Young Entrepreneurs Among Key Drivers of Economic Growth

Young entrepreneurs from the Municipality Stari Grad Sarajevo show the range of potential that young people have. Their businesses are different, but they all share a vision, and dedication to growing their businesses.

The Enchanted World

Amar Zubčević and Ivan Ramadan have been friends since high school and now they’re business partners too. This duo developed a great mobile game for Apple devices called The Enchanted World, available on the Apple Arcade platform. They launched one of the first video game development studios in BiH - A.I Interactive. The business is already 8 months old, but the two of them have been working together for even longer.

We spent three years developing this game, which was released on Apple Arcade in September 2019. It’s important to note that Apple were the ones choosing applications and games to include in this platform, so our game being one of them is a success for us”, says Amar. Ivan added that the game brought them success they weren’t expecting, and some new opportunities for projects and hiring more developers.

Clips from their game were even included in the promotional video Apple used during the presentation of their new platform. The demo version of their game is available in all Apple stores around the world so  customers can test out the basic functions of the game when buying phones.

“Without the support of the Institute and the Municipality Stari Grad, we probably wouldn’t have started a company because we can work as individuals. But this came at the right time, and we decided to do everything right”, says Ivan. Amar noted that the process of registering a business wasn’t simple.

Amar and Ivan have known each other since high school, and the story of how they came up with the name for their studio dates back to their high school days. During their history class, the programmer and designer had better things to do than memorize dates, so they used the time to design the logo and name of their future company. The two of them show that no one can take your dreams away from you and if you work hard enough you have a good chance of making those dreams come true. If you have an Apple device, you can download their game here, and you can read more about the game here.

Only a few hundred meters from the studio is the first veterinary pharmacy in this municipality - Linea Alba. The pharmacy was opened by Amila Nuhić, a veterinarian, who decided to take the leap after a sleepless night. “After a sleepless night, I was searching for incentives for youth-owned business. It was that very day that the Municipality Stari Grad and the Institute for Youth Development KULT issued a public call”, says Amila, smiling. That’s when she decided to take the first step in starting her own business. In addition to the support she got from the Institute and the Municipality, she also had to invest her own funds but says that she wouldn’t have had the courage to start a business by herself. Amila says she doesn’t regret starting her own business and would do it all again, but just like Amar and Ivan she encountered obstacles when registering her business and wishes the process was simpler.

IMG 4808

Amila is planning to add more products to her current range to meet her clients’ needs. She now offers a selection of products for small pets, dogs, cats, fish and birds.

Her message to young people who want their own business is to be brave and take a chance because it’s hard to get results without taking risks. She also warns them they’ll need a lot of patience with the paperwork, but that success is definitely possible in BiH as well.

The third story is one of craftsmanship, dedicated work and years of trust between a craftsman and his clients. The protagonist is a young auto body repairer, Sead Bajraktarević, who started his own auto body and repair shop called “Šeo”. His workshop is in Bistrik, in the municipality of Stari Grad Sarajevo.

Sead says he has years of experience in this profession, and in May 2019 he decided to start their own business and register a trade. “I wish more young people would learn this trade because you can earn a good living with it, and you learn skills tat stay with you forever”, says Sead, noting that he’s pleased with his results so far. But he’s not the only one who’s happy - his clients are satisfied with his services because after he’s done with auto body repairs he doesn’t mind helping them out with mechanical work.

Sead’s future steps include contacting business owners and offering to maintain their fleets, so his business will be sustainable.

“There aren’t a lot of auto body repairers in town, and we all know each other. It’s interesting that there’s no competition, since there are 150,000 registered vehicles and only a handful of us, we can’t catch up with work”, says Sead with a smile.

sead b

Sead says that the support he got from the Institute and the Municipality Stari Grad helped him a lot but wasn’t enough for launching a business. However, he already had some machines and a lot of tools, and he used the funds he got to register a business and pay all the taxes and contributions to the state. Sead noted that the high taxes he pays to the government are too much for small business owners like him, and he hopes that businesses of this type will have the tax burden reduced somewhat so they can operate throughout the year, since his work sometimes depends on the weather.

The Institute for Youth Development KULT, in cooperation with 8 local self-government units in BiH (Cazin, Centar Sarajevo, Jajce, Modriča, Novi Travnik, Stari Grad Sarajevo, Teslić, Trebinje) and with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden in BiH created a joint fund for developing businesses owned by youth amounting to 266,000 BAM. Thanks to this Fund, 39 youth-owned businesses received support and employed around 50 young people. You can find all the supported businesses on the map below:

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The mission of the Institute for Youth Development KULT is to create and advocate legal and other strategic solutions, as well as to build and strengthen the capacities of associations and governmental authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, for a successful and sustainable youth policy.

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