Trainers in the FREE project

If you are a learner or user here you can meet your trainers that will facilitate and support the Rural Women’s Enterprise Academy in your country.

If you are a trainer you can share your experiences and thoughts with other trainers. You can find out more about other trainers in the project countries that will deliver the pilot trainings part of the Rural Women’s Enterprise Academy. You can also find useful information and guides on how to access the platform and organize the various trainings that are part of the Academy.


Kalina Hitsova – Avramova (BA in European Studies) is a former Project Manager at Association Business Information and Consulting Center – Sandanski that now enjoys the life of a self-employed female entrepreneur. She has more than 12 years of experience in working on different projects in the field of business networking, organic farming, cross-border cooperation, training of female entrepreneurs, etc. Kalina has specialized in women motivational trainings as part of her experience in working with various groups of disadvantaged women within project Business Advice and Guidance training for Women Entrepreneurs “BADGE”, financed within Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP). In the period 2005 – 2016 Kalina has specialized in business cooperation and matchmaking by working for the biggest international network for business support in Europe – Enterprise Europe Network.


Anamarija Tkalčec, manager of the program “Social justice and Equal Opportunities” working in CESI since 1998. In the beginning, she was engaged in the rebuilding of local communities in the post-war period in Croatia, with a focus on woman's human rights and gender equality which is her professional and personal interest of work and engagement. The scope of Anamaria's work is focused on gender mainstreaming,gender equality in local communities, labour market and gender equality , support for women's organisations, managing EU projects, fundraising for women's organisations; trainings, workshops and lectures on gender equality; support and counselling for unemployed women, campaigns for women's rights. Through the actions and projects she is working on, she had an opportunity to work with different members of society (refugees, members of national minorities, long-term unemployed women, but also with members of political parties, public servants, donors and media). Today she is also working as a facilitator and coach for unemployed women and women who are starting up their business, on building their personal skills and strengths. More on LinkedIn: Anamarija Tkalčec

Nina Očko, program expert associate in the program “Social Justice and Equal Opportunities” working in CESI since 2015. Nina is the project manager of the SOS helpline and counselling for women; victims of gender-based Violence. Nina holds a Master's degree in social work and with the working experience in government and nongovernment organizations. She started her professional carrier by working in the Centre for social welfare with the people in need (need for money, custody, place to live, but also need for life change). Nina is a facilitator of educational groups with a topic of soft skills and personal growth, for unemployed women, and coach for unemployed women and women starting their own business. She is providing counselling, information and psychosocial support for women victims of gender-based violence. She is also working on promotional activities of the organization, and organizing and monitoring volunteer’s work in the SOS telephone helpline.


Ásdís Guðmundsdóttir  Ásdís Guðmundsdóttir has a BA in Sociology and Mass Media from the University of Iceland, and aMsc in Management from Bifröst University. She also has an MA degree in International Management from the EAE business school in Barcelona. She has worked for the labour offices in Skagafjörður, taught sociology in the Northwest College in Sauðárkrókur and worked as a student counsellor. She has also taught various courses for the Lifelong Educational Center in Sauðárkrókur, such as English and Empowerment classes. She is a project manager at the Directorate of Labour and manages several projects linked to entrepreneurship, specifically for women. Those include Grants for women entrepreneurs, Svanni-loan guarantee fund for women and Development of Business Ideas for unemployed people. She is the project manager for the Female project.

Guðrún Stella Gissurardóttir  Guðrún Stella is a teacher and an educational and a carrier counsellor (2004) from the University of Iceland and is completing a Master´s programme in a carrier guidance. She has also completed a further education in Educational Management (2004) from the University of Iceland, a two years university program in Adult education from NFA and Roskilde University Centre (1998) and a one year program in CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (2009). She also studied laws for two years in the University of Iceland. Her work experience is mostly in teaching, counselling and management. She has been a teacher and a principal in a primary and secondary school and taught in the field of Adult Education (Lll) and as a guest lecturer at the University in the field of carrier counselling. Since 1998 Guðrún has been a manager at the Directorate of Labour in the Westfjords, Iceland. She is also a funder of her own company in the field of cultural tourism (Þuríðursundafyllirehf) and is running a tourist accommodation with her family. She is also a social entrepreneur and has worked on establishment or established several projects, associations and firms in cooperation with others like Atvest, The Economic Development Agency for the Westfjords region, Iceland, The Multicultural Centre in Iceland, AT-konur, an institute working in strengthening women to become entrepreneurs, Association for Principals in the Westfjords, A University Centre in the Westfjords, A Rehabilitation Centre, The Adult Educational Centre in the Westfjords, A political party MMM (a Women's list) for the Municipality lections etc and has a long experience in the social level and is now in the board for the Municipality Bolungarvík among other social work. Guðrún has a good experience in European based projects, both as a leader and a participant. In the year 2000, she was rewarded with Auður í kraftikvenna (Wealth in the power of a woman) as a social entrepreneur.


Irma Bagdonienė is a project manager at Kaunas Science and Technology Park. She has a master’s degree in Management and Business Administration. Irma has over 5 years of experience in managing national and international projects in the field of business support and entrepreneurship development. She is responsible for organizing conferences, training courses and seminars in the field of innovation and knowledge management. During the past two years Irma has been involved in several projects related to the female empowerment, constantly participates in seminars and conferences where the topics of female entrepreneurship are discussed. In May 2016 Irma attended courses on facilitation aspects of Virtual Enterprise Circles. Favourite quote: "The universe is made of stories, not of atoms" (Muriel Rukeyser)

United Kingdom

Carolyn Usher (BA, MA) is a Project Manager for a variety of Inova's projects in the UK and internationally and also delivers training and coaching for Inova. Carolyn has specialist knowledge in the use of social media: As well as a keen user of social media on a personal basis she runs social media accounts for three businesses and offers one-to-one coaching for small businesses. Carolyn has recently completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring at Sheffield Hallam University.

Marina Larios (BA, MSc OD, MA Comm FRSA PGDipl ) has 17 years of experience in delivering and managing mentoring programmes internationally. Marina was a core developer of the Mentoring Circle™ methodology and has extensive experience in facilitating Mentoring Circles for women starting up and developing their businesses and has specialist experience of working with individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and ethnic minority groups. Marina is an experienced trainer in the field of business start-ups and has extensive knowledge of training needs analysis and assessment required for the development of training materials and programmes.

Last modified: Friday, 6 July 2018, 5:28 PM