Biljana Andonova (Slovenia/Traditional Food Industry) and Milica Banjac (Serbia/Traditional Food Industry)

Milica Banjac and Biljana Andonova

Background information of NE
Name & surname: Milica Banjac
Country: Serbia
Sector of activity: Traditional Food Industry
Name of business / website: GRINOVATIVE doo /

Background information of HE
Name & surname: Biljana Andonova
Country: Slovenia
Sector of activity: Traditional Food Industry
Experience in running a business: 6 years
Name of business: Makedonija trade d.o.o.

Period of relationship: 05/08/2019 – 05/09/2019
Duration of relationship: 1 month

How was Biljana Andonova able to improve her business and expand her product portfolio?

Biljana (HE) is an experienced Slovenian entrepreneur, active in the traditional food industry. She masters particularly well the food distribution channels as well as the marketing of traditional food products. On the other hand, Milica (NE from Serbia) was looking for someone to help her achieve an in-depth understanding of how to transform an initial idea into a profitable and financially sustainable business in the traditional food industry. During her stay in Ljubljana, she helped Biljana in optimizing the distribution channels. The exchange was therefore a gain-gain experience with several mutual benefits.

Since the very beginning, Biljana and Milica established a mentor-trainee relationship in order to secure a clear understanding of how to manage the different tasks involved in running a food distribution company. In the first week, Biljana introduced Milica to the company’s business model, vision and mission. Subsequently, in each following week, the NE was introduced to a different element of the business, including business operations in the retail market with traditional food products, marketing of such products and financial assessments of the business activities. Biljana provided instructions on how to develop and then publish relevant content on social media and on the company’s website, and Milica performed these tasks successfully. During the last week, HE and NE evaluated all the tasks that have been successfully accomplished, and discussed the ways to improve the business, consolidate their cooperation, and find common strategies to achieve success on the relevant market(s).

Milica (NE) was able to upgrade her knowledge and skills related to the administration and financial management of SMEs active in the food sector. At the same time, she was able to enhance a number of soft skills such as leadership, persuasion, time management and problem-solving abilities. On the other hand, Biljana (HE) was able to improve her business offer by integrating new products in her product offer, as of the recommendations provided by the Serbian NE. By providing mentorship and guidance to the NE, the HE was even able to further increase her self-confidence, matured throughout decades of experience in the sector of traditional food products industry.  

Concluding Remarks

Biljana Andonova: “This experience helped me improve my product portfolio with some traditional food from Serbia thanks to the helpful suggestions made by Milica. Being a host entrepreneur for me was definitely a rewarding experience – both on a personal and professional level. I am now looking forward to cooperating with Milica also in the coming months.

Milica Banjac: “The knowledge I’ve managed to obtain under Biljana’s guidance and thanks to her support fits very well with my entrepreneurial competences. I found out how to run the different aspects of a company by applying concepts such as “competition”, “distribution channels”, “target customers” to the market with traditional food products. During my stay in Ljubljana, I also discovered many traditional food products that will be with no doubt very much appreciated by my customers in my hometown in Serbia and elsewhere where traditional food is appreciated and serves as a means to discover other people’s traditions.”