Dina is 42 years old. She owns two educational centers, Zemlja Cuda Kindergarden and Tvrdjava Elementary School in Novi Sad. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Education. She is married and has three children.
Serbia in the future is a country whose citizens can afford more than just basic things. “I expect that the citizens of Serbia do not only work to cover rent and food, but to afford something more in life than just means of survival. I wish people in Serbia travelled more often, my children stay in Serbia after they finish college so I can be close to them, and to be the grandmother to my grandchildren who live in the same city. I wish they can do what they love and to be happy, and not to have jobs that only allow them to survive.“
Time available to people in Serbia for business and pleasure is one of its positive characteristics. „I travelled around the globe a lot and could never imagine myself living anywhere else but in Serbia, in Novi Sad specifically. What the life in Serbia gives us is the time we have for our lives outside the office, to see our friends, families, to spend time with our kids in some nice places. Life here is still more comfortable than anywhere in the West, we still have much more free time. Also, what I find great about Novi Sad is that I can reach any location within 10 minutes, that I don’t spend hours stuck traffic on my way home from work, which for me would be wasted time in a day and life. I also think that our people have huge potential, we have a large number of intellectual and intelligent people, and I only think they should rise to the surface to be seen.”
From the perspective of a successful Serbian entrepreneur, Dina talks about the fear of failure and the financial obstacles that are inevitable in Serbia for starting a business as negative characteristics of Serbia. “It is important to note that those who have a vision, especially women, have a problem getting into the realization of that vision because they don’t have support. Sometimes they don’t have support at home because there is still that generally accepted norm that man has a job, and woman has it only if there was time for that, otherwise she is at the service of the family, and that support from home is very important. I have two girlfriends whom I have empowered to become entrepreneurs in the past year. It took me a long time to encourage them that it couldn’t be worse than what they were doing, and they were employed by a state-owned firm. I think that feeling of freedom to create your own business, to decide with whom and what you will do, to give yourself completely to the job you are doing, is priceless. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who have phenomenal ideas, but the financial problem is just as big for launching that idea. Of course, there are loans, but not everyone can be part of that story. And we have a great fear of failure because there is a certain amount of money being invested that can hardly be returned here with our average incomes, and that is why people give up their idea because they are afraid of failure and loss.”
Dina has a strong desire, a strong will and a lot of energy to change things, not only within her family but also at a higher level, within her community. As an employer, she is positive, invest herself a lot in what she is doing, and is able to create an environment where people can feel comfortabe, respected and where they can grow and work on themselves. Through her job and her views, she set an example of how a successful, entrepreneurial and fearless woman should look like in the future Serbia.