In the words of Eglantina Nikci: “From passion to profession, sewing became the reality of my dream”
Eglantina Nikci had been an accountant for over a decade, a time during which she also practiced sewing after working hours as it relieved her. She switched professions and began her sewing and embroidery businesses. Soon after, she participated in the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO, a unique partnership platform to foster the development of women's entrepreneurship ecosystems across Europe and Central Asia.
“I worked as an accountant for 13 years and eventually became drained with my work routine. I used to sew after I finished work, which is how I got started with a sewing class. At this time, I discovered that I could sew not only as a hobby to pass the time, but also as a profession. It was there that I recognized I had a talent for sewing.
With the pandemic and the increase in e-commerce, I increased my focus and began selling the stitches I made online. Then, seeing how difficult it was to locate labels for the items I had sewed, I was motivated to purchase the necessary sewing machines and manufacture them myself. However, the first issue in this regard was money. The machine was quite expensive to buy. Nevertheless, my family came through for me. They saved their money and bought the machine with the help of my uncle. All of this began with a lack of a market for labels. Still, my goal remains to get a machine with innovative knitting technology and meet the demands not only in Kosovo1, but also in the region.
I have always been interested in reading about starting and growing a business as a woman entrepreneur online. Hence, I saw the call for applications at the EXPO while casually searching the internet. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I couldn't pass. After completing the different phases of the EXPO, I was invited to Istanbul as one of 60 women chosen from a pool of 1600, where I was the only participant from Kosovo.
Participation in the EXPO was incredibly beneficial. I was able to meet new people from various fields, as well as extend and create new contacts with other people and stakeholders.
My dream lives on. I want to share with other women who are my target market for employment in my business the crucial discovery I made for myself by converting my passion into a profession. I want and intend to establish an organization that will provide financial education to rural women and encourage them to create their own businesses since this is the best way for us to contribute to ourselves and our communities.”
1 References to Kosovo should be understood to be in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).