March 30, 2015 | Monday

Towards success with Baklava

When she began to make baklava and to provide to the consumers for purchase, Fatmire Maliqi from Ferizaj did not believe that her name would be at the top of the list of the most successful entrepreneurs in Kosovo. But thanks to the success achieved with her business, in 2014 the Ministry of Trade and Industry in cooperation with the Economic Chamber of Kosovo Women G7, within the project “Small Business Days” announced her as the most successful business woman.

For Fatmire all started in 2010 when she got the courage to start a business on her own. “According to the market analysis that I conducted, I noticed that there is lack of baklava, this excellent and traditional dessert for us, so I decided to start making baklava and to place it in the market as a new product “, she explains the origin of its business.

“In my family from generation to generation it was impossible to imagine a festive atmosphere without baklava at our tables. Always, baklava was a queen of sweets, although making of baklava is very delicate, very time consuming and creates significant tiredness,” says she.

They say that there are few women who know how to prepare baklava and they are mostly middle age or older, while estimates are few young girls would know how to make baklava.

To start her business, for Fatmire the only difficulty was the financial implications. She had to take a loan with the commercial bank, which would serve her to regulate the facility and to buy equipment for the job. Initially, she hired four women who would help her make the baklava and one person that managed the sales, but after successful placement in the market, it expanded its business over the years. Today, her business that was named after her daughter, Edona, employs 18 women and three sales agents.

“All women who work for me and my own family live from this business,” says Fatmire. Her business initially had annual turnover of about 20 thousand euros, while last year this amount was over 100 thousand euro. She has plans to expand even more her business and hire more women, but this needs additional financial support.

“My plan is to expand production capacity and to recruit 500 women who will make baklava not only for consumption in Kosovo, but also for export to countries in the region as well as in a network Markets in Germany. But to achieve this requires an investment of six million euros, and for the moment, I do not have that possibility on my own, “says Fatmire Maliqi.

She encourages all women in Kosovo not to seek employment only in the public sector, but also at the private sector and to have the courage to launch a new venture.

“Women should not lose hope and should have the courage to start a job. With commitment one can achieve everything “, Fatmire says.