Entrepreneurs Fuel Economic
|Volume 16, No. 3||Summer 2013|
Progress In Bosnia And Herzegovina
Bosnian War survivor, Slobodan, 48, struggled for years to find enough work to feed his family. The construction company where he worked was completely destroyed during the war, and jobs were hard to come by in the post-war economy. Determined to support his wife and two sons, the former construction worker decided to start his own business and took out a small loan of $1,500 to buy a carpentry machine. That was in 2005. Today, the entrepreneur employs ten workers and sells his wood products to restaurants and companies in four countries.
Slobodan's success is mirrored across Bosnia where more than 3,000 businesses have been launched with assistance from IOCC's microcredit program. Now in its 11th year, the microcredit program has provided local entrepreneurs with $14.3 million in small, short-term business loans averaging about $1,700. The high repayment rate of 97% ensures that funds are readily available to assist future entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of self-sufficiency. The microcredit fueled businesses have generated an economic ripple effect across the region, creating more than 8,000 new jobs which in turn, help support 25,000 family members. For Slobodan, the success he's achieved through IOCC's assistance has been far more rewarding than he ever dreamed. "To be able to care for my family and provide a source of support for other families too brings me so much satisfaction and drives me to do well."