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Elizabeta Josipović, owner and director of Sconto-Prom

Source: eKapija.BA, 7/1/2013 2:31:06 PM

Elizabeta Josipović is owner and director of SCONTO-PROM in Prijedor, one of the region’s leading furniture manufacturers.

SCONTO-PROM manufactures upholstered furniture and solid wood furniture and is one of two major suppliers of upholstery covers for the prominent Swedish manufacturer, IKEA. SCONTO-PROM produces 1,500,000 covers annually for IKEA, and since September 2011 it has also been producing wooden chairs for the Swedish company at its SCONTO-PROM factory in Ključ.

Before the war, Elizabeta Josipović worked as a mechanical engineer for one company in Banja Luka. The post-war transition process established new rules in business and 'secure jobs' no longer existed. After making a thorough analysis of the situation at that time, in 1998, Josipović decided to take her chances with something new and uncertain. With the help of some savings and several bank loans, she established SCONTO-PROM in her hometown of Prijedor, starting out with only 3 employees.

Since then, the company has grown and now has more than 600 employees in its four factories in Prijedor, Prnjavor, Sanski Most and Ključ. According to its director and owner, the secret of SCONTO-PROM’s success lies in the fact that from the very start she has always invested considerable funds in new machinery and technology so that products continue to remain up-to-date and competitive in the market. In recent years, the company has been investing far more in its personnel, workforce development, management and design.

In 2010, in order to increase the number of jobs available, as well as exports, SCONTO-PROM joined the large group of BiH wood processing companies which are supported by programs administered by the USAID-Sida FIRMA Project. The FIRMA project initiated and facilitated an agreement between the Government of Una-Sana Canton (USK) and SCONTON-PROM, whereby the company invested in a new manufacturing facility in Ključ, which now employs 100 workers. The FIRMA Project has also provided support for the education of SCONTO-PROM’s workers in the methods and techniques of modeling and upholstering, and members of the management staff have been able to attend prestigious furniture trade shows in the U.S. and UK, where they established useful business contacts and signed sales contracts.

When commenting on the fact that she is one of only a few women to occupy managerial positions within BiH’s industrial sector, Elizabeta Josipović says, "In this type of work I am surrounded by men and I hope that this will change soon. Women often have vision and perseverance, but what they need is initial courage – and to simply start with something!"

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