Asja – Sarajevo

“The future is in business, not politics.”

“We’ve been talking about the same things for the last 25 years, but no one is talking about the economy!” Growing up in a business-minded family, Asja developed a love for finance early on. She completed a masters degree in financial management and got experience working in both Italy and Austria with international corporations. Now she’s back in BiH, applying her love and knowledge to the family business Ze-Steel in Zenica. “I really do have hope in the small and middle size companies who are putting all their efforts into growing business in Bosnia. As a business, we work with all entities, all ethnicities, and all our neighboring countries. There is no issue working together when business unites us.” Asja learned more than just a love of numbers from her father, she also grew up believing in the power of a diverse team. So when Asja looks at her generation, she sees a lot of potential and a lot of ambition waiting to be harnessed. “This country definitely has a future if the younger generation will stay here and build. But there is a huge imbalance between starting salaries and cost of living. I completely understand that many desire to look elsewhere. I personally have something to fight for – something that is mine and my family’s. If I didn’t have this, I would probably be gone already.” As she tours their new galvanizing facility, she begins to speak about the challenges of growing a business in a country high on the corruption index with a dysfunctional political system. “It’s very hard to decouple these things – if politics isn’t working, neither is the economy. We need leaders who are there for people – building infrastructure, bringing in foreign investors, and putting the country on the path forward.”

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