January: Throwback to our Business Networking Event

It has been more than 2 months now since our first networking event at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. While we have to wait just a little longer before we reveal what we have been working on the past months, we first want to take you back to the NEBO business networking event 2018. We are still overjoyed by everyone who made it successful. Again, a big thanks to all visitors who came with the mission to strengthen relations between Bosnia and the Netherlands, to our dear partners who enabled us to organise our event on such beautiful location, and to the inspiring speakers who shared their knowledge and positive energy about the opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Scroll down till the end for the photo gallery of the event!

Within this throwback we will go through the programme, to summarize it with pictures and honour all captivating speakers once more. After the doors opened and all guests received their name tag keycord, we kicked off the event with no less than 4 speakers giving a short introduction. But, let’s first tell you something about our moderator.

Leila Prnjavorac is the heart and founder of LVision. She is a great presenter, trainer, workshop leader, coach, motivator and speaker. Without her the event would simply not be as perfect. She first gave the floor to Her Excellency Ms. Mirsada Čolaković. Ambassador Čolaković has an extensive diplomatic career and has previously been a part of numerous Bosnian and Herzegovinian missions and embassies in numerous countries. She is the permanent representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations under the permanent mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations in New York. She has always represented the country in the best way possible, in the same way we want to show the great opportunities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She opened first with hearthwarming words about how many profitable opportunities this platform bringt, and how proud she is that the next generation has created it.

Than the representative of our hosts (RVO) gave an inspirational speech, Daniel Tserepnin. He is an advisor for the internationalization of SMEs at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. He started his career at StartupAmsterdam, continuing to StartupDelta after that, where he focussed on developing the international strategy as well as preparing the mission to the Hannover Messe 2018. As for his next step, he joined the RVO being a Business Development Coach for Poland, Romania, Bulgaria as well as the Western Balkan States. Always having an affinity for these parts of Europe, he is focussing now on the challenge of fostering economic growth and having an overall positive impact on each country individually as well as the European continent as a whole. While doing that, of course, he keeps putting his effort in the support of promising start-ups as well.

Connected to the introduction of Daniel Tserepnin, ms. Mina Noor introduced herself as well and presented a short word about her work. She is the Deputy Head of Mission of the embassy of the Netherlands in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Besides that she is a senior policy officer of the ministery of foreign affairs of the Netherlands. It was very inspiring to hear important people like herself, reason why an networking event like this is needed and useful.

Lastly, our founder and project leader Samra Sabljić gave an interesting speech to conclude the short introductions and officially kick-off the event. Besides her organizational skills for the team, she also employed her designer skills for our corporate identity. She is now finishing her master degree in Industrial Design Engineering with her thesis project at the municipality of Amsterdam. She is very motivated, driven and passionate in her pursuits, like connecting the Netherlands with Bosnia and Herzegovina through a platform like NEBO.

This summary of the introduction might seem long, but it was very interactive and quick, just to kick off the event and head to the main course: our 3 speakers that will talk about their experiences with doing business in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Speaker 1: Amir Jatić, owner of Bosing BV.

Our valued partner in our endeavors, Mr. Jatić, started with an overall view on the activities he participates in and in which industries Bosing namely thrives in; Yacht building (outfitting), Building and Construction & Energy Technology (high and medium voltage). He continued by giving an introduction on Bosnia and Herzegovina, stating some general facts and probably unknown details to quite a few in our audience. Then Mr. Jatić stated a few pros and cons on doing business in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for which we are extremely thankful. Lastly, he indulged in providing a few key notes on the future of Bosing and what lies ahead for him and his company in the Netherlands & Bosnia and Herzegovina. By showing some important aspects and insights in upcoming projects, the audience was motivated in undertaking their own operations. Due to obvious details not being made public, we invite you to contact us and inform yourselves in doing business with one of our main partners.

Speaker 2: Alexis Hupin, European External Action Service.

NEBO and its partners value an outsiders opinion on the country we’re promoting and doing business with. Mr. Hupin, who is committed to Bosnia and Herzegovina and has no business implications like our partners have and our audience want to have, was very open and delighted  to answer any questions from the public. He started his presentation by explaining how and why the European Union is involved. What really was stressed throughout the whole of the speech, was that the EU has an enormous interest and devotion to Bosnia and Herzegovina being incorporated as good as possible into the current European political system. Being realistic but also providing clarification on the matter of ascension, Mr. Hupin stated these three pillars as the main focus of Bosnia’s government; moving forward towards stabilization, implementing reforms and providing investment opportunities. These are key to the EU’s involvement and are the focus of the EU in its aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Provided platforms like NEBO and services like EEAS focus on the socio-economic reforms of the country & provide the environment for such mentioned investment opportunities, Bosnia and Herzegovina could even speed up its ascension process. We are very grateful to mr. Hupin for interesting details from his own experience and for providing a great dialogue with our audience on the future that lies ahead.

Speaker 3: Amer Grgić, CTO of Tevreden.nl.

Mr. Grgić has a great experience in his field of work (IT), having worked himself to the top and currently being the CTO of Tevreden.nl. Working regularly with an external remote team, this gave the inspiration for people to start linking with Bosnia and Herzegovina & undertaking business ventures sooner rather than later. This is why Mr. Grgić is busy looking for the perfect opportunity to incorporate his work in ventures newly to be exploited in Bosnia, having already the experience with the neighboring country Serbia. He says “All mentioned struggles can be bypassed due to the nature of the IT industry and having our team i.e. provide a general insight can smoothen things in your future ambitions. Use your experience and don’t be afraid to ask questions in these opportunities, as well as focusing on the specifications of projects and the expected outcome. However, realize that video-conferencing on itself is not enough to ensure good business in this sector.” We are looking forward to more content from us on this subject matter, as we thank Mr. Grgić for his contribution and emphasis on the importance on key notes mentioned during his speech. We live in a world without borders currently, with enough room for people to give back to Bosnia, so motivate that personal mission or explore the possibilities of this unknown market which in this sector still provides the same way of working generally!

Besides the interesting presentations, the networking session in the Atrium was a big success. People were very inspired by the talks to ask questions to each other and discuss different business possibilities. Visit cards and contact details were exchanged, ideas were pitched, everyone talked about the presentations and their engagement in doing business with BiH and/or the Netherlands.

Lastly, a short wrap-up by our moderator Leila, together with Samra on behalf of NEBO. We strongly value exchanging knowledge and, thanks to our speakers, discovering the many great possibilities of doing business in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The goal was to meet new people & connect businesses and it was a great success. We hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did. We are looking forward to you joining us on this journey and our upcoming events, more info on that in our next blog.

An overview of all pictures, credits to Selma Hamzić: