By Annie Charalambous
Women will be targetted as potential entrepreneurs under an EU-funded project aiming to bring Cyprus' female business ownership closer to European levels. Average female business ownership in Cyprus today is only 12%, compared to Europe's 25%.
The project, called 'Women In The Business World - Enhancement of Female Entrepreneurship', is the initiative of the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women (KOYEE). "This project will help a lot of women to join the business world. But women, themselves, have to understand that mentality has to change. They have to overcome stereotypes and take practical steps towards equality,"
KOYEE's Artemis Toumazi told The Cyprus Weekly.
Aiming to educate women to believe in themselves and utilise their potential as entrepreneurs, the project will also provide information about existing schemes and policies.
Moreover, it will record and analyse needs and problems through systematic interaction with women and exchange good practices between partner countries.
Overseas partners include the Business and Professional Women of Germany and of Poland and Greece's Research Centre for Gender Equality.
Partners in Cyprus are the Women's branch of the United Democrats and Edek's Cyprus Gender Equality Observatory.
"The project is the brainchild of KOYEE but is actually under the umbrella of the Ministry of Justice's National Machinery of Women's Rights," Toumazi also said.
"The Machinery's financial contribution towards research or organising seminars or conferences or setting up web-pages is really appreciated," she added. Toumazi then referred to a one-day seminar on "Women in Business and in Decision-Making: The Cypriot Best Practices Experience" which is organised by KOYEE and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) in Larnaca on Saturday, October 16.
The seminar aims at presenting relevant Cypriot best business women's practices, an outstanding example of which is the operation of the three-year-old Women's Co-operative Bank in Larnaca. This was the brainchild of Toumazi who is also the Bank's managing director.
"The Bank has recorded a small but encouraging ?30,000 profit this year. It should be noted that it's a non-profit organisation whose aim is to serve the needs of members," she said. Toumazi also said that, up-to-date, the Bank has approved a total of 470 loans, 68% of which went to women and 32% to men. Moreover, the one-day seminar will also present the results of surveys carried out by KOYEE members within the framework of another EU project
called "Women in Business and in Decision-making". A second thorough survey on female business ownership in Cyprus will be completed by July 2005, Toumazi said. The first one showed representation of Cypriot women in business activity being low at 12% compared to Europe's 25%, but still slightly higher than Greece's 11%. In Germany, this is 23% but in Poland only 9-10%. The first survey also noted that the main obstacle to women's advancement as entrepreneurs is lack of financial support, especially the ddifficulty in securing the starting capital for a business
A one-day seminar on "Women in Business and in Decision-Making: The Cypriot Best Practices Experience" will take place in Larnaca next month The Cyprus
Federation of Business and Professional Women (KOYEE) has a lot in store is launching a new EU project aiming to enhance female entrepreneurism
A pioneer in promoting women in business called for mentality called obusiness pioneer leading business Cypriot women's mentality has to change,
A programme called Women In The Business World-Enhancement of Female Entrepreneurism Women's mentality has to change.