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Almost all women in BiH, who are engaged in local entrepreneurship, can serve as examples of good practices in this field. Hrana Gurmana campaign, implemented by Sweden/USAID FARMA II project, is helping them promote their businesses and increase sales.

The majority of agricultural businesses managed by women can be classified as micro-businesses. That means that the owners are often the main employees whose success depends on their ability to navigate the pitfalls of having to support a sustainable business idea with substantial initial capital, all the while facing administrative obstacles and cultural bias.

While their success stories differ on a personal level, all of them involve thinking out of the box.  It is Hrana Gurmana’s great pleasure to share some of them with you on the 8th of March.

Offering healthy products

In the case of Nejra Lepić Salkić, owner of Sherbetlook, a juice production business in Sarajevo, this had to do with her brave decision to link the modern industrial standards with the traditional manual juicing practices. Her idea was to launch her own business involving the production and bottling of natural fruit and plant juices instead of a surrogate and sugar-rich syrups.

Today, her lavender and rose fields cover acres of land in the vicinity of Visoko and Bratunac. There, she handpicks lavender flowers used in the production of a fresh juice, which she imbues with her personal creative touch.

Education for success

Proper education was essential for Nataša Trninić, a young entrepreneur, who helped her father Predrag to further develop the production in their apiary Pčelinjaci Kraljica, in Nova Topola near Gradiška.

She graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture with a major in beekeeping, and this set her on the right path to developing new, innovative, and creative products. In 2016, Nataša won the award for the best business plan at a competition organized by the Center for Economic and Rural Development, after coming up with a unique idea of pollen powder production.

Today Pčelinjaci Kraljica owns over 300 bee societies and Nataša, the youngest female beekeeper in Gradiška, continues her beekeeping journey by analyzing honey, working on projects for preserving the indigenous honey bees, and visiting major fairs.

Going rural

Melisa Hasanspahić, with the help of her husband Rizalija, now manages and cultivates some 35 dunams of land, of which 600 square meters are under greenhouses. Their agricultural company, Okus prirode, located near Goražde, among others, produces jams, juices, fresh produce, and dried mushrooms.

The fact that Melisa grew up in the urban center, detached from agriculture, is proof that food production can be an attractive business proposition for women from all walks of life. Melisa moved to the countryside. For her running a farm has proven as a long-term solution for unemployment and lack of equal opportunities for young women in urban areas.

A family affair

Women's entrepreneurship does not have to be a solitary affair. At the family farm, Džakula from Stolac, a variety of fruit products and salads are made by three daughters and their mother – Danijela, Daliborka, Ivona, and Mara, who manage all aspects of this family-run business. Their example highlights the need to promote healthy partnerships and joint endeavors as vital parts of women's entrepreneurship.

With this message and these inspiring examples, Hrana Gurmana wishes happy March 8, International Women's Day, to all women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. May there be more of you who turn to agriculture and food production and become part of a large pool of creativity and innovation paired with a unique feminine touch.