Local entrepreneurs are of great importance for the regions of Serbia

Entrepreneurs from Niš and its surroundings are eager to work, have good ideas, and are ready to learn, as evidenced by the ample space for creative action at Deli, where the first workshop of the A1 Naša Mreža caravan was held. There was a demand for more chairs so that everyone could hear the experts in management, law, finance, e-commerce, and digitalization, essential elements of modern small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ivan Tanasković, the director of the E-commerce Association of Serbia, states that the online market is in a phase of impressive development with over 4,000 active online stores and a growth rate of 26% annually.

“Last year, the number of non-cash transactions in the e-commerce sector exceeded 58 million, generating revenue of over 1.6 billion euros. Such results, for a geographically limited market, represent a significant success. Particularly encouraging is the decrease in the number of consumers resisting online shopping, with an impressive decrease of 12% in the last two years, further confirming the potential and vitality of the digital economy in our country,” Tanasković revealed.

Nikola Pejović, a finance consultant, warns entrepreneurs to be cautious during periods of rapid growth.

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“The great advantage of entrepreneurs is flexibility and their good understanding of their business. However, this also hides a potential problem because they often do not realize how quickly their business is growing, especially in terms of costs. Since they still operate on a feeling basis, without exact numbers, they may run into problems without being aware of it. They believe that increased revenue will be sufficient to cover all costs and leave a profit, but that is not always the case. Among other things, through articles on Naša Mreža, we are trying to help them simply understand finances, and we are always here for questions, dilemmas, and uncertainties,” Pejović explained.

Miljan Ćupurdija, a lawyer and manager, emphasizes that the entire market in Serbia is facing the challenge of finding qualified workers, especially the segment of small and medium-sized enterprises.

“They need to focus on key issues, such as employee salaries and opportunities for work-life balance. The advantage of small and medium enterprises is that they have the opportunity to be closer to people, and this should be nurtured.”

One of the unavoidable topics was the digitalization of business and ways to do things more efficiently with the help of new technologies.

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“Our approach to customers is different and well illustrated by the example of e-fiscalization two years ago. We positioned ourselves as consultants; we wanted to explain to them what awaited them and how. They were confused by the new obligations and then by the method of execution, because now the telco company, which they were used to providing voice, SMS, and internet services, is there for something completely different from the ICT domain. Then they realized that we have been in the ICT domain for a long time and that we can help them,” said Ljubica Vojinović, ICT Product Development Team Manager at A1 Serbia.

This event marks the beginning of a series of meetings in various cities throughout Serbia this year.

“We desire to gather local entrepreneurs through these events, help them with important topics, provide answers to their questions, but above all, allow them to get to know each other and start communicating and collaborating because together we can achieve much more than any of us individually,” emphasized Ivan Minić, the editor-in-chief of Naša Mreža, a free business platform launched by A1 Serbia 5 years ago to inform, educate, and connect entrepreneurs.

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