Mersad Husić is a young entrepreneur from Travnik, owner of the company Stage Coding in Travnik and co-owner of the Polish company CalCon Mobile. He is involved in mobile development, and has the most experience in making calculators, counters and converters. Just a few years ago, he was a disgruntled worker at a local firm, and today he is already building a successful entrepreneurial career. He graduated from the Faculty of Technical Education and Informatics at the University of Tuzla, and after completing his studies, he began an active search for his first job. He worked as a CNC programmer, but through independent learning and non-formal education he developed a love for mobile development and began to build his skills in that direction. Android, he says, was an ideal choice at the time because app development didn’t incur any additional costs. He had all the resources he needed: a cell phone, computer and a lot of motivation.
Retraining is not an easy process. It takes a lot of time and sacrifice, because knowledge cannot be acquired overnight. However, the short courses and educations that Mersad went through led to a turning point in his career. He made his first commercial steps in the world of mobile development on a freelancing platform. After a large number of job applications, the first client arrives. It wasn’t a big amount, but as with any other novice freelancer, a positive impression with a client meant a lot more to him than money. In the world of freelancing, there is huge competition, but quality and effort inevitably lead to better jobs and longer-term clients. In just a few months, Mersad was in a situation where he can choose which jobs he wants to do and which he does not. He found several regular clients and this allowed him to stabilize his income and to rely entirely on freelancing. One of those clients who recognized Mersad’s quality offered him co-ownership in his company CalCon Mobile, and so they started working on joint projects.
Due to the inconsistency of the legal framework, as a freelancer Mersad could not get the right to regular health insurance and decided to register his company. Stage Coding existing since June 2020 and the registration process took place at the same time as the public call for participation in the project TREIN – Network of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Travnik. TREIN is a project to support the development of youth entrepreneurship implemented by the Local Partnership for Employment Travnik – Municipality of Travnik, Center for Youth Education, Regional Development Agency for Central Bosnia – REZ, Employment Service SBK/KSB, University Vitez and Nobil doo Nova Bila. The project is implemented within the EU4Business program – for a competitive and innovative domestic economy, funded by the European Union, and implemented by GIZ, UNDP and ILO. Entrepreneurial training according to the SIYB methodology was conducted in the BeeZone business incubator of the Center for Youth Education, and the 20 most successful participants were supported by a grant in the amount of over 10,000 KM, mentoring and advisory support in the first year of operation. Mersad’s Stage Coding is also supported by accommodation in the office space of the BeeZone incubator.
“Through the BeeZone business incubator, I got everything I needed to realize my business idea. This is certainly a great opportunity for young people, and I sincerely hope that we will soon get new young forces in the IT sector,” said Husic. “We work, socialize and have a very productive work atmosphere. I would recommend young people to dare and go on their own initiative to act and learn. Starting is always the hardest but I think it’s much easier when you have a team that wants to help you”. IT is a fast growing sector and Stage Coding is already facing the problem of labour shortage. At the moment, Mersad is working with several freelancers who are still in the process of formal education, but who are waiting for a job at Stage Coding immediately after graduation.
“Since we do not have an adequate system for internships in the IT sector, colleagues with whom I have established communication and cooperation on freelance projects cannot participate in the work of Stage Coding as much as they would like, since as full-time students cannot be registered employees. Also, as an employer I have a problem with the lack of quality staff with specific knowledge in this sector. For this reason, in cooperation with the BeeZone business incubator, we plan to establish a system of education for young people who would like to do this job. That would provide them with their first job in the future, and we could start building our own team”.
Mersad’s entrepreneurial story is just beginning, and he certainly has a successful future ahead of him. With the support of the BeeZone business incubator and the entire local community, we can expect that Stage Coding will soon become a workplace for many talented young people from Travnik and the whole of BH.