Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Likos: Success of Croatian Electric and Hand Tools Manufacturer

December 6, 2022 - Likos is one of the most important Croatian players in the market of electric and hand tools and garden machines and tools, with more than 2,000 products of their brand in the range of more than 1,000 trading partners market.

As Poslovni writes, the Praktik brand has become an almost indispensable part of the product range, distributed in the most important construction centers and specialised stores throughout Croatia.

Likos is a family company created in the early 1990s when Ivica and Dragica Kovačević decided to replace relatively safe managerial positions with a private business, admitting that they had no strategy for what would happen to their company in 10 or 30 years.

Persistent work

"We knew we had to do something when we saw that almost all large systems had started to fall apart, so we registered a company for various activities and started with one fax machine, a desk, and an electric typewriter," recalls Ivica Kovačević.

One of the critical years in the development was 2001, when their son Nino joined the company operationally and when they moved towards more complex products and market models.

With existing and new partners from Germany, Belgium, and Italy, they started distributing electric and hand tools such as drills, grinders, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc. They did all this from a rented business and storage space. "By persistently working on the market, we expanded the sales network and achieved steady and sustainable sales growth. We built a business facility of 2500 square meters on the previously purchased plot and moved into it in 2003. We used about 1,500 square metres for storage and rented the rest as office space. The most important strategic decision in our business was building and developing our own brand. It was clear the position of distributors of foreign products would come into question in the common European market, which Croatia was preparing to enter. We have decided that, like our previous suppliers, we will go to China and organise production with the producers there designed by our employees from the selection of assortment, product design, packaging and product quality control", says Kovačević.

The project proved successful, and they have built a serious Praktik brand that includes four product groups: Electric tools, Garden machines and tools, Hand tools and accessories for electric tools, and the Water Program (pumps, water pumps, etc.)

In the last few years, they have been rapidly developing the battery-powered tool program under the Flexpower brand. Their product range is present in almost all retail stores and retail chains in Croatia that sell technical goods.

Success at the fair

Likos has a revenue of around HRK 50 million and 24 employees. Exports account for about 10 percent of the total turnover in the regional market, mainly to Slovenia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to the limited possibility of growth in the small Croatian market, they decided to take a more decisive step into export.

On this track, at the end of September of this year, the company presented at one of the world's largest specialised trade fairs for electrical devices and tools, "International Hardware Fair 2022" in Cologne, Germany.

They point out that, according to the first impressions, it was successful and that more than 150 contacts for potential cooperation were made, several of which have already been realised (Montenegro, Hungary), while contacts and discussions with several new clients from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo, Greece, Lithuania, Germany, Tunisia, Jordan, and other countries are in the process.

"In our business policy, our goal in the next three to four years is to increase exports to approximately 25 percent of the total turnover, that is, to at least two million euros.

Given that we now work partly in our own warehouse space and partly in rented space at another location, and with the aim of increasing the efficiency and expediency of deliveries, we have purchased 15,000 square meters of construction land in the industrial zone of Donja Bistra. We plan to build a new logistics center with part of an automated warehouse system based on vertical storage.

We are in the design phase of the aforementioned warehouse and plan to complete the investment in 2024," concludes this entrepreneur from Zagreb.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Business section.

Friday, 14 October 2022

Croatian Entrepreneurs Ready to Fight Growing Crisis

Zagreb, October 13, 2022 (GIA) – The growing crisis should be used as an opportunity! The speakers of the Entrepreneurial Mindset conference, the fourth edition of which was held in Zagreb's Lauba, had the subtitle Unbreakable. More than 20 extremely successful entrepreneurs from various fields, from IT to education and the hotel industry to show business, shared their vision of success in challenging times with 500 entrepreneurs, businessmen, and young people. The conference was organized by the media platform Poduzetnik in cooperation with program partner EY Croatia and Algebra.


While the world fears the extent of the new crisis, entrepreneurs are pushed forward by their indomitable spirit. It is their obligation, they explained, towards employees and society.

"Companies do not exist because of the founder and his family, but because of the wider social community! Over the years, the responsibility of the founder grows, so companies must last because of other people", agreed Miljenko Borščak and Stiven Toš, winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 award, whose company Bomark Pak became the largest producer of stretch film in Europe this spring. The results follow the company's large investment cycle, i.e. investment in the construction of plants and warehouses. Bomark Pak will realize exports worth more than HRK 1 billion this year.


(Entrepreneurial Mindset conference founder, Ognjen Bagatin)

Davor Tremac, CEO and co-founder of the company Fonoa, which deals with tax automation, told those who are just starting out in entrepreneurship to live locally and work globally: "You only live once, but your ambitions must be global." Don't wait years to get out of Croatia onto the foreign market!"

"I don't remember a crisis like this - from the coronavirus pandemic and war to interrupted supply chains and rising prices of raw materials to inflation. We don't even know what lies ahead. We need to know our long-term goal and focus on the short-term one. In order to be able to meet business goals, we need to take care of the organization. This is where good leaders are important to us," said Lada Tedeschi Fiori, member of the Atlantic Grupa Management Board. Speaking about leadership, she pointed out that it has no gender, but that it should be responsible, correct, and long-term sustainable.

Serial entrepreneur Jaka Andabak said that he remembers difficult times from childhood, but that man always found a solution. Commenting on the current situation, he pointed out that entrepreneurs are in favor of a free market, but that state mechanisms should work so that there is no chaos in the market.


Knowledge irreplaceable in the development of innovations

The conference participants also touched on education in the role of strengthening the entrepreneurial climate in the country. Hrvoje Josip Balen, founder and co-owner of Algebra and EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2020, confirmed that investment in knowledge is growing in Croatia, and that the war in Ukraine confirmed the value of the Latin saying "I carry everything with me".

Stjepan Orešković, co-owner of M+ Group, emphasized the inextricable connection between entrepreneurship and education: "The best investments are in ourselves! Nothing without hard study and hard knowledge!"

Zlatko Hrkać, CEO of SofaScore, said that you don't have to be the first in something, but you have to be the best. He told future entrepreneurs: "Whoever wants to swim in entrepreneurial waters, should stop expecting success overnight."

Nikola Kapraljević, CEO of Infinum, wants that company to become one of the largest digital agencies in the world. Infinum already employs more than 400 people in 7 offices around the world.

Strong cooperation between large companies and entrepreneurs

Dajana Mrčela, president of the Management Board of Saponia i Kandit, and Maja Šuput Tatarinov, entrepreneur, presenter and singer, presented how successful cooperation between large companies and entrepreneurs can be, in a conversation with moderator Ana Radišić on the panel called I Can - I Want - I Know.

Maja Šuput Tatarinov explained that a man whose life is under the spotlight must toughen up in order to know how to deal with the stories of people who do not know him. In business circles, she is recognized as a person of inexhaustible energy, and she herself admits that she wakes up every morning with a hundred ideas and wishes. She adds: "When you love what you do, you attract good things."

Dajana Mrčela described the cooperation with her as a great thing. Mrčel's attitude towards work was also influenced by the fact that he comes from a family that was involved in sports. He loves beating the competition and conquering new markets. She is proud of the fact that while many companies in Slavonia struggle to find employees, in Saponia and Kandit most workers stay until retirement.


Challenges of management transfer in family companies

Entrepreneurs from Serbia and Croatia recounted what the transfer of ownership and management in family businesses looks like.

Nikola Anđelković, director of the Anđelković AI company and winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 award, who took over the management of the company from his father, said: "A successful family business is built over generations for a reason and everyone contributes, and comparing the success of individual generations is not healthy because they differ in approach, time and circumstances. Who is better - father or son?! These are not the same disciplines! Someone created the company with his great energy, and we, the heirs, are the managers. If I do things Dad's way, it will limit us. He is satisfied with our upgrade in the management of the company. True leadership means giving people a free hand."

Brothers Jakov and Juraj Urbanke from HSM informatics discovered that the key to successfully running a family business is to have different opinions, but to know that family members who work together are on the same page.

The leading award program for successful entrepreneurial stories

Berislav Horvat, Country Managing Partner of EY Croatia, invited entrepreneurs to submit their own and others' successful entrepreneurial stories to the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition. Applications are open until the end of November, and the winner of the eighth edition, who will defend the colors of Croatian entrepreneurship in Monaco, side by side with the world's leading entrepreneurs, will be announced at a ceremony in March 2023.

Ognjen Bagatin, the founder of the Entrepreneurial Mindset conference, emphasized that an ecosystem should be built where the excellent help the excellent in order to bring Croatia closer to developed European countries in terms of well-being, income, and ease of living: "True leaders are strong, durable and resilient, they believe in themselves and their future, they are truly unbreakable - a guide for all of us towards a better and better Croatia."

Petar Pavić, co-founder of Star Digital Group, urged other entrepreneurs to, if possible, provide scholarships to students who want to study abroad.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset conference was organized by the media platform Poduzetnik in cooperation with Algebra and program partner EY Hrvatska.

Source: Millenium promotion Photo: Krume Ivanovski

For more about business in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Mate Rimac Registers First Nevera, Reveals More About License Plate

June the 18th, 2022 - Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac has registered the first Nevera supercar. He took to Facebook to make the announcement and to reveal just what the letters and numbers on the vehicle's license plate mean.

Livno-born entrepreneur and inventor Mate Rimac has done more to place Croatia firmly on the map of innovation and not just tourism than anyone else in recent times. Dubbed the Balkan Elon Musk, Rimac shines a more modern light on the country of genius Nikola Tesla's birth, attracting investment from the likes of Porsche and becoming immortally associated with the gigantic Bugatti group.

His Nevera supercar was in the making for a full five years, and this doggedly determined self-proclaimed car lover who started up his remarkable business from his garage not so long ago has shown just what can be achieved even in a country which likes to bite the heels of would-be entrepreneurs at every step.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, businessman and creator Mate Rimac took to Facebook recently to post that the first Nevera supercar had officially been registered.

"After five years of development, over 1,000 people in the project, seventeen prototypes produced, 45 crash tests, nine cars destroyed during crash tests and thousands of other tests - today, the first Nevera has officially been registered. For now, in Croatia, and soon in many other countries. Here’s the license plate, it even has its stamp. It will be interesting to see them soon on the license plates of Monaco, UK, USA, Germany, Japan, Canada, etc,'' wrote Rimac.

He then revealed what the different letters and numbers on the stunning Nevera's license plates meant.

One of his Facebook followers asked him below his published photos of the newly registered Nevera if the letters NM on the table mean "Nevera Matina''. Rimac replied that it meant "2360 Newton metres'', to which multiple people said is truly an original thought.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Monday, 3 January 2022

Rimac Offering €1000 to Anyone Who Recommends Someone He Employs

January the 3rd, 2022 - Mate Rimac is Croatia's shining star when it comes to entrepreneurship, having shown that anything is possible in Croatia, despite the many barriers to success in his field. He has even turned the eyes of the demanding automotive world to Croatia, who wouldn't have given this country as much as a second glance otherwise. Porsche is now firmly tied to the country through him.

The Livno-born businessman who is the head of the currently Sveta Nedelja-based Rimac Automobili, is now offering a very handsome 1000 euro amount to anyone who recommends a person they end up deciding to employ in another move in which he is giving back to people.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the entrepreneur is looking for new employees, and he is looking for candidates through recommendations. Anyone can recommend someone, and should they get lucky and get hired by the company, they'll have 1000 euros show up in their bank account. A nice surprise indeed for the one month of the year (January) in which everyone feels skint.

Anyone who refers to a candidate who is eventually hired by this enterprise will receive a 1000 euros cash - whether or not that person is employed by the Rimac Group or not.

“As we expand our project work for many global automotive companies, we're expanding at all levels. Anyone who nominates a candidate we hire in the end will be rewarded with 1000 euros (gross) - regardless of whether they're an employee of the Rimac Group or not,'' wrote Mate Rimac on his Facebook page.

Rimac is looking for experienced procurement and logistics experts who can take responsibility for challenging, large projects.

"Managing the requirements of such complex projects is not something for beginners, so please don't waste your and ours with recommendations for unskilled people," Rimac concluded in his Facebook post.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Young Zagreb Entrepreneur Engaged by Croatian Company Prostorija

August the 24th, 2021 - One very young and very promising Zagreb entrepreneur has caught the eye of no less than the Croatian company Prostorija, all because of one very special product of his.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, Leo Greguric from Zagreb's story first came to light in the Croatian media space one year ago, who then, after completing the third grade of high school, had been running the 3DGlobe company for 3D technologies for a couple of years.

Since then, he has graduated from the popular MIOC and enrolled at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, and progressed in the business segment as well. Everything, he says, opened up to him somehow.

“There's more and more cooperation going on with companies, we provide or sell them professional equipment for 3D printing, and I'm glad that I achieved my first big job in production. The Croatian company Prostorija, which produces furniture, decided to engage my company,'' Greguric stated. He received an order from this prestigious Zagorje-based manufacturer of furniture to make plastic elements for two items - chairs and sofas.

“These are smaller plastic pieces. We made about 2000 pieces of inserts that are installed under the handles of the chairs, and a larger model, but smaller in quantity, about 500 rosettes for the base of a sofa, which serves as protection for both the fabric and for the furniture below it on the ground,'' explained the talented young man.

His 3DGlobe company designed and imprinted elements in three dimensions. ''They weren’t geometrically complex, but it was a challenge to make so many of them. The first batch started last October, and we gradually went from smaller to larger orders,'' stated Leo.

He isn't even attempting to hide the fact that he's very satisfied with the aforementioned cooperation with the Croatian company Prostorija, whose items have won numerous Croatian and international design awards, can be found in a number of international luxury hotels and restaurants, and the French Prime Minister was sitting on no less than one of Prostorija's sofas. Greguric rightfully hopes to continue working with them.

"This cooperation is one of my most pleasant business experiences. All the people from the Croatian company Prostorija with whom I was in contact have been extremely kind and, most importantly, meticulous and very well organised,'' he stated, publicly expressing his satisfaction on social media.

It doesn't stop there, either, this talented young Zagreb businessman revealed that he was recently in a meeting with the globally known manufacturer of natural cosmetics, Lush, and admitted that he has the potential to work for them, namely making the plastic molds for so-called shower bombs.

“They're interested in this 3D printing technology because of its flexible design and the possibility of support. I strive for the main value of my job to be the maintenance and implementation of technology in the business of companies, so I want to provide them with consulting and education, and not just give them equipment. Companies like Lush want to have someone locally who, for example, will give them the equipment in a week and train them to work with it,'' explained the founder and director of 3DGlobe.

He was, he added, also in the company of his role model, Mate Rimac, talking there with his experts in charge of 3D printing. He pointed out that he will not give up working for private Croatian customers.

"My wish is to establish a webshop where private users, hobbyists, students, will all be able to purchase equipment and materials for 3D printing," stated Greguric.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Over 95% of Entrepreneurs to Receive HGK Fee Waiver Under New Law

ZAGREB, 8 July 2021 - The government on Thursday sent to the parliament a draft bill on the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) whereby the mandatory membership fee will be waived for more than 95% of entrepreneurs in Croatia, Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said.

The bill envisages three categories of members.

The first group includes members who can apply for the fee waiver if they meet at least two of the following three criteria: their total assets do not exceed HRK 7.5 million, their annual revenues do not exceed 15 million kuna, and/or the number of people on their payroll is below 50.

The second category comprises those who surpass at least two of the above-mentioned criteria, however, they do not surpass the following three criteria: assets of 30 million kuna, their annual revenues do not go beyond HRK 60 million and the number of their employees is up to 250.

The third category includes those who surpass two of the requirements set forth for the second category.

Category 1 members will be exempt from the mandatory membership, however, they will pay additional services and products of the Chamber, as specified in the HGK price list.

They will be offered the possibility to pay voluntary membership aimed at stimulating the modernization of the workings of the chamber.

Members from Category 2 and 3 are supposed to pay the mandatory membership fee and the fee will be defined for each category on an annual basis.

The current legislation regulating the HGK was adopted in 1991. Under that law, the lion's share of members, that is 96.7%, pay a monthly fee of 42 kuna and have access to most of the services and products provided by the chamber.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 24 May 2021

Predicting Fertility Is Now Easier than Ever: Meet the Revolutionary me.mum!

May 24, 2021 - The new method, me.mum, only needs a drop of saliva for analyzing hormones and predicting fertility. The project aims to present a reliable solution for all women and couples who are planning a pregnancy or trying to conceive but are experiencing difficulties.

As we hear about the latest technological advances and discoveries, the first thing that comes to mind might be a Tesla truck or a new social network available in the app store. Thus, we wonder, what purpose does technology serve? We believe, therefore, that today's progress in the technology industry is dictated by the latest trends, whims, and social needs of the human being (and it is worth clarifying that it is not all bad).



But it also depends on where we look, because not every day people and ideas appear willing to change the course of, for example, the way we know about family planning and predicting fertility. A Croatian entrepreneur, based on her life experience, decided a few years ago to take action on the matter and revolutionize the way in which women can better know their bodies and plan the desired pregnancy with their partners through an innovative method, and it only requires an easy-to-use device and a mobile application.

In 2015, after two years of expectations, disappointment, and hopes, Maja Bujas felt pushed towards four years of developing me.mum, which is an innovative portable fertility monitor and app that can accurately predict women's fertile days by analyzing the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) from saliva. Its technology is built from scratch, and provides personalized insights into women's hormone profile, and detects the most fertile days, which significantly increases the chance of conceiving. Chances of getting pregnant are higher when women can identify their fertility window. me.mum combines the most popular methods of determining the fertile days: period calendar and measuring luteinizing hormone (LH) from saliva, instead of urine.


Maja Bujas, founder of me.mum

After conceiving the idea, the research and development stage followed. In 2017, the first functional models and app were designed. In the two following years, two prototypes of me.mum were developed, and in December 2020 the final product was completed. That way, after four years of development and two prototypes, Maja can finally share one simple to use solution for all women and couples who are planning a pregnancy or trying to conceive but experiencing difficulties. When you are trying to conceive, the most important thing is to determine your fertile days. With me.mum you will do it easily and simply.


Its use is very practical and easy to learn for all those interested in predicting fertility in few steps. The best time to use me.mum is in the morning, but you can use it during the day too. Before using, it is important not to eat or drink anything, except water. That way your saliva will be clean. According to Maja and her team of developers, the process of using me.mum can be summed up in only three easy steps! 

Currently, the product is already on sale in the early-bird mode, in which all those interested in buying it can access an exclusive price. The market price will be €119, but at this time one can order it through two packages: one for €59, which includes the smart fertility monitor device and the me.mum app. The other, for €69, also includes an online nutrition course for boosting your fertility. The estimated shipping date worldwide will be July 2021. The app will be available as soon as the first me.mum devices are delivered.


Likewise, the me.mum crowdfunding campaign is still in effect, with 25 more days for all those willing and interested in collaborating with its developers, who would like to hear feedback from the early users and grow the me.mum community. Also, through their crowdfunding site, you can learn more about me.mum, the team behind its development, how to use it, any updates in purchasing and shipping, and more!

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Croatian ACT Group Creates Programme to Aid Young Entrepreneurs

May the 22nd, 2021 - The Croatian ACT Group has created and developed a platform called Nevjerojatni (Incredibles) to try to give young entrepreneurs a spring in their step and aid them along their way in business.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, Ana Brigovic, the business development manager of the Croatian ACT Group, stated that entrepreneurship often costs people emotionally, but it is also extremely rewarding, giving us something to be proud of in life.

The Croatian ACT Group is aiming to further strengthen entrepreneurship this year by presenting the Nevjerojatni project, a platform for a support programme intended for Croatian business founders or directors under the age of 36 who are managing small or medium companies that have been on the market for a minimum of one year.

Until May the 31st, while the Nevjerojatni tender remains open, they will select five ''Incredibles'' to whom they will award vouchers in the amount of 5,000 euros for business development.

"For us, the key factor is economic activity, not the legal form, which means that self-employed persons, family farms, associations or any other entity that is regularly engaged in an economic activity can also apply for the tender. It's also a condition that they send us a video message because that acts as their application form,'' explained Brigovic.

The selected entrepreneurs will then be provided with advice and assistance in the development of their respective companies with experienced experts, especially since the Croatian ACT Group has a pool of about 50 excellent local and international mentors from various areas of business available to Croatian entrepreneurs.

As part of the programme, they will also organise training sessions on marketing, sales, strategy and operations, depending on the real needs of the users of the programme.

"Everyone involved will get earn some excellent visibility for their company and brand through a media campaign, we'll enable them to connect and network with other entrepreneurs, and all that along with financial support," noted Brigovic.

The Croatian ACT Group has been proverbially brewing this idea for some time now, and they started with true realisation back at the end of 2020 in order to provide visibility to good Croatian entrepreneurial stories and increase the level of respect for young entrepreneurs.

Croatian entrepreneurs, they say, are considered ingenious and - incredible. "We at the ACT Group have been working on providing direct support to entrepreneurs for more than five years and we wanted others to hear these inspiring stories we hear every day, about people from across Croatia who, with their perseverance, optimism and hard work create something good - from employment to something else good for their community, as well as innovation and other drivers of economic development,'' stated Brigovic.

Young entrepreneurs who have already found success are involved in the promotion of the Nevjerojatni project.

Raiffeisenbank Hrvatska also joined the project as a partner, recognising the importance of this initiative and the influence it can have on the development of society and the economy. “Our RBA partners believe that it's their duty as a company to use their human and material resources for the social well-being, progress and improvement of the quality of life in the local community. And that is exactly what they're doing by investing in such a programme to empower young entrepreneurs.

RBA will provide advisory support in financial management and investment, and they've prepared a free entrepreneurial package of their services for a period of one year for those entrepreneurs who have an account with them,'' Brigovic added.

In order to further encourage promising entrepreneurs to apply for the programme, in collaboration with young successful entrepreneurs from Croatia - Marin Mrsa from Peekator, Dragan Lipovac from Hubbig, Ena Rajic from Media Scene, filmmaker Jan Stih from Riza Biznis and Albert Gajsak from CircuitMess - they talked about different industries and markets to further help entrepreneurs navigate and develop across different markets and industries. Through the programme, they say, they would like to encourage local consumption, ie to order services or products from other small or medium enterprises from across the country.

"I think the Nevjerojatni campaign is another great initiative from the Croatian ACT Group to promote entrepreneurship in Croatia. I'm sure that 5,000 euros in the form of services will help entrepreneurs in their further development. On top of that, I think that the campaign was cleverly arranged, because the aforementioned award will be used even more with the help and mentoring of the Group,'' said Marin Mrsa.

The Croatian ACT Group continuously provides support to entrepreneurs through various annual programmes, too. The long-running Start Something of Your Own programme is currently being implemented, where Albert Gajsak was one of the winners.

The Erasmus programme for start-up entrepreneurs is also underway, through which they enable cooperation, knowledge exchange and business connections with other European countries.

They recently completed the implementation of a Rapid Response and Recovery Programme to help micro-entrepreneurs whose businesses are threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of the programme, they developed and offered their repository of knowledge, advice and tools for improving business to all entrepreneurs for free and open use through www.podrska-poduzetnicima.hr.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Number of Croatian Entrepreneurs Doubles in Eighteen Years

April the 14th, 2021 - It might be all doom and gloom when listening to stories about doing business here in Croatia, but it can't all be that bleak. The number of Croatian entrepreneurs has doubled in the last 18 years, which provides encouragement that things are improving.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the total revenues of Croatian entrepreneurs generated back in pre-pandemic 2019 reached the impressive amount of 796.1 billion kuna, when compared to way back in 2002, these figures are higher by 403.9 billion kuna, stated the Financial Agency (Fina) in its analysis entitled: "The financial results of Croatian entrepreneurs since the establishment of the Register, from 2002 to 2019."

“According to laws and bylaws, companies and sole proprietors and business units of Croatian entrepreneurs based in a foreign country are required to submit their annual financial statements (AFS) to the Financial Agency, which maintains the Register of Annual Financial Statements, as of April 2003. Since back in 2008, companies have been required to submit their AFS for statistical and other purposes and for public disclosure, and other taxpayers have been asked to do so only for statistical and other purposes.

The register of annual financial reports was established on the model of such registers in European Union (EU) member states, as a central source of information on business performance and the financial position of legal and natural persons, including corporate taxpayers,'' they stated in the introduction.

According to Fina, over the last 18 years, Croatian entrepreneurs have operated positively and reported a net profit - the exception is 2010 when they operated negatively and reported a net loss of slightly less than 1.7 billion kuna, with 2019 being their best year in terms of their total financial results.

"Back in 2019, 31.3 billion kuna was realised in net profit, which is the highest net profit in the observed 18 years. The highest revenues in 2019 were generated by INA in the amount of 21.6 billion kuna (with a share of 2.7 percent in the total revenue generated by Croatian entrepreneurs), while the highest profit for the period, in the amount of 1.1 billion kuna was earned by HEP. Back in 2002, INA was also the best in terms of revenue, which then amounted to 14.1 billion kuna (holding a share in the total income of Croatian entrepreneurs of 3.6 percent),'' Fina stated.

Back in pre-pandemic 2019, the Register collected and processed 136,260 annual financial reports for statistical and other purposes, corporate taxpayers without financial institutions, which is twice as many Croatian entrepreneurs (114.4 percent) as in the initial observed year (2002). The number of Croatian entrepreneurs was higher from year to year throughout the observed period, except in 2012, when it was lower than it was in the previous year of 2011. The share of Croatian entrepreneurs operating from profit was the lowest in 2010 (57.4 percent), and the highest in 2002 (70.9 percent) and 2003 (71.0 percent).

The analysis of business results of Croatian entrepreneurs in recent years, they say, indicated the importance of a small number of entrepreneurs on the overall financial results of Croatian entrepreneurs. This was also the case in 2019, when the first 10 entrepreneurs generated 79.7 billion kuna or 10.0% of the 796.1 billion kuna in total revenues of 136,260 entrepreneurs, and the first 100 entrepreneurs generated 227.3 billion kuna of the total revenue.

Their analysis shows that INA, with a share of 2.7 percent in total revenues, is far ahead of everyone else, as it has been in previous years. HEP with 10.5 billion kuna and Konzum plus with 7.7 billion kuna are in second and third place, and together they hold a share of 2.3 percent in the total revenue earned by Croatian entrepreneurs, which means that the three first-ranked companies have a share in total income of such entrepreneurs of 5.0 percent.

"The first 100 entrepreneurs in terms of profit for that period generated 16.2 billion kuna or 33.2 percent of the profit of all Croatian entrepreneurs. Back in 2019, the largest profit for that period was generated by HEP in the amount of 1.1 billion kuna, followed by Pliva Hrvatska with a profit of 984.4 million kuna, and Hrvatski Telekom in third place with 717.1 million kuna,'' they stated.

The number of employees of Croatian entrepreneurs in the observed period was the highest in 2019 - a total of 969,776, and the lowest in 2002 when they had 754,186 employees. From 2002 to 2008, the number of employees increased, while from 2009 to 2014 it generally decreased, with the exception of 2013, in which it was slightly higher than it was back in 2012. However, since 2014, the number of employees has been growing continuously and period increased by 139,660. The average number of employees per entrepreneur in the observed period was the highest in 2002 - when it stood at 11.9 employees per entrepreneur, and since then it has been decreasing from year to year, and in 2019 the average was 7.1 employees per entrepreneur.

“The highest average monthly net salary of employees at the level of all Croatian entrepreneurs was calculated in 2019, when it amounted to 5,815 kuna, which is 80.6 percent more than in 2002, when the lowest average monthly net salary in the observed period was calculated (3,219 kuna),'' Fina's analysis showed.

For more on Croatian entrepreneurs, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

LOL Agency: Lea Kosovic Entered Entrepreneurial Waters During Student Days

December the 10th, 2020 - Lea Kosovic decided to take the daunting plunge into entrepreneurial waters and develop the LOL agency during her time as a student. Despite the numerous draconian rules the Croatian state still has in place, she succeeded.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ivan Tominac writes, they say that studying is the most beautiful period of a person's life, a time during which we discover and polish up our interests and dream about the future. Some, however, are so impatient with their dreams that they don't wait for the end of their studies in order to attempt to make them come true, and one such individual is the doggedly determined 26-year-old Lea Kosovic, who started an event organisation agency called LOL during her studies.

She decided to take this step despite trying to cope with the very challenging time swimming in exam deadlines in the 4th year of communication management studies, and today, she has several successful years of business under her belt.

As Lea Kosovic points out, the entrepreneurial world seemed to her to be a natural sequence of activities to take, and her environment contributed to that; her mother, father and boyfriend are all entrepreneurs who additionally motivated her to move forward with her own goals.

On the other hand, the faculty she attended places a lot of emphasis on practical teaching, which also gave her a spring in her step. "The faculty I attended is a big proponent of practical classes, so I had the opportunity from the first year onward to take internships that taught me a lot, that is, where I could apply what I'd learned in theory in college. On top of that, we often had exercises in the classroom where we could hone our skills well,'' said entrepreneur Lea Kosovic.

Although the days of studying and running her own business are a few years behind her today, she still fondly remembers it all. As she explained, she'd do it all again if needed, and the secret of success lies in good organisation.

''I'd deal with everything as soon as I could, so my deadlines were always always free. The most important thing was to properly position my student, private and business obligations, so that none of these three segments suffered, or if they had to suffer, it would be minimally. At first, I planned my commitments day by day, but I soon realised that way didn’t work. So I introduced appointment planning a week in advance and wrote everything down in my calendar. I knew exactly what was waiting for me, so I was able to set positive priorities,'' Lea Kosovic added.

Although the idea of ​​entrepreneurship came to her mind during her very first year of study, several years had passed by the time the first step was taken. Lea started to think more seriously about this venture in the 3rd year of her studies when she did her internship at the Media Val agency. There, she fell in love with organising events and started thinking about the concept of her own company. From that idea came LOL.

She shared her idea with her boyfriend and best friend, and their support gave her yet another spring in her step. Although she felt only excitement at the beginning, from the moment she held the very last administrative paper in her hands, Lea Kosovic admitted that for a short period, fear of the unknown was very much present.

‘‘The biggest challenge for me was proving to people that I know how to do my job. When I opened LOL, I was in business event organisations for four years. I felt I'd done enough to be able to try it out. The main assumption today is that young people have no experience and aren't old enough to start their own businesses. I don't think that's really the case. There's nothing wrong with young people trying to experience the magic of entrepreneurship. The worst thing that can happen is that their job fails and they have to put the key in the lock, but they still achieved more than those who didn't even try,'' Lea pointed out.

LOL opened when she had one safe client; thus securing some income. “I’ve noticed that when finding new clients, it’s important to love what you do. Clients notice when you talk with great passion about their event, when they send new ideas and suggestions, and when they feel that you're not under any pressure. If one client is happy with you, they will recommend you further and so the whole story will be accepted. It was the same in my case, and that gave me additional motivation and self-confidence,'' said LOL's Lea Kosovic.

The very nature of this sort of job presents numerous challenges, but they've only been further exacerbated by the emerging situation caused by the pandemic. Lea was naturally very scared back at the beginning, but even in this situation she managed to pull through. ''Entrepreneurship simply prepares you for a fight", she said.

Lea had learned long ago that there's no time to lose and that empty steps only distract her from her goals. "We all called 2020 'our year', but we were wrong. We were supposed to have eight events this year, and we only had three. I know others in this industry who haven’t managed to do any events this year so I can only be happy because I’ve had at least that much. I was terrified at the beginning of this pandemic. I was afraid that was it and that I might have to put the key in the lock after all. However, it turned out fine. Not the way I planned, but it was still okay. Patience is also something that entrepreneurship teaches you to have,'' concluded LOL's owner, Lea Kosovic.

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