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Female Founders Spotlight: Misli More

In the first of our Female Founders blog series, we put the spotlight on YV community member and founder of Misli More, Ana Čalić. Here, Ana speaks about what inspired her to set up her own business, overcoming challenges and maintaining a work-life balance.

What motivated you to start your own business in the leisure marine industry?

My main motivation and inspiration was being involved in the family business. My mother founded an engine and boating equipment distributorship in 1992, Navela, so I was well acquainted with the industry since I was a child.

My education led me down a more science-based path, however, I ended up returning to the boating industry because it felt like home. My Masters degree focused on sustainability, so I wanted to make a shift in the boating industry and educate young people, especially in the Adriatic region.

As female founders in a traditionally male-dominated sector, what specific challenges did you face, and how did you overcome these challenges?

Personally, even if I was faced with a challenge I wouldn’t label it that way. There may have been situations of prejudice, unsolicited comments and lack of trust, but having faith in oneself makes you rise above these situations.

I would never label something as a “female” or “male” job, because I believe if we are developing our potential, using our skills and creating a positive impact in the community, that is all that matters.

Can you highlight instances where being a female founder presented unique opportunities or advantages in the leisure marine sector?

Being a female founder brings advantages in developing connections with existing female founders, and also developing our Women in Marine networking community.

Maintaining work-life balance is crucial for entrepreneurs. How have you managed this?

I am doing well in that respect since I try to diversify each day with exercise, reading or other hobbies. I believe if we invest in small acts of self-care each day, it will reflect positively on our work life.

For women considering entrepreneurship in the leisure marine sector, what advice would you share based on your experiences?

I would give the same advice, as I would to anyone: set up short-term and long-term goals, seek help when needed, surround yourself with supportive people and lastly, work on your energy outside of work so that you can deliver the best work possible.

Looking ahead, what are your business plans and goals for 2024?

Business plans and goals include expanding our team and networking community, strengthening the bond with Croatian academia through upcoming projects and much more - stay tuned on our social media!


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