We proudly present an entrepreneur Ajla Kasapović and her restaurant booking platform meetnmeat.com, created within the EU4Business project.
Ajla graduated from the catering and tourism high school. After her high school days, she started working in the hotel and tourism industry, and realizing the shortcomings that exist in this field, she decided to start her own business.
“Every tourist in our city must try local and traditional food, so we often struggled with the problem of finding a table in a restaurant for lunch or dinner. Tourists, as well as our fellow citizens, did not have the opportunity to search and book a place for a meal in one place. So, I came up with of the idea that a restaurant booking platform would be a great solution for this problem. It would make booking easier and the time required for it shorter. The platform will facilitate the work of both caterers and hotel workers, as well as the end users of the platform, locals and tourists alike” says Ajla.
She has tried to find support before, both financially and professionally, and to move more confidently towards the realization of her idea. When she read the Call for applications for participation in the Program to support the launch of entrepreneurial ideas in the fields of ICT and creative industries published by the Local Partnership Centar Sarajevo with the support of the European Union, she knew it was her opportunity.
For Ajla, the key support came in the form of entrepreneurial training Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB), performed in accordance with the methodology of the International Labor Organization, as well as in work with mentors on the development of a business plan.
She points out: “Through various exercises, discussions and tasks for independent work, trainers ‘force us’ to understand the market, the legislation, obligations, and the management scenarios we will meet tomorrow in the role of an employer. Through this process, I’ve created my business plan, which was positively evaluated at the pitch. In addition to the wonderful experience and knowledge I gained during the training, in addition to new partners, I also gained friends, who further enhanced the entire experience”.
Finally, she adds an interesting anecdote from entrepreneurial training: “An additional reason that made me fight like a lioness was the joke of my now friend from the group, who told me: ‘Your idea is great. If you do not get the funding, I will steal it from you’. So, see how hard you’d try. ”
Ajla Kasapović’s business idea was financially and professionally supported through the project “Sarajevo – Entrepreneurship Center” which is being realized within the EU4Busines project – for a competitive and innovative domestic economy. With the aim of strengthening the BiH economy, EU4Business encourages the development of entrepreneurship, export-oriented sectors, tourism, and agriculture, as well as rural development. EU4Business is worth € 16.1 million and is jointly funded by the European Union (€ 15 million) and the Federal Republic of Germany (€ 1.1 million). The project is implemented jointly by GIZ, ILO and UNDP, from April 2018 to March 2022.