Western Balkans Women Entrepreneurs of the year 2022
Dhurata Thanasi Daneri
Travel and Hospitality Woman Entrepreneur
Dhurata Thanasi Daneri is an Albanian food enthusiast and creator of Luga e Argjendte, the first Albanian food blog. Luga e Argjendte connects Albanian consumers with farmers and food producers in a way that is healthier and better for the environment and economy. Dhurata has worked for more than 20 years in development sector all over the Western Balkans, Europe and North Africa. She is an agro-environmental engineer and holds a Master‘s Degree in Public Administration and Policy from the Central European University in Budapest, including four Executive Courses from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Creative Woman Entrepreneur
Zagorka Blazevska is the CEO of Vita Nova from North Macedonia. She earned her Master‘s Degree in Entrepreneurship as part of UNESCO‘s SPARK programme, and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at the Faculty of Technology in Veles. In December 2010, she published the first professional article on the topic "Let your food be your medicine", which will be just one of her many trade publications. Though a small company Vita Nova is exporting to neighbouring economies and has a positive impact on human well-being and good healthy habits in the region. In 2022, Zagorka established the first official Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians in North Macedonia. Years of experience in formulations for vitamin and mineral premixes for food fortification, formulations for nutritional supplements and for healthy food, and her intensive knowledge of EU and North Macedonian legislation are her key advantages. She has been invited to participate and teach at a number of seminars and congresses in the field of nutrition and pharmacy.
Green Woman Entrepreneur
Mirjana Babic is the owner of OLIVMONT, Montenegrin family company engaged in production of olive oil soaps. The Babi? family has several hundred olive trees of indigenous variety of barberry. Their soaps are handmade, 100% natural, and environmental-friendly. Mirjana has graduated International Trade in Belgrade and is a member of many professional bodies such as NGO Business Women Association of Montenegro, Association of Women Entrepreneurs, and Committee for Women‘s Entrepreneurship at the Montenegrin Chamber of Economy. Olivmont pays special attention to preservation of nature and sustainable development. In 2011, Mirjana participated in the National network of mentors for women entrepreneurs project in Montenegro. As one of the mentors she generously shared her knowledge and experience and motivated other women entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.
Start-up Woman Entrepreneur
Elki Shehu is a Kosovar entrepreneur and owner of Elki Ricami tailoring business. Based on her extensive experience in trade, Elki came up with an idea of reducing waste from raw materials and products. By using a new software, Elki created an individualised product, with individual measures (made to measure), where customers online choose the fabric and model as desired. In 2021, her business was supported by UNDP. Today, the business keeps expanding with several other lines, such as: everyday clothing for women, coats, jackets, dresses, and a new line for men. They believe in expanding and working as much as possible since they do not lack the will to fulfil their dreams.
Green Woman Entrepreneur
Snjezana Kopruner is the CEO and majority owner of GS-TMT company from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a rare example of successful privatisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Continuing the centuries-long tradition of metal processing in central Bosnia, GS-TMT applies high standards in the production of machine parts while also aiming to be energy independent. Snjezana has a Master‘s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture. She is a member of the Management Board of Association of Employers of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Association of German Economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has won several distinguished awards, including European Top Manager and Regional Business Partner. Ms. Kopruner actively advocates for changes to the existing laws in view of better position of workers, and reorganisation and reform of educational system.
Young Woman Entrepreneur
Marijana Gligoric is the owner of BrigIT - a software and product agency from Serbia specialised in making high-quality mobile, web, and blockchain applications based on the latest technologies. Marijana has specialised in computer science and has multiple awards from math and physics competitions. She completed her Software Engineering undergraduate and master‘s studies while working on various professional projects. BrigIT has a vision to revolutionise the way start-ups and enterprises approach technology by providing innovative solutions that drive growth, efficiency, and sustainability. The agency aims to use technology to create value for its partners and society, and empower women to reach their full potential. Marijana is actively involved in women‘s support programmes to encourage more women to join the world of entrepreneurship.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence