Innovation Is Key to Economic Development

“In developed countries, innovations generate development and are responsible for half of the gross national income”, said the Dean of the Faculty of Economy in Sarajevo, Professor Jasmina Selimović, PhD. The Faculty of Economy is the organizer of the leading innovation event in BiH – Sarajevo Innovation Summit, which was held today in the Sarajevo City Hall.

The organizers invited leading experts on innovation from the Kingdom of Sweden, who talked about systemic support to innovators and entrepreneurs – one of the biggest challenges faced by innovators and entrepreneurs in BiH. The participants heard some inspiring stories from successful innovators, including Sana Ajnović, one of the top ten young innovators according to a list made by the leading American magazine for bioscience. Sana is the co-founder and director of the company Sigrid Therapeutics, focused on researching diabetes treatments.
“Youth in BiH need a better infrastructure for developing businesses, but they also need to change their perception of entrepreneurship. For the first year I worked for free and became successful, and then the Swedish government and some private investors invested in our idea. Hard work always pays off!” said Sana.

The Institute for Youth Development KULT is a partner in this event, and during parallel panel discussions an employee of the Institute, Nejra Neimarlija Roić talked about institutional and systematic support to youth developing their businesses.
“We motivate and sensitize communities to invest in youth and women entrepreneurs so that they would stay in their communities instead of leaving BiH or moving to bigger cities. For several years, we have been developing a model in cooperation with the government, intended to support young entrepreneurs in building sustainable businesses. This resulted in more than 200 businesses launched by young entrepreneurs and adult women entrepreneurs in 25 communities in BiH”, said Nejra during the panel discussion on the topic “Startup and Innovation Ecosystem”.

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