Author Archive

A New Secretarial Mandate for the Coalition of Women’s Business Associations (Romania)

Created in 2004 with CIPE support, the Coalition of Women’s Business Associations (Romania) has built a sound reputation for itself over the years, and is now acknowledged as a credible partner in the public-private dialogue on economic policy-making. The Coalition has a rotating secretariat and 2011 marks the beginning of a new secretarial mandate, which has been conferred upon the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Romania, which is based in the city of Galati.

The members of the Coalition hosted a ceremony in order to celebrate the occasion. Through its President, Elena Cismaru, the Association of Women Managers in Valcea handed over the mandate to the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Romania, represented by President Gabriela Chiriac.  The participants engaged in discussions about the Coalition’s activity in 2010, its plans for 2011, as well as a number of imminent amendments to the Romanian Labor Code.

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The Coalition of Women’s Business Associations Sets a Good Example for Romanian Civil Society

A few months ago, the Coalition of Women’s Business Associations, Romania, submitted a protest to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, in reference to a number of unfriendly fiscal and financial measures that the government has adopted, in order to increase its budget.

Under the slogan “We Care”, the Coalition suggested a set of ten alternative measures that should help support the business environment, especially because some fiscal measures that were adopted by the Government in 2009 have determined the closure of around 150,000 SMEs. CAFA proposed that, instead of those measures, which are simply aimed at raising more money now, the government should introduce measures that stimulate work and the creation of more jobs, and allow companies to become stable and even to grow. Such measures are: the elimination of the mandatory income tax income introduced in 2009; the elimination of the 5% and 10% late penalties that only private companies must pay (as opposed to state-owned companies, which are exempted from paying penalties); increasing the transparency of the laws on public acquisitions; simplifying the procedures for granting European funds to SMEs; introducing VAT deduction procedures for natural persons; eliminating the tax on reinvested profit, etc.

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The Association of Business Women and Top Managers in Brasov (Romania) Launches CIPE Publication

The Association of Business Women and Top Managers in Brasov, Romania (AFAFCI) has organized a launch event for a new CIPE publication “Women’s Business Associations, Experiences from Around the World: Central and Eastern Europe”, which is part of CIPE’s Women Paper Series. The publication presents findings on the current state of women’s business associations in 14 countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, FYROM, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland). It also includes a case study on the Association of Business Women and Top Managers in Brasov, Romania (AFAFCI). AFAFCI has translated the case study into Romanian and printed it at its own expense. The translated version is meant to complement the English version of the study.

The event, which focused on women entrepreneurs and the international recognition of AFAFCI’s work, was hosted by Brasov Chamber of Commerce and Industry and featured CIPE Regional Office Program Director Camelia Bulat, as well as the author of the case study, Cornelia Rotaru, as guest speakers. Ms. Rotaru is also President of another prominent Romanian women entrepreneurs’ organization, the Association for the Development of Women Entrepreneurship (ADAF).

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The Association of Business Women and Top Managers – the Case for Success

CIPE’s most recent case study on women’s business associations focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, and features Association for Women Entrepreneurship Development President Cornelia Rotaru’s case study on one of the most resounding success stories in the region – the Association of Business Women and Top Managers (AFAFCI), in Brasov county, Romania.

CIPE Regional Office has had the pleasure of sharing the study with its partners in the Coalition of Business Women Associations (CAFA) and the Balkan Coalition of Women Business Associations. The two coalitions were born with CIPE support and CIPE Regional Office’s direct involvement in 2004 and 2005 respectively, AFAFCI being one of both coalitions’ founding members. CIPE Regional Office will also be represented at a press conference to be held in Brasov, in August, whose purpose is to disseminate the findings of the study, and more specifically the findings of Ms. Rotaru’s case study.

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EUROCHAMBRES Women’s Network

Whereas Chambers of Commerce hardly represent a novelty to anyone, probably few people are aware of the existence of a Chamber of Commerce devoted to advancing women entrepreneurs’ interests.

Eurochambres Women’s Network was born in 2003, out of a need to include women and their activities, in the larger context of trying to create a competitive European Union. In addition, the creation of such a forum is based on the idea that women are confronted with particular obstacles in their careers and their attempts at entrepreneurship.

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Women in the Lead

The event “Femeia conduce!” (literally, “The woman leads!”), which will take place on Dec. 15, is what Financiarul (“The Financial”) newspaper calls “the most important event dedicated to women entrepreneurship”. This is not too surprising given that the newspaper is one of the organizers, the other being the foundation “Mereu aproape” (literally, “Always close by”).

Nonetheless, this is a significant event if we think that the organizers are affiliated with one of the main press trusts in Romania. The event is part of a campaign designed to promote and encourage young women’s involvement in top management. Also, the first edition of a special calendar will be launched, with funding from one of the most active banks on the Romanian market. What makes the calendar special is that it features the most successful 12 businesswomen of the year 2009. The calendar is a limited edition and can only be acquired by online auction, on the website of the organizing newspaper.

The campaign receives active support from “The Businesswomen’s Club”, which gathers some of the most important women managers in Romania. The Club also aims to hold an annual project competition open to all young women. The winner of the competition will be offered membership in the club and will receive support and guidance in achieving her own goals.

Paula Anastasiade
Program Assistant
CIPE Regional Office (Bucharest, Romania)

CIPE Regional Program Director Attends MEDA Women Entrepreneurs’ Forum

CIPE Regional Program Director Camelia Bulat recently attended the MEDA Women Entrepreneurs’ Forum, organized by AFAEMME (Federation of Organizations of Mediterranean Female Entrepreneurs), the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, and ASCAME (Associations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Mediterranean). In response to a general lack of opportunities for business relations in the Mediterranean region, the event provided a networking venue for over one hundred representatives of organizations from numerous countries: Albania, Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Gibraltar, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Spain, Slovenia, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. In some of these countries, CIPE has already established successful partnerships.

The Forum was organized in the context of the III Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders and brought together businesses and organizations from both shores of the Mediterranean. This economic and business Mediterranean week was meant to increase support for and consolidate the economic pillar of the European Union for the Mediterranean and its Permanent Secretariat in Barcelona. This is an annual event that is organized with assistance from the European Investment Bank and the European program Invest in Med.

This event provided an opportunity for dialogue and networking between the private and public sectors, as well as the international organizations in the region. The participants were able to share their experiences and to discuss issues such as the costs of women’s low participation in economy, women’s vision of business, the role of international organizations in the promotion of women in the economy, the value of women entrepreneurship for economic growth, etc.

Paula Anastasiade
Program Assistant
CIPE Regional Office – Bucharest, Romania

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European Women Entrepreneurs and the Barriers to Economic Freedom

Women entrepreneurship is by no means an isolated phenomenon in Europe (and Romania, for that matter). Nonetheless, women still encounter various obstacles in the way of their economic wellbeing, much more so than their North American counterparts.

Prof. Viviane de Beaufort, who teaches Law at ESSEC France and holds a Jean Monnet Chair at the European Commission, is one of the scholars who have been studying multiple aspects of women entrepreneurship in Europe and North America. She has recently traveled to Romania to share the results of her studies in the context of the conference “Women entrepreneurship in Europe – dynamics and obstacles” (October 22, 2009), which was organized by the Association for the Promotion of Women Entrepreneurship (Romania), with the help of the European Social Fund. Continue reading ‘European Women Entrepreneurs and the Barriers to Economic Freedom’ »

Women of Success

The goal of the Women of Success project was to promote positive values and to create awareness about successful Romanian business women. The core idea was to show people that success can be achieved, that regular persons who had the courage to start their own business are now the ones to speak about building enterprises and creating jobs.

The project was designed to feature stories of Romanian women who have become successful entrepreneurs in spite of all barriers. The business women, who are nominated by their respective associations, tell the story of their business careers and describe in their own words the secrets of their successes. This can be a source of inspiration for any women entrepreneurs’ association wishing to raise awareness about their activities and to promote the values of entrepreneurship in their respective societies.

Read more about the Women of Success project.

Paula Anastasiade
Program Assistant
CIPE Regional Office,
Bucharest, Romania.