Women represent a skilled yet underexploited entrepreneurial resource in Romania. They can often find themselves overlooked by companies, and face difficulties in accessing information about new business opportunities.
The Business Opportunities for Women Association (ASOAF/BOW) was established in 1999 to address these issues. The organisation keeps women informed about the latest business and training opportunities, and seeks to establish links with other organisations, both in Romania and abroad.
The ultimate aim of the organisation is to see more women realise their full entrepreneurial potential, and to achieve proper recognition of their value in business and society.
BOW brings together Romanian businesswomen, with branches around the country. Regular events are held on various topics of interest such as leadership, qualifications and business finance.
The organisation often shares examples of dynamic members in order to inspire other female entrepreneurs. Lucia Ovezea, for example, a member of ASOAF-BOW since 2000, has built up a successful book publishing house and organises an arts festival, now in its ninth edition.
Staying in touch
The organisation places great importance on maintaining communication links with all its members. This can be challenging given that some members have retired and no longer participate regularly in meetings. In order to ensure that everyone is in the loop, a bulletin containing news about the organisation’s activities is sent out, both to members and other interested organisations. This also creates new virtual networking opportunities.
Maintaining strong communication links can bring benefits to members in other ways as well. Lucia Ovezea, a book publisher, recently sought support from ASOAF-BOW over a new legislative initiative that publishers were hoping would pass. The solidarity shown by the organisation underlines how strength in numbers can help female entrepreneurs be heard, even in traditionally male-dominated sectors.