On Friday, May 18, the third edition of the educational program “LEADER Project Serbia”, from the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, was successfully completed. At the end of an intensive two-week course, 36 attendees presented their business plans to an eight-member jury who selected the three best business ideas.

Following the consultation of the jury, formed by the five Canadian LEADER instructors, Filip Petrović, Trade Commissioner at Embassy of Canada in Belgrade, Mihailo Vesović, Special Advisor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia and Bryan Beaton, a member of the Board of Directors of the CANSEE association the three winners of the LEADER project were announced.

The first place won a team comprised of Valentina Čolić, Vladimir Jovanović and Milan Stojanović who presented Cookup hub, a unique solution for food entrepreneurs. Cookup hub allows entrepreneurs to work together, motivate each other, learn from each other, exchange valuable contacts, and get the advisory support they need.

Jovana Stanković’s project Flow won the second place. Flow is a smart device packed in modern jewelry design, which provides users with insight into highly reliable and up-to-date data of various parameters about the state of their body (level of body hydration, stress, oxygen, activities and others) in order for the users to make healthier everyday decisions.

The third place took Tamara Jevtovic with the project Minimum demidž, a place where you can drink Serbian drinks and enjoy the delicious vegetarian specialties of Serbian cuisine. Minimum demidž is based on the principles of local procurement of all foods used for food and drink preparation, as well as zero-waste principles, making it unique in the regional market.

Mihailo Vesović said that the three most interesting and attractive projects were selected. “We had the opportunity to hear more than 20 great business ideas of young people who presented their projects according to all the principles of modern business, not only the idea itself and technical dimension of the project, but also how to sell it, do marketing, find financiers”, said Vesović.

Valentina Čolić said she applied for the LEADER project because she recently became an entrepreneur in the food industry. “I needed leadership and business management skills that I did not have the opportunity to acquire during my work experience,” she said, adding that during the two-week course she had the opportunity to learn everything needed for running a successful business.

The nine winners of the LEADER project Serbia, LEADER project Macedonia and LEADER project Bosnia and Herzegovina will have an opportunity to further develop their ideas working with mentors and present them at regional events in Belgrade, Sarajevo and Skopje. This regional project ‘Strengthening of Cross-border Cooperation and Relations in the Western Balkans through People to People Contact of Young Entrepreneurs’ was supported by the Western Balkan Fund, created with the aim of financing small and medium-sized projects in the field of education, sustainable development and human rights in the countries of the Western Balkans. The first event in which the winners of the LEADER project will present their ideas to the jury and the business community will be held within the Macedonia2025 Business Forum in cooperation with the CANSEE association, on June 22 at the Hilton Hotel, Belgrade, the second will take place in Sarajevo on August 8 and the final one in Skopje on November 7.

CANSEE Canadian Serbian Business Association thank the partners of the project, Ivey Business School of the University of Western Ontario, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Embassy of Canada to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro, the general sponsor of the event – Rakita company and other companies that supported the event – Metalfer Group, Delta Holding, Holiday Inn Express Belgrade City, Vip Mobile, Division Visual Solutions, Apollo, Ravel.