Written by: Milana Lazić
The “Flower of Success for a Dragon Lady” prize is an award issued by the Association of Businesswomen of Serbia every year to the most successful female entrepreneurs, going on ten years in a row. (…) This year’s special prize for family entrepreneurship for a Dragon Lady was quite deservedly given to the Director of the family company “Delikos”, the phenomenal Mina Rakićević, running a business with 29 employees, the majority of them women.
For Mina, this award means a great honour, but not because it represents the idea that Mina Rakićević is the best among female family business entrepreneurs in 2016, but because this award helped quell her doubt that she is not doing well enough. When she heard the words of praise this success brought her, Mina felt to be a powerful woman in Serbia, which is, unfortunately, rare, and regained her courage that she can do a great job in leading a company in the meat processing industry. In this regard, this award for Mina is a moment of recognition and valuation of the dedicated work and confirmation of the importance of not giving up. (…)
Mina Rakićević completed two faculties – molecular biology, followed by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Having completed her studies, in 2000 she returned to Serbia with the idea that things would improve. She started working in entrepreneurship at a very difficult time for her personally. Namely, in 2013 Mina took over the company after her father’s death. Her decision was inspired by the thought: “I wanted to be something I am not – the boss’s daughter, when in fact I was a fighter. I did not prepare to be a manager, to know taxes and laws, it was simply the issue of the survival of the factory and brand on the market, with a lot of investment riding on the line.” (…)
Mina believes entrepreneurship is necessary for this country. She believes it is important for our country to develop the entrepreneurial spirit, and that it is the responsibility of the competent authorities to stimulate the creation of such an environment, to provide a boost for entrepreneurship, not just with adults, but also in the culture of education for youth. Mina’s message for improving entrepreneurship is towards utilizing the potential of domestic small and medium enterprises and providing incentives. She says that the market game must be fair, and in this, the domestic producers would be significantly helped if the numerous para-fiscal charges were decreased, currently hampering operations and stimulating the grey economy and illegal operation. Mina believes it is a significant problem, particularly since employers and entrepreneurs see no benefits in paying these charges. Likewise, Mina notes that it is necessary to work on expanding the market, since customs services are very high. (…)
Mina’s message to all those wishing to try their hand at entrepreneurship is the following: “Always ask yourself first: what is the worst thing that could happen? Unless you try something, the worst that can happen is that you remain where you are. Unless you try and take on the risk, you will be no smarter or more successful, and if you fail – you certainly become smarter due to the experience you tried, and it will open some new doors. If you fall – get up and try again. No work is without mistakes. We learn from them and they make us stronger, and more resilient to greater challenges that may occur. My personal example shows this. I teach my closest associates to take responsibility and learn from their experience.”
The message Mina wishes to send to women across Serbia is: “Have a clear idea and goal in life and believe you will succeed. Be brave, believe in yourself, be courageous and know that success does not come overnight. Do not take shortcuts, because the merits will come, while all that comes quickly also disappears quickly.” (…)
Women in the labour market should be stimulated and viewed as proactive entrepreneurs and employers actively contributing to the economic development of our country. As active members, female entrepreneurs contribute to increasing the social responsibility and collective awareness in the field of economic empowerment of women. This is of key importance for development, as well as for improving the image of women in society.