs, recognizing women’s achievements while encouraging others by portraying success stories and battling for the growth of their businesses and facing their challenges.

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