ATINA Bazaar - Women's initiatives in social entrepreneurship

Photographs: Jakov Simović 

On the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Tuesday, July 30, 2019 Citizens’ Association “Atina” organized “ bazaar of women’s entrepreneurship” in Dorcol Platz in Belgrade where women’s initiatives in social entrepreneurship were presented. Bazaar was organized within the project "Key steps toward gender equality", which has been implemented by Atina with support of United Nation’s Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Serbia (UN Women), funded by the European Union. This event gathered a big number of our partners, active in the fight against human trafficking, providing support to victims, protection of human rights, development of social entrepreneurship, and other related areas. After solemn opening, welcome remark speeches were given by the Director of Atina Marijana Savic, and Natalija Ostojic from UN Women. They emphasized the importance of women social entrepreneurship not only in combating various forms of exploitation of women, but in efforts for gender equality and overall enhancement of position of women in the modern world. Director Savic stressed the fact that half of everything existing in the world has been created by women, whether known or unknown, and that this even celebrates all their individual efforts for a more just world.  

After opening remarks, a panel discussion on women’s social entrepreneurship took place. The panelists were Dragana Tomic Pilipovic from the Center for socially responsible entrepreneurship, Snezana Madjercic, a reporesentative of organization from Kruga…, Slobodnaka Pavlovic from Radanska ruza, Ljiljana Gusic from Udahni život, Jelena Radojkovic from Women’s Association Etno Forum, as well as a representative of Citizens’ Association Atina, Jelena Hrnjak. The discussion was focused on general importance of women’s initiatives in social entrepreneurship, but the panelists also shared their personal experiences in creating and running socially responsibly businesses, and they talked about their respective challenges they have been encountering in their work.  Upon this inspirational discussion, informal part of the evening started with the performance of a well-known stand-up artist Sandra Siladjev Dinja, as well as music band Wonder Strings Quartet.

Bazaar was an opportunity for numerous initiatives focused on women’s entrepreneurship and to present their work to broader audience. All the visitors had a chance to see, taste and buy what is made and produced by Super bake, Luznicke rukotvorine, Nasa kuca, Chrono, Mini pogon, Vedrina Polimlja, Knitomania, Ekobag, Kobayagi, Domaća radinost VRMDZA, Sokolina art, Dve stolice i majstorice, Liceulice, and Atina’s Bagel Bejlg shop. Products and items produced and made by these organizations are diverse, from handcraft and house accessories to decorations and clothes, and organic food, honey, and other home-made products. These items were exposed on 19 stands and all the participants and guests had the opportunity to see, taste, or purchase them during the evening. 

The reason why the bazaar took place on that day was the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. For 16 years Atina has been actively combating this crime and providing different forms of support to the victims.  Owing to that in participation was a significant number of organizations and institutions that are engaged in this fight and with who Atina has established a very close cooperation in this area from the day one.  One of the key segments of support to human trafficking victims is their economic empowerment, which is recognized through this project too. In its Bagel Bejgl social enterprise Atina facilitates different types of training for women who survived some form of exploitation and provides support in job search. Atina has recognized the fact that without economic empowerment of these women, their sustainable recovery and resocialization is not feasible, as well as the long-term successful fight against human trafficking. Economic empowerment program is a value added to our Bagel Bejgl social enterprise and encouragement to other women’s initiatives to keep looking for a niche for further growth of their own socially responsible business. That was one of the most striking impressions from this gathering – women’s social entrepreneurship is on the rise, it has multiple social benefits, and it should be supported in any possible manner!


This text was produced in the framework of the project "Support to Priority Actions for Gender Equality in Serbia", implemented by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) with funding from the European Union. The views contained in the text are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of UN Women, the United Nations or any of its affiliated organizations. The project is part of the initiative for supporting women entrepreneurship, women in rural areas, decreasing labor market and employment discrimination, encouraging dialogue on the importance of economic empowerment of women and exchange of knowledge and information among women entrepreneurs.

Below is the picture gallery from the event. Enjoy!