The Czech-Moravian Association of Businesswomen and Managers is a national non-political volunteer organisation founded in 1995. The Association brings together women entrepreneurs, executives and managers and fosters networking, as well as professional and personal development. It is a member of the International Association of Businesswomen and Managers (FCEM).
ČMAPM was created to respond to a need for networking among women entrepreneurs and managers to exchange experiences, support professional development, and create opportunities for collaboration. It also aims to promote a supportive environment for women entrepreneurship overall. The association is the only one of its kind in the country.
The central activity of the association is networking. The association facilitates exchange among women across age, experience and business stages and promotes friendship and mutual support as a basis for co-operation. This is done through meetings organised by regional clubs (in Prague, Ostrava, Brno, Olomouc, Nový Jičín, Bruntál, Zlín and Svitavy) as well as national events and international conferences (e.g. FCEM conference). The association also provides members with direct business and other contacts to support business development and other activities, organises yearly trade missions, and encourage business collaboration among members.
The Association organises thematic events and partners with other organisations to offer professional development activities to its members (e.g. a seminars programme with Veuve Clicquot was launched in 2021). ČMAPM also launched a dedicated programme for women over 50 years old in 2020, piloted in the Prague region. The programme offers seminars and tailored support for the need of senior women professionals and entrepreneurs, addressing issues such as ageing, care responsibilities, career changes in the context of entrepreneurship.
The association also carries out activities promoting women’s entrepreneurship and business leadership and increasing its visibility at national and regional level. For example, ČMAPM co-ordinates International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day activities in the Czech Republic. It also co-organises the Moravian-Silesian Region’s Lady Business of the Year competition, which highlights businesswomen with different themes each year (e.g. entrepreneurship, management, etc.). The association also hosts the Growing Together project, supported by the South Moravian Region, which brings together women with different backgrounds in workshops to facilitate networking and encourage entrepreneurship.
How did the programme adapt to the Pandemic? The ČMAPM offered information on work and COVID-19 to its members and shifted some activities online. For example, it organised a series of online workshops through Zoom to continue providing learning and networking opportunities for its members and launched a podcast. It also showcased stories of how members have been involved in supporting the community during the crisis.
The Czech-Moravian Association of Entrepreneurs and Managers has about 150 members, organised in eight regional clubs. Member companies employ more than 25 000 staff and represent annual turnovers of over CZK 2 billion (EUR 80 million). In 2020, the Lady Business of the Year competition received applications from 32 women (19 from the business community and 13 managers of non-profit organisations).