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Female entrepreneurship

LUCIA DUMITRESCU (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section /

Female entrepreneurship

Looking at businesses from the angle of their owner's gender is not something that BURSA usually does, as it is a newspaper which has always disregarded the difference between a business created by a man and one created by a woman, starting from the opinion that profit or loss are proven by cold numbers, which have no gender meaning.

It would seem however, that only the results are gender-independent, but the ways in which they achieved are different, based on reasonings and sensibilities which are specific to the men, and the women, respectively, who run those businesses, so, we could eventually distinguish between "male businesses" and "female businesses", which can not be ranked in aprioric terms, just as "the feminine approach" or "the male approach" to a business is not confined to either gender.

What it means is that the fertile suggestions resulting from the "feminine approaches" can be adopted by "male businesses" and the other way around.

On November 15th, in Warsaw, a reunion was held which promotes a new European network of mentors for developing a new entrepreneurial spirit among women, where Romania was represented by Mrs. Cristina Chiriac, Ambassador of Female Entrepreneurship and president of the Female Entrepreneurship Commission of the Businesspeople of Bucharest, which gave us an interview.

Reporter: What is the goal of this program "of mentors of female entrepreneurship"?

Cristina Chiriac: Statistically speaking, women only represent 34.4% of workers with an independent activity in Europe. Even though they are the source of economic growth and of new jobs, the entrepreneurship potential and the creativity of women are the least tapped resources in Europe. The change of this status quo would be the benefit of everyone.

In order to increase the proportion of involved women, and taking into account the fact that women look at different parameters than men do when conceiving a business, specific support measures need to be taken. Because of this, the European Commission has initiated the "European Network of the Women Ambassadors of Entrepreneurship" and "the European Network for Female Entrepreneurs".

Reporter: When you say that women think of a business in a different manner than men do what are you referring to?

Cristina Chiriac: You must have certainly noticed that women have certain qualities when compared to men. If they were exploited efficiently and intelligently, they could significantly contribute to the competitiveness of the European business environment. Specific traits and typologies were identified. For instance, women place greater weight on their family circumstances when reviewing the risk-reward ratio, or they choose to keep their initial job, even when they create their own business, choosing to perform both activities in parallel for a while. They are more cautious than men and more aware of the risk of failure.

The entrepreneurial spirit fits better with women's life choices, which are usually defined by flexibility when it comes to balancing private and professional life, especially when it comes to the duration and the location of the job.

As a result, it is noticeable that entrepreneur women have a more stable growth potential - even though it is not as great - than men. That is why the program provided by the European Commission makes even more sense, since successful business women - and I am referring to mentor women here - are ready to volunteer to guide female entrepreneurs which are just starting off.

Reporter: Is there a set of principles which are the foundation of this program?

Cristina Chiriac: Yes, first of all in terms of implementation, on a national and European level, of the policies for supporting the business environment in a unitary and correlated fashion. The goal is to improve the business and legislative environment, to allow SMEs more freedom to develop their potential. The concrete and measurable result would be the creation of new jobs and the support provided to the economic growth.

It is, at the same time, an ambitious package of new measures, which includes four legislative proposals intended to translate these principles, in a synchronized manner, on a national and European level.

Reporter: It is interesting that, when we picture Romania, we don't think of a man, we think of a woman, the one which bears the face of "Revolutionary Romania" - the painting created by Daniel Rosenthal.

Few people know that the woman who modeled for the painting was Maria Rosetti, who was the first Romanian female journalist - a good reason for Romanian journalists to be proud of their profession.

But even fewer people know the remarkable facts that the maiden name of Maria Rosetti was Mary Grant and that she was a Scot born in Guernsey, whereas Daniel Rosenthal was a Jew who was born in Pesta, in Hungary, meaning that Romania's iconic symbol - "Revolutionary Romania" - was born from the relationship between a Hungarian Jew who chose to die under torture, as a Romanian, and a Scot woman who chose to participate in the revolution of 1848 in Romania.

Do you think that Romania is still capable of providing success models?

Cristina Chiriac: Today, just as much as it was then.

Our history records famous women such as Virginia Andreescu-Haret - the first female architect in the world, Smaranda Brăescu - the first parachutist woman in the world, Maria Cuşarida Crătunescu - the first female medic in Romania, and Smaranda Gheorghiu - the first woman to explore the North Pole. It is just a small part of a long line of visionaries, who excelled in fields which were once the exclusive domain of men.

The fact that both Mary Grant, and Daniel Rosenthal opted to become Romanians, is an indisputable argument in favor of the charm which our country brings to the European family.

I think that Romania has success role models - I meet them every day.

The fact that they usually act discretely, hardly means that they don't exist.

The initiative wants to improve the circumstances in which they can express themselves and to stimulate the apparition of new ones.

Reporter: Thank you! I wish you good luck!

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