Finding the right partner
Four women that did not know one another decided to start a joint small business. They established a bakery and after 8 years these four women still continue working as partners.
Four unemployed housewives from Mitrovica decided to start a business partnership through the establishment of a small bakery where they sell pastries to students of the Frang Bardhi gymnasium. Eight years ago Ajshe Kelmendi a 48 old woman from Mitrovica was jobless with 4 family members that needed financial support.
In 2004 Kelmendi met with Emina Ademi, Kumrie Ahmeti, Naile Sejdiu and with the support of a common friend they started their business that is still up and running in the last eight years.
Casual meeting turned into partnership
“We met during a meeting attended by our children in a center where they had different courses, there we also did some handicrafts”, says Ajshe adding that it was Carol Prima a woman from Canada that convinced the 4 future business partners to start a bakery.
According to Ajshe Kelmendi Carol Prima also convinced the municipality to rent the small space within the gymnasium to the four female entrepreneurs from Mitrovica.
“The bakery is called ‘All Stars Snack Bar’ and we just started like this. I can say that we are very happy with one another as partners”, says Kelmendi.
But it wasn’t as easy as it seems for these four women to start a business of their own. In a conservative society its quite hard for women to enagage in business. The four women except of being partners have another thing in common. They are family breadwinners since they lost their husbands duirng the 1999 war.
“It is not easy to do business in Kosovo especially for women but we have decided to start this business and now we are here, we were lucky to find the right partners”, says Kumrie Ahmeti 57 years old, one of the four female entrepreneurs that run the small bakery.
Ahmeti adds that prior to the establishment of the bakery she did not know any of the current business partners.
“With the money we earn here we support our families and myself I am very satisified with this work and I can say we are having a great time working together”, says Emina Ademi 62 years old from the vilage Roshan in the municipality of Mitrovica.
Emina adds that she considers her three partners as sisters since they get alog quite well. While the fourth partner Naile Sejdiu 53 years old adds tthat this joint business is somethimg very good for her. “We work as much as we can”, she and adds that their euqipment now is old, used and that they could use new one. Reactions of the community about their business startup were critical but the four women did not react to that and just continued working. After 8 years they still work sharing everything bills, work, taxes and profit with the hope that one day they will enlarge their small business.
Ajshe’s, Kumrie’s, Naile’s, Emina’s 3 advices for young entrepreneurs
1) Find a business partner
2) Do not give up
3) Have fun working