Antonio – Mostar
“Risk short term to be happy long term.”
I started breakdancing nearly eleven years ago. I started as a student at Plesni Studio B-Dance in Mostar, and eventually became a trainer. During those early years, there was a regional interest in breakdancing and a strong community network through the Balkans. Every month there seemed to be another competition, whether in Bosnia and Herzegovina or other European country. Wanting to be able to transfer my love of breakdancing and the arts to a younger generation, I decided to establish my own dance school, Breakdance Herzegovina, which provided instruction in Široki Brijeg, Čapljina, Mostar, and Ljubuški. The pilot program was successful, particularly in the smaller towns where access to arts-based programming is more limited.
Establishing Breakdance Herzegovina taught me that I was drawn to entrepreneurial activities and that to pursue such endeavors it is necessary to take risks. Perhaps I inherited this drive from my father who has a similarly creative spirit. I know most people are pragmatic when it comes to career choice, concerning themselves with issues of income and limiting their options based on familial expectations and societal judgment. This is understandable given the instability of the country’s economic system and the difficulty of finding employment based on merit alone. My standard for personal success, however, is not income or others’ opinions, but based on the happiness that a fulfilling career can provide. In recognition of this, I decided to refocus my study of Economics more specifically on entrepreneurship. When I complete my master’s degree, I plan on combining something I was trained to do at university with something I genuinely enjoy.
Unfortunately, the creation of novel enterprises and creative pursuits in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not actively encouraged and there is a lack of support and incentive from local and federal level governments. Not only does this dampen the entrepreneurial spirit, but it limits people’s willingness to take risks and think for themselves – something the county desperately requires in order to forge a different future.