Balkans: A Little Goes A Long Way

January 17, 2019

Balkans: A Little Goes A Long Way

Dragan has built a successful café business with a microloan from IOCC, and he plans to expand his menu and his workforce in the coming year.

Before the breakup of Yugoslavia, Dragan (now 50) managed a hotel in Derventa, Bosnia and Herzegovina—a natural fit for his training in catering. But conflict changes everything, and it turned his family’s life upside-down.

Unemployment was Dragan’s biggest challenge once the conflict ended, and for years he worked short-term jobs while also farming to feed his family. Diligence paid off, and Dragan saved up money.

A small loan through IOCC’s microcredit program, plus Dragan’s savings, gave him the chance he’d been looking for: in 2014, he leased a café. Dragan now has a booming business of his own and three employees.

“With the help of IOCC’s loan, I was able to start a business, renovate the building, and buy a vehicle for deliveries,” Dragan said. He has big plans for the future, too. Now he aims to hire two more workers and add house-made pizza to the menu—expanding his business into a café-pizzeria.

IOCC’s microcredit program in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been running since 2002, giving over 11,000 families a chance to make their entrepreneurial goals reality, step by step.

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