Women like Mrs. Gordana Bosnić exemplify the resilience of microentrepreneurs. Forced to give up her livelihood at the start of the 1992-1995 war, Gordana's family returned to Drvar in 2001 to rebuild their lives. A florist for 26 years, Gordana was one of Prizma's first clients in this remote low-income community in northwest Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Given the geographic isolation, economic depression, and ethnic division of Drvar, Prizma was challenged to extend service there in 1999. However, the committed staff of Prizma's Bihac Branch believed in the potential of Drvar and women like Gordana. Staff regularly drove more than two hours to support her and other solidarity group members in this sparsely populated region.
Like all micro-entrepreneurs in the world, Gordana had little money, assets, or other support for her business. With Prizma's support and that of her solidarity group, Gordana secured an initial loan to re-start an activity she knew and loved. This initial sum enabled her to display a modest number of flowers on a small table in front of the war-damaged building to which her family retuned after many years in exile.
With time, Gordana saved, renewed relationships, and began to think of the future as more than survival. With each borrowing cycle, Gordana's confidence grew and like a flower well cared for, her business blossomed. In time, she succeeded in transplanting her small outdoor table to a modest but vibrant shop in the center of town.
Gordana shop now offers an inspired array of bright flowers and customized arrangements that help the community mark perennial life-cycle events, such as births, weddings, religious celebrations, and funerals. Among the most colorful of these each year is International Women's Day- a tribute to women's contribution to professional, family, and community life honoured with fresh flowers.
Gordana has helped rebuild her family's life in Drvar through a great deal of hard work, exemplifying the resilience and persistence we seek to support. More than money, Prizma has sought to provide guidance, solidarity, and a long-term commitment that helps people to realize their potential.