From Household Enterprise to Climate Tech, This Macedonian Founder Shares Her Journey to Influence Entrepreneurship

Skopje-primarily based business enterprise developer and job supervisor Olga Rajcic never ever meant to come to be a component of the tech business. For most of her job, Rajcic focused on developing her relatives organization, as properly as doing work on a number of social entrepreneurship tasks. 

Nevertheless, all of this altered in 2018, when she met her fellow co-founders of Challenger – a cell app that motivates its end users to walk, run or bike far more, and get rewarded for it by obtaining discount codes for solutions and products and services in neighborhood organizations. 

Currently, Challenger has several thousand end users in North Macedonia who have traveled much more than a single million kilometers and somewhere around 6,000t/m3 of carbon dioxide have been saved applying the app. 

In an job interview with The Recursive, Rajcic talks about her entrepreneurial journey, motives and inspiration for doing what she does now, the upcoming of Local climate Tech, and additional. 

The Recursive: How did you come up to your current placement as a founder of Challenger?

Olga Rajcic: I had hardly ever experienced a distinct intention to have a occupation in the tech market, instead I always desired to develop or increase a company. Soon after finishing my learn research, I started doing the job in my loved ones small business, but I was always seeking for a new vocation challenge and personalized development. The hunger for understanding, new impactful projects and new experiences is what led me to show up at Startup Weekend Skopje 2018. 

At this celebration I satisfied Stefan and Teodora (Challenger’s co-founders). This weekend has modified my vocation wholly and took me to my entrepreneurial journey. My previous professional and volunteer experience formed naturally my placement in my group (accountable for small business dev, marketing and advertising and community management).

If I glance back at Olga in 2018 and the person I have come to be today, I would say I am grateful today for the reason that I have entered into a totally new industry and uncovered so many new techniques and small business true-existence classes. Far more are about to arrive, and I are not able to wait to see where by all of this will direct me.

From Family Business to Climate Tech, This Macedonian Founder Shares Her Journey to Impact Entrepreneurship,

When it will come to Local climate Tech, how would you rate the probable that the Western Balkans have when it will come to applying these kinds of methods, apps and so on?

Each 12 months we are witnessing new impressive applications and tech options about the location that are tackling local climate improve and protection of the environment. We are faced with several marketplace gaps, due to negative implementation of legislation, which leaves place for imaginative minds and business owners to solve these problems by applying technological know-how. 

I am assured that the Western Balkans have amazing young business owners, specifically in the subject of weather tech, however we need to have assistance to choose our answers to a lot more created marketplaces and grow our affect. We absolutely need to have place for recognition and sharing our lessons, achievement times and failures in purchase to study from each other, and associate for higher effects. Only by sharing our tales can we even more encourage other men and women to be portion of weather tech, and influence them that inventive and massive points can also be crafted in this area.

I am very pleased of my team, simply because we under no circumstances gave up, specially in individuals moments when people and our likely shoppers could not see the reward of our solution and had been skeptical mainly because they have been concerned to put into action anything new. Just after COVID-19 and numerous pivoting, I can ultimately say that we observed our market place-in shape. We say that it will work and if an individual purchases our solution below on the Balkans, imagine what we can do with it internationally.

What do you see as the primary troubles in the field of Local climate Tech appropriate now?

Sadly, local weather tech products are continue to not perceived as a requirement in the B2B marketplace, but somewhat as “nice to have” equipment. This is a little something we are attempting with my crew to triumph over in the future months, by introducing more characteristics and building our product extra captivating to our goal consumers. 

In addition, we are surely residing in the most challenging times in the new background, which can make other troubles to be priority of the agenda of each region and firm nonetheless, weather improve and strategies to tackle it is some thing that we require to get treatment of no subject what. In the up coming couple of decades there may well be a slowdown in the ClimateTech field, even so I do assume that this sector is some thing that will flourish in the many years to arrive. 

We need to not forget about that we have a Sustainable Progress Targets agenda by 2030 the place enterprises as perfectly as know-how have to play a critical role in achieving them. This is why my staff has a vision to make Challenger a tool that will aid companies be element of the SDGs agenda. Undoubtedly there need to be additional buyers and companions in this area in order to develop this variety of startups and scale them up.

From Family Business to Climate Tech, This Macedonian Founder Shares Her Journey to Impact Entrepreneurship,
Challenger’s crew

What have been the rewards and shortcomings of remaining a female in the startup ecosystem in the Western Balkans from your encounter so considerably?

I do not imagine that there are pros nor shortcomings of currently being a lady in the startup ecosystem in the Western Balkans. Startups in the Western Balkans unquestionably require simpler accessibility to greater industry alternatives and investments for more quickly development.

If I can examine the startup growth from 2019 up until finally now, I am grateful that we have additional options now, on the other hand we need nearby traders to support us in purchase to raise greater resources in other ecosystems.

What does a working day in your lifetime seem like? Inform us a thing we never know about the subject you’re functioning in.

  • Waking up at 6AM and making ready for operate in my spouse and children business. 
  • 7-8h Arriving at perform and checking all emails, duties and organizing my working day
  • 8-10h Coordination of all open up duties with my staff and responding to e-mail
  • 10-14h Meetings with associates and consumers
  • 14-15 Income tactic
  • 16-17h Adhere to-up with my team for what is envisioned in the pursuing times
  • 18h – Paying time with spouse and children and friends 

Two situations a week I volunteer my time and know-how in several NGOs in order to create impact in parts the place I am not skillfully involved on a every day foundation. I use Sunday for psychological overall health and comforting (putting my target on the upcoming functioning week).

What did you want to be expanding up and how has this vision transformed more than the several years?

In the course of my higher school years, I have volunteered and taken section in many impactful assignments. Through this practical experience I have understood that it is my call to make an effects in the society I dwell in, but it was a concern of how I will continue to do that. 

These were being the situations when my mother and father taught me that by remaining a liable chief and setting up a organization that usually takes care of its local community, a person can have the best prospective to build influence in each individual modern society. 

Consequently, I normally had an aspiration to link effects producing with having a small business, and it would seem that this paved my way of in which I am right now. Probably I will try distinct enterprise types all through my career, but for a person I am positive – that my enterprises will develop an impression in their local communities, or even broader.

What is your definition of results?

I have normally attempted to outline results, and realized that is a subjective issue and you can’t set it in a single sentence. My journey showed me that success is a journey, and not a closing destination. Therefore, I would instead like to place quite a few elements that I make the puzzle of results, those people currently being:

  • Regard and appreciation for your get the job done from the folks you are surrounded with – surround you with men and women that will mention your name in a room comprehensive of chances
  • Make an effects (this can be in many forms) in your local community
  • Offer and conquer all your fears in purchase to develop into the best variation of yourself
  • Develop a business (item/services) that will change other people’s lifestyle and inspire many others
  • Be curious. Under no circumstances stop discovering and get all possibilities together the way
  • Never ever give up, and learn from every oversight
  • Know how to rest but not stop (wellbeing and mental very well-getting is a precedence)
  • Be grateful for just about every phase together your journey

How has technological know-how formed your career so far?

Technological innovation is shaping our lives not only our occupations in the most unexpected strategies. It is evident that we need to have to maintain speed with technological adjustments and study new skills in purchase to remain relevant and aggressive in the workforce market.  

As outlined beforehand, I by no means assumed to be included in the tech market, but it seems that Challenger has improved my job, consequently my daily life path. One particular detail is for certain that we can all use technological know-how for excellent in order to build effect, and I am delighted that I am section of these kinds of an entrepreneurial journey.

No issue what we achieve with our startup, the tech field is now in my specialist DNA and I simply cannot wait around what the potential will bring.

What are your experienced plans for this 12 months?

I am grateful that several of my specialist aims are now accomplished this yr, but there are couple still left individuals being:

  • Prosperous partnerships in the six international locations as Challenger is increasing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Albania, and Armenia.
  • Effectively complete this calendar year with new purchasers, joyful users and new attributes.
  • Preparing Challenger for our following huge investment and new markets in 2023.
  • Sharing my information via mentorship and consulting with other young entrepreneurs.
  • Get surrounded by people who will encourage me and thrust me further to new professional endeavors.