Erna Šošević started her professional career ten years ago, having recently completed a degree in Law at the University of Sarajevo. After gaining experience in different fields, Erna found herself in the sales department of a company in Sarajevo, where she spent two years. It seemed to Erna that there were problems in the sales process she witnessed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that companies were neither connecting nor collaborating.
In that moment Erna realized that she could help companies improve their collaboration and, at the same time, create more business opportunities. She knew that the best way to do that would be to start her own business. However, running a business is even more difficult for a mother of two but Erna found her inner strength and got unconditional support from her family. She took a leap of faith.
Erna's next step was to quit her job and devote all her time and energy to the new project. And she got her hands into it. She talked with prospective customers, explored the market, interviewed future users of the platform, and shaped the idea. Two of her friends joined her, and the future core team of Bizbook was founded.
Erna recalls the early days:
“Although we have faced many challenges, obstacles, and hopeless situations, my team and I have found ways to persevere. Our mission is to bring Bosnia and Herzegovina the positive change it needs and be one of the stories that will inspire others to follow the entrepreneurship path.”
After a few iterations, Erna and her team got the solution they wanted. Today, Bizbook is a B2B platform where companies can place offers and demands for different products and services, fostering collaboration that can go on outside of the platform. It’s coupled with a community component that creates additional value for the business people involved.
Being a startup founder, Erna always searched for support and help in all aspects of her business. She found out about Swisscontact and the Swiss Entrepreneurship Program at the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey and engaged with local team members in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In October 2020, the Swisscontact and Swiss EP team received a letter from Erna, where she shared her success story:
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Swisscontact and Swiss Entrepreneurship Program. All of this is your success in investing and believing in me as a woman founder of a tech startup in a country that does not have a support system for people who want to introduce new trends in any sphere of life.”
You can read the entire letter from Erna Šošević, which is published on the Swiss EP website with her permission. We wanted to celebrate her success and showcase that hard work and determination lead to extraordinary developments.
We are very honoured to be a small part of this story and will continue to support Erna and other aspiring female founders across the Western Balkans region, with the hope that we can help other women start their own success stories as well.