Under the auspices of the Office of the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and within the campaign “One step at a time”, more than a hundred of young entrepreneurs, activists and students from all over BiH gathered at the Youth Entrepreneurship Conference on 17 February in Teslic. The Conference focused on the successful start-up companies that are of great importance for the BiH economy due to innovations, job creation and introduction of competitive dynamics in the business environment.
“We have heard, from the young entrepreneurs also, that the further improvement of business conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina is very important, and that is the essence of the Reform Agenda“, said Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, the EU Special Representative in BiH and Head of EU Delegation.
The Conference brought together over a hundred of young entrepreneurs, activists and students, who had the opportunity to talk, exchange ideas and learn from the leading experts in the field of culture, financing and start-ups development.
Start-up companies are recognized as the most suitable form of innovation application in the knowledge-based society, and in the long run they create a significant number of new jobs and contribute to economic growth of the country.
The Conference also provided an opportunity for meeting between all relevant organizations and individuals whose experience and knowledge are applicable to the scene of youth entrepreneurship in BiH. In addition to discussing the basic parts of the support system to start-up companies (access to funds, development of business skills, state of education in entrepreneurship, presence of incubators etc.), the participants reflected on the situation at the youth entrepreneurship scene in BiH.
It is worth mentioning that the most notable were motivational stories of five companies, which were presented during the introductory part of the Conference. Young people have shown that with a good idea and a lot of persistence and effort, one can succeed in the realization of the idea itself.
Jan Zlatan Kulenović said that it was important for young people to acquire and develop winning and proactive way of thinking as soon as possible, and that they should not wait for the opportunities but rather go after them and take the destiny into their own hands.
Maja Knežević from the RS Agency for the Development of SMEs stressed the need for entrepreneurial learning to develop. “Young people must have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship, but also to practice or to make mistakes in the protected environment so that later they can succeed with the right entrepreneurial idea,” said Knežević.
Ambassador Wigemark pointed out that the development of entrepreneurship is not only important as policy in one country, but that great ideas can be created if there is a good climate at the local level.
“By teaming up with others, some municipalities create better conditions for development. Even the smallest municipality can create appropriate conditions for entrepreneurship by, for example, giving some unused public space to young people and thus encouraging them. Today we have witnessed initiatives that can turn into a success stories. Here we have a lot of people who want to create jobs and ensure a better future for the whole country, at the same time being happy that in this era of globalization they have no need to go anywhere outside of this country,“ Ambassador Wigemark concluded.