Joyful Single Mom Becomes Entrepreneur in Bosnia & Herzegovina

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Assistance provides safety net for leap of faith in Tešanj

Very early in her life, Ajla faced one of her most difficult life challenges: Being a single, teen-aged mom. She had no qualifications and no prospects for employment beyond poorly paid odd jobs to provide for herself and her son, in the small town of Tešanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and after years of that, she decided one day that just scraping by was not good enough. She knew what she wanted to do, but without a job or money, she needed help taking the first step.

“And then, the stars aligned,” Ajla said. She heard about USAID’s grants fund to support businesses created by marginalized women, and in 2017, she applied. With support from USAID and Tešanj municipality, she registered a business, bought equipment and supplies, and embarked on her journey as an entrepreneur and proud owner of JOY Events Agency.

Joyful single mom becomes entrepreneur in Tesanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina
“The youngest ones are always in focus, because it brings them the most joy,” says Ajla, proud owner of JOY Events Agency, in Tešanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, after receiving assistance through USAID’s Marginalized Populations Support Program.
Ajla, owner of JOY Events Agency, in Tešanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

She is a one-stop shop for special events – birthday parties, family reunions, business events and ceremonies – and her goal is to make them unforgettable and full of joy. Every event is put together with love and attention to detail, she says, although “the youngest ones are always in focus because it brings them the most joy.”

“I'm happy because my dreams came true and now I can do the same for others. I'm happy because I'm doing what I love,” Ajla says.

Ajla is one of 100 women in Bosnia supported by USAID’s Marginalized Populations Support Program to grow their own businesses, providing them with livelihoods and independence, and restoring their faith in a better future. Read more of their stories here.

Last updated: February 20, 2020

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