Combining technology and entrepreneurship to close the gender gap

Past event online

Peace, Security & Defence
Combining technology and entrepreneurship to close the gender gap


In this #CriticalThinkingLive, President of the Macedonian e-Commerce Association and former finance minister of North Macedonia, Nina Angelovska will outline the role that technology and entrepreneurship play in fostering economic development in the Western Balkans, and how prepared the region’s governments are when it comes to bridging the digital gap. She will suggest practical next steps for policy- and decision-makers, the private sector and civil society regarding best practices to support entrepreneurs and close the divide.

Policymaking is not capturing the importance of microbusinesses, start-ups and small-scale enterprises, which are often the future economic growth engine. Fields like e-commerce have increased significantly in recent years, which has not only helped individuals and businesses to find new sources of revenue, but also accelerated the digital transformation in the Western Balkans. A blooming start-up environment is establishing itself in the region, where public institutions should be ready to back these ventures for the benefit of economic and social development. Combining digitalisation and government support for entrepreneurs is an opportunity not to be missed and can be a driver for the region’s economic outlook.

This conversation is part of our Balkan Journey, a series of events and articles discussing crucial developments and creative solutions for the Western Balkans with key stakeholders in the run-up to our annual Balkans Summit.

#CriticalThinkingLive is our latest expansion in the #CriticalThinking family, bringing onscreen & online, influential voices from across a range of sectors to challenge, inspire and influence current thinking on the biggest issues we’re facing in Europe and the world.



Combining technology and entrepreneurship to close the gender gap
Expand Combining technology and entrepreneurship to close the gender gap

Questions include:

  • What should governments prioritise in bridging the gap between technology and economic empowerment of women? And how should the private sector contribute to this?
  • Which strategies are already underway to close the digital gap and enable digital access and education for everyone? And how can the region’s cooperation with international organisations and donors improve in this regard?
  • What fiscal and economic policies are necessary to foster entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans?
  • What kind of support do entrepreneurs need in order to achieve success in digital professional fields, and who should provide for this?



Dharmendra Kanani

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of Friends of Europe



Nina Antonovska
Nina Angelovska

Co-Founder of, President at Macedonian E-commerce Association and UNCTAD eTrade for Women advocate for Eastern Europe

Show more information on Nina Angelovska

Nina Angelovska is an entrepreneur, who co-founded the leading North Macedonian e-commerce platform, which contributed to a 350% increase in online sales in the country. She also co-founded the first Macedonian e-commerce association. As the former minister of finance of the Republic of North Macedonia, Angelovska focused on digitalisation and technology as central to problem-solving, progress and reform. Named among Forbes’ ‘30 under 30’ in retail and e-commerce in Europe, she has also been recognised by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as one of seven women global advocates in e-trade.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Dharmendra Kanani

Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.



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