Success Stories

Success stories about women entrepreneurs

Adela Vileš-Bektaš, MA in Food Technology, was born in 1988 in Bugojno. She lost her father after graduating from High School and it was not easy to overcome all the life obstacles that followed her during her studies and after. Young and ambitious with lots of ideas, many of which were she saw through as a successful team leader of student projects and where she was a team leader, she continued being active also after her studies.

“Even as a student, I was very interested in my profession, I invested in additional education and gained the title of HACCP manager, which quickly became an opportunity for new jobs. I tried to get involved and work on numerous scientific and vocational project," Adela tells us.

Her business opportunity came at “Herbos Nature”, the company where she currently works as CEO. The company which is recognizable for its packaging and export of raspberries and other fruits was both her opportunity and her challenge; and today is her success story. As a technologist and HACCP team leader she started working for this company in 2014 when she accepted the challenge: "to turn a clear vision of the owner of the company, together with team members, into successful projects and a living story."

"At that time I was the third employee in the company, and today I am leading the team of 25," Adela notes.

During five years of active and hard work in planning, building, organizing and decision making, she has successfully implemented ideas and projects supported by Sweden/USAID FARMA II and C2C programs which increased their capacities by 50 percent and modernized production. Crown to their success is that they have ensured the quality of products recognized by their strategic buyers in Switzerland, France, Germany and other countries around the world where they also represent Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In 2014 I was appointed the Production Manager I personally worked on all the positions currently held by 20 production employees. I tested and evaluated each and every position so that today I know what to expect from team members and how to accurately provide instructions and job descriptions and create work instructions, procedures and directions tailored to the activity and scope of work," explains Adela.

She learned, often from her customers in Switzerland, and transferred knowledge into production and attended numerous trainings.

"Although the berries sector has been facing difficult situations in all parameters over the past few years, we try hard to bring only positive stories from “Herbos”, and the key to our success is commitment, hard work and strong will," Adela concludes.

Aimed at promotion of women in BiH agriculture, Sweden/USAID FARMA II started the campaign "They Go Forward". Within this campaign, we will publish positive stories about women in agri-food production and processing. In many cases, women who are informally, but practically highly engaged in domestic agricultural activities are considered unemployed housewives, and are therefore without incomes. Sweden/USAID FARMA II through its activities promotes and encourages women to legally register their production and become part of the official economy. Luckily, today there are successful women-owned or women-led companies that produce innovative and quality products that are sold both locally and at international markets. To assist women farmers in their endeavors, and to encourage other women who are in a similar position, FARMA II will prepare success stories that will be published and distributed to a wide audience.