The Business Perspective in BiH Still Exists

Successes from the LIDER Microfinance Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the ocean of negative information, pessimistic persecution and bad statistics in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the positive stories of quite ordinary people, true local community fighters, send a message that there is still hope for the success of this country. Their personal success speaks in favor of the fact that regardless of everything, one can find the perspective for life in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The average Bosnians cry for a normal existence, while on the other hand this country has a lot of unused potential in every respect, but these potentials are not developed or promoted. It is important to recognize the right moment for action, to break away from lethargy, to take advantage of the potentials and to find a perspective for ourselves in our society, whatever it may be.

Deligthful, young and charming Dragana Vračević from Doboj started her own business this year, a fashion studio Alta Moda in the downtown of Doboj. Her business is authorized distributer of the Serbian fashion brand MAXERS and offers in her boutique she offers the most fashionable models of women's and men's clothing from their collection. All items from the boutique can also be purchased through Facebook because Dragana keeps up with the technology and does not stay within the traditional channels of sales. In addition, Dragana also works as a court interpreter and translator of the Italian language. A young and educated person, she sees a perspective in this country. "Of course, I see the future here, and I even plan to expand my business and open another boutique," says Dragana.

It is important to use every free moment to work on yourself. All those who consider themselves worthy and who want to work, sooner or later will find their opportunity, no matter which profession it is.

Haris Bošnjaković, a twenty-year-old, is a fitness trainer and promoter of healthy eating and lifestyle. For more than a year, Harris and his team at the LivFit Gym Fitness Center in Zavidovići offers individual team and group training sessions, as well as Hurricane Workout trainings for women and men. Three hundred satisfied members of his gym talk about the quality and expertise of LivFit Gym staff. The combination of youth, expertise and enthusiasm is the perfect combination for success. In the near future, Harris plans to renew his equipment, introduce corporate trainings and open tanning saloon within his center and he recommends to all: "Be fit and live healthy".

A proof that a perspective exists for all who are daring to seek it, is Amela Bijedić who started babysitting three kids in her own apartment and within few years she developed and formally registered Panda & Kids Kindergarten in Ilidža (Peaton that currently employs four professional educators responsible for forty children.

“I invested years of effort and hard work to renovate the devastated facility from the scratches and adapted it to the needs of the kindergarten. All efforts paid off, but my work does not stop here, as we continue to expand the facility and add additional capacities. We have four mixed kindergarten groups in our facility, and we also have extended stay and work for school children. The most important thing for us is that the children are in safe hands, and the parents are at peace and satisfied “she says.  Amela admits that through all stages of her business she needed a lot of financial support, and that she is very happy that she managed to find a trusted partner who supported her from the beginning and will continue to do so in the future.

A little further away from Sarajevo, at about 850 meter above sea level, in the village Medojevići near Srednje, Samija Dedić grows organic strawberries of the Maja variety. Due to very high quality of her strawberries resulting in strong demand, since she started back in 2014 her plantation of 2,500 seedlings reached a figure of 11,000 plants that she has today. New plants needed for expansion she produces herself, and so far she always had guaranteed placement for her product. Her example proves that there is a huge potential in agriculture with wise investment, diversification in production and commitment to high quality products.

"Thanks to the natural conditions and high altitude, our strawberries are ready later than ordinary, and since at that time supply is very low we can ensure very good price. Also, because of the timing the demand is extremely strong so even if we double the production, we could put everything on the market. We educate ourselves, we are trying to introduce new improvements in the technology of breeding, and that, I must admit, we do extremely well. We are fully committed to this business and we plan to expand production because we are sure of a good outcome, "Samija said.

In the same municipality of Ilijas, Durić Emir for many years has been engaged in wood processing and making of various items from wood. Exclusively by order, he produces chairs, kitchens, custom-made furniture, benches and tables for garden, carpentry, awnings, refrigerators, stairways and everything else that customers can wish for. Emir is known to be one of the best carpenters in the Ilijas area and always has hands full of work. "I intend to devote myself fully to this business, since with equipment and machines that I currently have I can make anything from the wood, and new orders are constantly coming, so I have included other households members in the business," says Emir.

Emir Džinić from Zavidović is engaged in the production and sale of organic eggs. At his farm currently there are about 3,000 hens and he also breeds chicks for rejuvenation of his flocks. Due to the exceptional conditions of breeding and music that Emir plays for his hens every day, he is able to achieve an incredible egg load of over 93 percent. In addition, Emir's wife makes homemade jam, marmalade and ajvar.

"Every day, about 2,800 eggs are coming out of the farm and by the end of the day they all find the way to customers Zavidović market." I plan to expand production to meet growing demand, and I hope in that endeavor I will have support in form of financial and non-financial services by an organization I have been cooperating with for years, “Emir said.

Jusuf Jašarević from Mehurići near Travnik has been involved in catering for a long time and currently operates two facilities “Caffe bar Mahala" and since recently "Caffe Magnet ", mainly tailored for younger generations due to ambience, sound and nargile, making this building unique in this area. In addition to the facility there is also a small football field, so that during the recreation, the Caffe "Magnet" is visited by the older guests, which makes it a place where the younger and the older population enjoys a pleasant ambience and a variety of offers.

"When I opened the first facility, the locals told me that my failure was guaranteed, they did not succeed in discouraging me since I had a vision that almost completely came to life with the opening of the new facility, and today the social life in Mehurići looks completely different. MY wish is to also open one fast food joint in order to round up the catering offer in my facilities, "says Jusuf.

According to these already proven entrepreneurs, being an entrepreneur in BiH requires a lot of courage, perseverance, will and effort, and jointly the send message to everyone not to be afraid, not to wait for someone to hire them, but to try to start their own business.

MKF LIDER continues to provide support to entrepreneurs who have a good business idea and a desire to implement it. Many years of experience in financing start-up businesses and improvement of existing business / agricultural activities, uniquely tailored financial and non-financial services, and professional staff are available to all entrepreneurs who see their future in starting their own business activities and self-employment.

In 15 years of its existence, LIDER has disbursed over 17,100 loans in the amount of 64 million KM to entrepreneurs and farmers in the five cantons of the Federation of BiH.