Aida’s cakes: From hobby to small business

Six beneficiaries of Flood Recovery – Housing Interventions Programme, financed by the European Union, got an opportunity to turn their entrepreneurship ideas into small businesses. Aida, the cake baker from Goražde, is one of them.

Aida started making cakes out of a hobby. During the period of unemployment, making cakes was a way for Aida to help her family financially. “When I stopped working, I was left with only my cakes. I wanted to contribute to my family; I did not want to just sit at home and do nothing”remembers Aida.

Today, Aida has registered small business and workshop next to one of the main roads in Goražde. Her glass showcase is filled with birthday cakes waiting for their owners to pick them up.

Aida’s career of a businesswoman started with the application to Public call for the beneficiary selection of the Flood Recovery – Housing Interventions Programme. The Programme, that aims to provide safe housing as well as economic empowerment to households in areas affected by 2014 floods, is financed by the European Union in cooperation with entity governments, UNDP and partner municipalities.

Aida’s home was destroyed by a landslide after record-breaking rainfall. “Do you know what kind of hole we have in our wall? You can see the neighbours through it” describes Aida her home which they had to leave as it became unsafe. After they applied to Public call and fulfilled all necessary conditions, construction of the new house for Aida and her family started. While she waits to move into their new home, Aida is taking part in the economic empowerment of families implemented through the Programme.

During the period of three months, Aida attended training on entrepreneurship after which she presented her business idea to an expert commission in UNDP Headquarters in Sarajevo. Her business plan got approved and the next step was the registration of a small business named “Aida Cakes”.

“I feel great as an owner of small business,” says Aida and adds “I no longer sell unregistered and I do not have to worry that someone might report me to the authorities”.

Through the Programme, Aida also received necessary equipment for her workshop to make sure she cansuccessfullyestablish and manage small business.

“Just this oven accelerated my work three times” Aida points to the oven in the middle of the workshop that was donated through the Programme. With new oven, Aida can bake eight  biscuits at the same time, increasing the number of cakes she can make.

Besides the equipment, Aida also received the training in fondant making while experts engaged through the Programme will mentor her during the first business year. “Before, I did not know how to make any decorations. I only knew how to cover a cake in whipped cream” she laughs. Now, after fondant training, Aida’s cakes are decorated with well-known cartoon and movie characters.

Aida is grateful for the help she received through Programme.

“I am doing my best to justify the trust given to me” she admits and adds:

“Participation in the Programme has changed my life”.

Flood Recovery – Housing Interventions Programme provides support to self-sustainable recovery through durable housing solutions, coupled with improved livelihood opportunities, for the most vulnerable people whose homes were damaged or destroyed in floods and landslides.

The Programme, valued at EUR 15 million, is financed by the European Union in the amount of EUR 12.5 million, in cooperation with Government of Federation of BiH, Government of Republika Srpska, local authorities of partner cities and municipalities, and UNDP in BiH.

The Programme is implemented by UNDP in BiH, together with the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM), Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), Hilfswerk International (HWI) and partner municipalities and cities.