[TV Bloomberg] We need a long-term development strategy for women's entrepreneurship

Of the 300,250 registered entrepreneurs, more than a third are women, while a quarter of companies include women as founders, i.e. owners of shares and directors. This is stated in the latest report of the Business Registers Agency from 2022. The number of women who perform the function of director has recorded a slight annual growth and their share is currently higher compared to last year's 24.2%, now reaching 24.4%.

Violeta Jovanović, NALED Executive Director, in a guest appearance on Bloomberg TV, analyzed the current state of female entrepreneurship in Serbia, recalling that last week the Government amended the Decree on lump-sum taxation and defined that in the next two years, the increase in tax obligations for lump-sum entrepreneurs cannot be greater than 10%.

- This is very good news, among other things, for women who are largely represented in that sector, because they mostly opt for self-employment, i.e. for micro-businesses, so they often choose the form of flat-rate taxation as the format in which they will develop their business - said Jovanović.

As she further stated, the novelties that will also affect the female entrepreneurship sector are the amendments to the Law on Public Procurement, which provide for the mandatory application of criteria for selecting the most economically advantageous offer.

- During 2022, in 96% of awarded contracts, the primary criterion was price. Now the quality assessment criteria will be applied, which opens up space for companies to compete, to use public funds in a more transparent way, and it also enables the application of social criteria, where we expect that women's companies can also find their place - Jovanović explained.

When it comes to financial support and empowerment of women in rural areas, in 2018 NALED conducted an analysis of national and local tenders, comparing the sums of money allocated from state funds for companies managed by men compared to women's companies.

- According to the data we obtained, 4.6 dinars go to men, 1 dinar to women. It clearly speaks of the disproportion that we all need to influence together. Also, one of the things that is particularly problematic is the possibility for women's companies to take a loan, to pledge property as collateral, which is often one of the eliminating factors. Our goal is to help women to step forward, to empower themselves, to do what they are best at - said Jovanović.

As she further explained, for the target group of women who have household and family responsibilities, it is very important to offer flexible ways of working that will be legal, since there are many jobs that women do, such as childcare, food preparation, which are not available anywhere on paper.

- We have long been advocating for changes to the Labor Law that would recognize the new needs of the labor market, new forms of work engagement such as work on platforms, work for a foreign employer, as well as those in which large groups of workers, including women, are informally engaged - said the Executive Director of NALED.

According to Jovanović, the agenda of the new government in the coming year when it comes to female entrepreneurship should be focused on solving property-legal issues over real estate, improving the health system, as well as tax relief for the lowest wages.

- What I would add, as a message for the future Government, is to create a long-term strategy to support the development of female entrepreneurship in Serbia, which will be felt primarily in the education system. Also, special attention should be paid to women who work in public administration, who rarely have support. We are advocating that women in the state apparatus, in addition to the position, get the authority to make decisions - said Jovanović.

See full show at the link.

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