Women-Owned Businesses – Eco Village Opening Near Žepče

Zepce potpisivanje 2Dragana Mrkonjić, in Ljubatovići near Žepče, will try her hand at eco and agro tourism, thanks to the Fund for Supporting Businesses Owned by Marginalized Women, launched by USAID’s Marginalized Populations Support Activity, in cooperation with local communities.



“This property is located in nature. Visitors, especially kids, will have an opportunity to see different kinds of animals, try and buy eco products, and spend some time away from the city crowds.” - said Dragana during the signing of the grant award intended to support marginalized women in launching and managing their own businesses.

USAID’s Marginalized Populations Support Activity, in cooperation with the Žepče Municipality provided a total of 80,000 BAM for supporting businesses.

“To me, these are nine magnificent and brave women. I’m proud of how bravely they entered the world of business, and I’m sure that their fellow citizens will see them as an inspiration. The Žepče Municipality has been investing in entrepreneurship for a long time, and it’s particularly important to support someone launching their own business." - said the Mayor of Žepče Municipality Mato Zovko.

This support is intended for businesses owned by women with disabilities, mothers of persons with disabilities, women from rural areas, victims of violence and unemployed young women.

The funds are awarded through the Fund for Supporting Businesses Owned by Marginalized Women which was founded in the beginning of 2017, and has thus far supported over 160 businesses.

zepce potpisivanje

“Added value of this model of providing support is the fact that the local community is included in the entire process, and that financial support is supplemented by mentorship. It’s important for the beneficiaries to have someone to turn to for support during their first year of running a business.” - said Jasmin Bešić, Chief of Party of USAID’s Marginalized Populations Support Activity.

In the municipality Žepče, nine women launched businesses dealing with production, tourism, hospitality, crafts, agriculture and services.

The support provided by the Fund resulted in the launch of sustainable businesses that continue to grow, improving many household budgets and providing new jobs.

Creating the Fund, with joint forces of USAID/PPMG and partners, provided opportunities for sustainable development of entrepreneurship of marginalized women, by encouraging self-employment, and improving and facilitating their participation in entrepreneurship, creating new jobs, and involving them in community life.


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