U.S. and Montenegro
Through POWER, the U.S. Embassy in Podgorica and The Union of Young Entrepreneurs of Montenegro successfully held Synergy, a B2B conference for women entrepreneurs on September 15, 2020.
The SYNERGY conference in Podgorica brought together 30 young female entrepreneurs from Montenegro and from the United States who run businesses in Montenegro. During the program, presenters shared best practices, practical advice, and discussed business development opportunities and benefits of increased collaboration between the U.S. and Montenegro. The conference serves as a first step in strengthening connections between Montenegrin women and their American counterparts.
Note: The conference was organized in accordance with security measures and rules of the competent institutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Bojana Dabovic, Montenegrin entrepreneur
Founder of Four Countesses Apartments and Co Founder of Eagle Boat
Bojanaj discussed how partnerships with American tourism agencies could maximize growth and shared lessons-learned while building her businesses in both tourim and real estate. She also revealed best-practice marketing strategies to attract and retain customers. Bojana said her participation in the State Department’s IVLP program, where she traveled to five different states within the U.S. to hear from successful business owners and network with other entrepreneurs, enabled her to build her business development skillsets.
This conference was priceless for me because of all of the good advice I heard during the panel from more experienced colleagues in [my] field.
Molly Biddiscombe, American entrepreneur
Director of Lasta Group, operating in Montenegro
Molly grew up on the East Coast of the United States. After graduating from Colby College, she spent eight years in New York City working for global clients at a marketing and communications agency. She relocated to Podgorica in 2018 with her Montenegrin husband, where she founded the Lasta Group, which provides Montenegrin students with academic and work opportunities in the United States. During the conference, Molly presented on business development and shared her experience as an education consultant.
Natasa Grdinic, Montenegrin Entrepreneur
CEO and Founder of CMM Invest Group
Natasa founded CMM Invest Group 15 years ago at the age of twenty, and her organization is now one of the biggest real estate companies in the country. As a top real estate developer and broker, Natasa represents sellers in Montenegro and worldwide. During her presentation, she shared obstacles she faced when scaling her company and how she overcame them. She sees the service and tourism industries in Montenegro as underdeveloped areas of opportunity.
Jennifer Buxton, American Entrepreneur
Founder, Beta Bar and Marketing Consultant, Nova Verzija
Jennifer grew up in the United States and has been in Montenegro for the past six years. She founded Beta Bar, the first collaborative coworking space in Montenegro. Jennifer shared her experience navigating what she describes as a risk-averse and traditional Montenegrin culture. She encouraged women entrepreneurs to know their self-worth and their companies’ value. Jennifer also emphasized the importance of communication, collaboration, and mutually beneficial partnerships between organizations to expand growth, especially given Montenegro’s many untapped market opportunities and potential.
About The Union of Young Entrepreneurs of Montenegro
A non-governmental organization, the Union of Young Entrepreneurs of Montenegro aims to enable easier and more efficient establishment and advancement in business to all existing and future young entrepreneurs of Montenegro through a series of programs. The goal is to create a network of young entrepreneurs at the local, national, and regional level and to connect with the international community in order to exchange experiences and knowledge.