This week, Business Planet takes a look at one of Europe’s answers to the economic crisis: a network of tutors encouraging women entrepreneurs.
There is still a long way to go – only 35 percent of those who are self-employed in Europe are women.
Euronews went to Hungary to meet one of these tutors.
Adrienn Koronczi is deputy manager of a factory in Western Hungary, which produces spare parts for the car industry. Her father Lazlo set up the company 35 years ago.
Today, it employs 82 people, that’s twice as many as in 2005. Turnover has grown eight-fold reaching 5.2 millions euros.
For a decade now, Adrienn has also been teaching management techniques. It was a natural step for her to become part of the European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs which operates in 17 countries.
Adrienn is one of 12 tutors in Hungary, where she is mentor to two entrepreneurs, whom she has helped with fund-raising and networking.
“This is my main motivation,” she says. “To share my experience in a national and multinational environment, especially in large and medium-sized businesses, to help my mentees succeed in their own business.”
Adrienn talks to them at least once a week, and meets up with them once a month. Today, it’s Bernadett’s turn to visit her. A year ago, Bernadett set up her own IT firm.
Like many young entrepreneurs, Bernadett had trouble making sense of the complex accounts system. That is where Adrienn’s experience came in handy.
“Now I know exactly what I’m supposed to expect from my accountant,” says Bernadett, “what I need to look out for, and how I need to plan things ahead to get the results I need.”
Adrienn says she too has a lot to gain from the exchange. Her contribution, which is entirely voluntary, helps her develop her own network: “Through this mentor programme, we meet new entrepreneurs. And I think that developing such a network is really important.”
“I think that the keys to success are the same for men as for women. Discipline, a positive approach, the ability to work in a team, and of course, continuous innovation,” she concluded.