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NewsWinners of the Competition for the Best Woman-Farmer and Best Entrepreneur

03/12/2014


Best woman entrepreneur and best woman farmer elected fifth year in a row.

viktorija sljuka dragica ribic1 900

Following the selection and evaluation of the applications which passed into the final selection by the Bank’s jury, Viktorija Sljuka, owner of a small workshop “Viktorija Brooms” from Ratkovo village, was pronounced the winner for best entrepreneur for 2014 in the organisation of Opportunity Bank Serbia. For best woman farmer Dragica Ribić was elected, an owner of an agricultural holding in Zasavica 1, a small village on the outskirts of Srem. Opportunity Bank will award both winners with 150,000 dinars each, attended for improving their small businesses.

This year, for the first time, we chose among the Bank’s women clients who applied, primarily in order to elect the best woman entrepreneur and woman farmer in accordance with the mission and values of Opportunity Bank. These women, primarily mothers, wives and housewives, are also fighters who support their families by self-employment.

Viktorija Sljuka, our best entrepreneur, is a wife and a mother of two boys who lost her job three years ago, but decided to continue doing what she knows best – manufacturing brooms form millet. Viktorija is a woman who organized the production in improvised facilities in her courtyard all by herself, having purchased one machine for sewing brooms without which the production could not have started, and gradually manufacturing others with the help from her husband.

This business is only slightly over 2 years old, not at all easy for a woman, demanding and dirty as well, categorized as an old traditional craft, but she does it with pleasure, together with four workers she employs if necessary, out of which three are women. Today, Viktorija’s brooms can be found on domestic but also on regional markets. With much effort and work, constant activity planning and organizing, even with the help from her children if deadlines require so, Viktorija manages to keep the pace with a big demand and potent market, although she still works in hard conditions, without a place to store feedstock or her own land for feedstock production.

Dragica Ribić, the best woman-farmer of OBS, is a mother of three and works on her property from morning till evening. Dragica produces corn, wheat, barley, raises pigs (100), fatlings (80), sows (10), sheep, lambs (18), and does numerous chores around her household usually by herself as her husband and sons are employed. She spends three hours every morning in the pens so as to feed the cattle and check every youngling. Male jobs are not foreign to Dragica either, as she also drives a tractor and takes care of household finances. During the season, when work demands so, she also employs two women as seasonal labour force. This hardworking and harmonious family, led by Dragica in charge of the household, started from nothing and, due to their work and effort, managed to create a good and serious business.

Opportunity Bank initiated this award as a support to women entrepreneurs, because it is difficult for women in Serbia today to start and develop their own business, due to more difficult conditions for market affirmation, less availability of information, difficult access to technology due to business characteristics in less developed and rural areas, and therefore they need help and support even more.