Gordana Nikolić, PhD is a founder of Business Academy Rijeka which promotes lifelong learning from 2007 through different projects and cooperation modalities with international scientific institutions. It is an Academy that carries out cooperation activities and advocacy for research institutions to promote their projects and organization of seminars, courses, and lectures related to business management. This has resulted in forming of an institution for higher education PAR University College in August 2011 as the only accredited private university college in Primorsko-goranska region of Croatia by Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Currently, Gordana is a Dean of PAR University College and she also established the PAR Institute for lifelong learning, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship VET Center and some other companies.
Gordana has been selected into the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors, EntrepreneurSHEp Croatia, and, as a representative of the Republic of Croatia, she participated in a multiweek Support Systems for Women Entrepreneurs of South-East Europe programme under the sponsorship of UNECE. As an ambassador of the European women entrepreneurs’ network, in 2014 she was elected a WED Ambassador as a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
For her work she received a several awards, out of which the most important one is for the Women Entrepreneur of the year in Croatia in 2014., award in 2015., for outstanding international achievements in promoting science, education development and promoting entrepreneurship of women in the countries of the region and special award in 2016 for extraordinary contribution in the field of higher education and entrepreneurship, the establishment and launch of the first private higher education institution. She is still the only woman in Croatia who is an owner and a Dean of a higher education institution.
Apart from the managerial, Ms. Nikolić also leads a successful science career. She is an author and co-author of several books and more than 40 scientific and professional papers and has worked on different programmes and projects for the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and EU Commission. She was a guest professor at the Iacocca Institute, Lehigh University at the Global Village Program for future leaders of business and industry.
She is also the president of the Program and Organizational Committee of the PAR International Leadership Conference (PILC) which has been organized in partnership with the Iacocca Institute for seven years. She is also a member of many professional and scientific associations, regional summer schools, and of the board of directors of the Institute for Social Research as well. Gordana Nikolić has been included in the book 100 Croatian Leaders where she reflected on important events that she considered crucial for her success.
Each institution founded by Gordana has the purpose of preparing startups and other clients for continuing their business careers also facilitating students for their successful embarkation into the business world.
In 2016., she was a part of the Entrepreneurship Colloquium in Boston, co-chaired by Tom Eisenmann from Harvard Business School and Bill Aulet from MIT with over 50 participants from 25 countries and focus on how to teach about scaling firms, not just starting them.
In 2017., Digital Partnership Centre – “DIGIPARC” project lead by assistant professor Gordana Nikolic, PhD has been selected by European Commission and become one of new Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) between other application among 137 other applications as a part of “Smart Factories in the new EU Member States”.