Taking Business Women to the Next Level in Croatia: Women in Adria
What began two years ago as a LinkedIn group quickly evolved into the first business brand for women entrepreneurs and corporate women in South-Eastern Europe.
Women in Adria (WiA) – named for the Adria region in Croatia – now has a unified, savvy brand across not only its web site but Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn to engage its members, partners and potential sponsors. True to it’s mission statement, WiA is actively “Informing, connecting and inspiring business women online and offline.”
WiA Founder and CEO Ivana Matic previously spent 10 years in the Big 4, of which her first first six years were spent at PriceWaterhouseCoopers providing leading Croatian and international companies audit and advisory services. Following that, she worked at Deloitte as an advisor on process optimisation projects. Most recently, she has worked in Metronet telekomunikacije on process optimisation projects.
Needless to say, this rich experience has given her good grounds for leading a women’s business network. Ivana is currently on maternity leave expecting her third girl but has big goals for the coming year and thinks they will see their greatest growth yet.
“We are full of initiatives,” Ivana said. “Opportunities for career development were poor here in Zagreb (Croatia’s capital), especially now with the crisis. I saw a need so I decided to pursue Women in Adria. It is estimated that around 20% of women in Croatia are starting businesses to have more balance, like I did. WiA is already growing and last month we had our first sponsored event; I have our events planned for the entire next year.”
WiA currently has more than 700 members in the whole region, the majority between 25-44 years old. Upcoming events include breakfast in January with a coach on work/life balance, a March lunch and learn on how to start your own business, a september networking night, and a november mini-mentoring event with partner 3Plus International. WiA also plans on introducing the concept of membership this year and begin next year.
Ivana works with Martina, who is in charge of WiA business development, to pull off the organization’s events and regular activities. For two people, it is a robust list including a newsletter, WiA Academy (workshops, lunch and learn events, mentoring programs, speed mentoring), online networking through social media, personal and business development in a wide-array of topics such as sales, negotiation, social media, leadership, personal branding, public speaking and finance, venture capital trainings, and more.
But Ivana’s current goal?
“Now I’m chasing sponsors for the events and working on our online presence. I know we have to have a good website to attract companies who promote themselves with this population. The EU recently launched a new initiative to improve women’s numbers and I hope to connect with them too.”
If you or your company is interested in being a sponsor for Women in Adria, please reach out to Ivana on LinkedIn.
In the mean time, follow Women in Adria on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more and watch the organization’s robust activities to help business women take things to the next level in Croatia.