Živinice: Entrepreneurship from Women’s Perspective

Selma cokomanija

You don’t need work experience to start a business, but you do need a vision, dedication to work and a desire to succeed. This was the recipe for success for Selma Andelić, a young entrepreneur from Živinice who launched her pancake shop “Čokomanija” a little over 2 months ago.

“We opened our pancake shop on October 27 last year and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with how many customers we’re having, and with how people reacted”, said Selma and added that her pancake shop is the only place in town that is strictly a no smoking area, and that this policy attracted families.

This young entrepreneurs says she hasn’t had any major challenges so far, or at least she doesn’t think they were anything major. But she does say that every step is a challenge because it’s all new to her since she never had a job before.

Soon, Selma hired two more people, but she says she’s still at the pancake shop from dusk till dawn, making sure that every pancake is perfect. “The girl who works with me in the kitchen got the hang of things very quickly and I can always leave the kitchen in her hands since I trust her completely, but I chose to be in this profession and as a young entrepreneur I don’t mind spending the entire day at work."

palacinkara Cokomanija

Selma says she’s thrilled with how much work they’ve had, and if that trend continues she’s sure that she’ll be hiring new employees soon. She’s so dedicated to her business that she’s already planning for summer and testing new recipes to introduce. She spends her free time learning about new desserts that she could introduce to her menu.

“I wish more women started their own business, and also more young people in general. I think the key is to have the courage to launch the business and work on it with dedication. Of course money is necessary and the support I received from USAID and the City of Živinice helped me get everything off the ground so quickly, because I’ve been dreaming of opening this pancake shop for years”, said Selma.

palacinkara cokomanija 2

Across town, there is another successful Selma, who teamed up with her friend Rabija and opened a flower shop called “Happy Place” where they will hold creative and art workshops.

The flower shop, like the pancake shop, hasn’t been on the market long - it welcomed its first customers on September 5 last year. Selma Dedajić, co-owner of the flower shop said that they’re happy with how much business they’ve had so far, but thinks they still have plenty of room to grow.

“Since we’re only just beginning, we haven’t reached our full capacity but we’re very happy with what we’ve done so far.  What makes us particularly happy are the reactions of our customers and the entire local community, and we try to offer services that the market needed more of, so both sides are happy”, said Selma.

Rabija Happy Place

Selma and Rabija are responsible for the interior decoration of the flower shop, and are planning to share their creative skills with fellow citizens by offering workshops. They use their profits to improve the flower shop and hire more employees. In addition to Selma and Rabija, the shop also gave two other young people their first jobs. Just like Selma from the pancake shop, Selma from the flower shop is also planning for next season. “Since winter isn’t our busy season, so we don’t have too much work, we’re using this time to train two new young employees so that they’re confident in their skills and ready for spring when things will get busy for us.”

Happy Place

It’s interesting to note that their customers are not only from Živinice, they also come from other cities, especially Tuzla, and Selma says the shop also does home deliveries. They’re very serious about expanding their business, so they’ve decided to sell flowers online too. They started with their Facebook page, but are planning to launch a website so they can offer flower delivery all across BiH.

Selma’s advice for others planning to launch their businesses is that there’s always a way.  For them, that was the support from USAID and the City of Živinice.

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