StarLabs Success Story and the Impact of EBRD’s Youth in Business Programme in the Western Balkans
StarLabs stands proudly among the 1,000 youth-led businesses that have benefited from this transformative program. This programme, supported by Luxembourg, Sweden, and Italy through the Central European effort, has been a driving force for positive development throughout the region.
Hana Qerimi, the co-founder and visionary CEO of StarLabs, described the company’s amazing journey with the EBRD. Hana highlighted the benefits that today’s young entrepreneurs have, notably the technology tools that were not as easily accessible six or seven years ago.
“There are many advantages that young entrepreneurs have today, even the advantages that I didn’t have six or seven years ago, because technology has moved so much and there are so many new tools in the market that they can utilize to create successful businesses,” Hana said.
Reflecting on her own experience, she emphasized the importance of having a clear vision, active participation in conferences and networking events, and a commitment to continuous self-improvement.
“The advice that I would like to share with young entrepreneurs is to have a clear vision, to participate in as many conferences and networking sessions as possible, and to constantly re-evaluate their skills and gaps in their knowledge so that they can improve themselves.”
“We started with something around 1,000 euros, which was all our money we had saved at that time buying secondhand computers that cost 100 euros each, 10 computers in total, and that’s how we started the business. And today, after seven years, we have surpassed 200 employees.”
Hana also spoke of the invaluable support received, particularly in terms of advisory services for ISO standards like the Quality Management System and the Information System. This assistance has been instrumental in enhancing StarLabs operational efficiency and ensuring compliance with international standards.
“The EBRD Youth in Business program helped us with advisory services for ISO standards like the Quality Management System and the Information System.”
Since its launch in the Western Balkans in December 2022, the Youth in Business programme has made a significant impact, reaching over 1,000 youth-led businesses across the region and counting.
StarLabs journey from a modest investment to a thriving company with over 200 employees exemplifies the potential that young entrepreneurs hold. With the unwavering support of initiatives like EBRD’s Youth in Business programme, businesses like us can transcend barriers, embrace innovation, and contribute to the economic vitality of communities.
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