Summer 2022, it is very hot, climate change is truly showing what it is, heat, no rain, how to keep cool. Fires have started on the mountains around Boka Bay, high up where nobody can reach. Recently we had military helicopters flying up and down with a bucket scooping up water from the Boka to pour over the fires.
We are still in the Balkans -but SME work is never far away.–
SME- Small and medium-sized enterprise- has been my engineering working life. 99% of UK & EU businesses are SMEs. They were a key driver of economic growth and sustainabiliy in the UK. There were barriers, especially being a woman in a man’s world. Climate change higher cost in electricity and gas will make it worse. Many SME’s may collaps, it’s no diferent in the Balkan countries.
Removing existing administrative barriers, working in a European environment, getting support as an entrepreneur in crucial phases of my business lifecycle, requiring help, it was tricky, but I enjoyed my time.
Internationalisation, good opportunities, language knowledge helps, but one needs guts, vision, and entrepreneurship to see opportunities, find ways to access money – critical!
I decided to give a year to volunteering work, through the VSO (Volunteering Overseas), I was offered a post in Skopje, Macedonia, with a Disability NGO, to help raise money and develop projects.
Social work is different, it is a profession concerned with helping individuals, families, groups & communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. It aims to help people develop their skills and their ability, Education and Training is critical to resolving problems. This was and still is needed in the Balkan Countries, I met incredible people, and really never left.
James, a Scot, had been working for the EU in the Balkan countries for many years, our paths crossed in Skopje!
With both of us having life-long interests in the Environment and Ecology, we decided to live in Montenegro, with sea, mountains and a country keen on environment and ecology, or so we thought!
We seized the opportunity while developing our ‘Passivhaus knowledge’ for the build of our EcoHouse, to help to create the Montenegro Green Building Council. We were approached by local environmentalists and a government agency, the www.gbc.me is now 12 years old, a member of the worldgbc.org , but sadly once handed over to the Montenegrin members to run on their own, the organisation has faltered. It requires a lot of hard work. One would think with the investment going into MNE, one would encourage to build green, but..
we retired as board members in 2015.
We are still in progress developing our Mediterranean Garden, James is building stone walls which have become an art form now. Our separate apartment, EcoHouse Risan Studio is a beautiful place to relax, the spacious terrace is surrounded by an old vine, Kiwis (Mr & Mrs), roses, jasmine, and other plants. The nightingales are singing their song, it is magic for heart and soul. Living here is special.