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The winners of EWA - Empowering Women in Agrifood in Slovenia have been announced

The final Pitching event of the EWA Empowering Women in Agrifood programme in Slovenia held on 16th November, was a resounding success, celebrating innovation in the agrifood sector and empowering aspiring female entrepreneurs.

12 Dec 2023
EIT Food North & East

The event commenced with an inspiring opening speech by Blaž Zupan, who set the stage by providing an overview of EWA's mission, and its timeline, and introduced the esteemed guests and evaluation committee.

Representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food graced the event with their presence, underlining the government's support for initiatives like EWA that foster entrepreneurship in the agrifood sector.

Aleksandra Bara, the coordinator of the EWA programme for Northern and Eastern Europe gave a keynote speech, she encouraged the Mentees to continue the work that they had started. After that Aleš Kuhar, EIT Food Hub Slovenija in Biotechnical faculty, presented "How can you benefit from EIT Food Hub Slovenia,"

The heart of the event was the pitching session, which was divided into two parts. Programme participants presented their innovative projects, demonstrating creativity and determination. These pitches showcased the potential of female entrepreneurs to drive innovation in the agrifood sector. The event provided them with valuable exposure and feedback.

The event was complemented by Tereza Poljanič of Tereza's Choice, who shared insights on creating a personal brand in the AgriFood sector, and Barbara Meža from Barbios, who delivered an inspiring talk about innovation in the Agrifood sector.

A panel discussion titled "Innovation in Agrifood Sector and Potential in Slovenia" featured prominent experts, including Aleš Kuhar, Tatjana Zagorc, and Nina Dremelj, who explored the opportunities and challenges in the sector.

The much-anticipated moment arrived with the announcement of the two ideas, that received the highest scoring points recognizing outstanding entrepreneurial achievements among female participants.

The event concluded with a networking session, where EWA participants had the opportunity to connect, collaborate, and build valuable relationships.

This event showcased the potential in Slovenia and the dedication of women entrepreneurs to drive positive change in the industry.

ABOUT THE WINNERS

1st place - Špela Kocjančič BoneR

"I am very happy to win the EWA programme! The funding will allow me to optimise many processes in production. First of all, I will not have to carry a gas bomb every 3rd day, because my first step will be to connect the cooking appliances to the city gas pipeline. The manual cutting of tallow will be replaced by a powerful grinding machine. The content I share will finally be able to be a little more engaging for users, thanks to the purchase of a quality phone and a light for recording. As I am always making sure that the development of production goes hand in hand with the growth of sales, I will be investing a lot of resources in well-thought-out promotion. I will also open a Ltd.. and finally leave the accounting activities to the professionals. I will optimise the website. I will undoubtedly pursue my vision and mission of raising awareness and educating people about good dietary choices and the problem of the high proportion of food that is being thrown away. I applied for the EWA programme basically because I wanted to have a mentor. I received all the support, knowledge and everything an entrepreneur needs at the beginning of his/her journey from my mentor Mateja Vadnjal!"

2nd place – Nina Krašna - Glavca

"You don't even realise what the final grant means until you get it. It takes a while to understand but winning is one of the best confirmations that you are on the right track. If you're a company that's further along than I am, you suddenly realise that you're now really part of the entrepreneurial world and you're proud of it. The whole programme, including the mentoring, and of course the final grant, is even more of a boost and a continuation of the work that I love. It has all come together beautifully. I'm just getting my own production set up and with the grant, it's now within reach. Although I know it's not an easy road, winning the final grant has given me the wings to continue on my entrepreneurial path even after the project is finished."

After the event, Aleksandra Bara said “The finale of the EWA programme in Slovenia was special for me. Meeting the programme participants, and mentors and shaking hands with everyone is a moment of great emotion and confirmation of how much good the EWA programme brings. The event also attracted numerous industry experts, which was a great networking opportunity for the participants. I am extremely grateful to the organizers for their efforts in introducing the EWA programme in Slovenia for the first time, which is quite a challenge which they have met with great success. The smiles on their faces and numerous positive feedback from the participants are strong proof of this.

About Centre of Business Excellence

Centre of Business Excellence (CBE) is a bridge between the business world and the School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana (SEB LU). Its purpose is to allow a two-way flow of internationally competitive and high-quality knowledge through workshops, consulting projects and various events. SEB LU is the leading institution of higher education in business and economics in Slovenia. The SEB LU has become the first and only School in Slovenia and the broader region to have been awarded the EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA international accreditations. This ranks the SEB LU among the top 1% of business and economic schools in the world.

Learn more about the Centre of Business Excellence on their web page.

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