Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emilija Kesic, Co-Founder of Belgrade Language School, located in Regensdorf, Zurich, Switzerland.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Belgrade Language School is an online school only for Serbian as a foreign language. We help foreigners and people of Serbian origin (re)connect with their Serbian in-laws or family. Our mission is to help everyone learn Serbian! Therefore, we offer live private and group lessons, but also self-study/self-paced courses. Besides that, all Serbian learners have open access to our free resources for learning Serbian. We also send our newsletter with free materials for practicing, and we are active on social media, where people can learn.

Tell us about yourself

Belgrade Language School was founded by Igor Beloš and me. We met during Igor's exchange semester in Belgrade, where we connected quickly due to our shared interest in languages. At the time, Igor was frustrated by the difficulty of finding good Serbian teachers and Serbian language learning materials. Therefore, he decided to open his own language school, which would help foreigners and heritage learners like himself learn the Serbian language properly. However, he could have never done it without the help of an experienced teacher and language expert, and it did not take long until I agreed to join in on the adventure. Finally, in 2020, we started working on the idea and pushed through major obstacles, such as quarantine and its difficult measures. Today, BLS is the biggest online Serbian language school in the world, with hundreds of students from all parts of the world and the ambition to help as many people as possible learn Serbian.

What motivates us every day is to give people the opportunity to learn Serbian in different ways, as there aren't so many, and to help people overcome their fear of learning and speaking the Serbian language.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Back in 2020, we wanted to open a school in Belgrade, Serbia, but we couldn't because of COVID. Therefore, our whole idea and concept had to change. We quickly adapted, and now we are the biggest online school for learning Serbian as a foreign language, where people can learn in different ways! And we are constantly improving our offer, so more is yet to come!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest and most beautiful things is that you constantly have to develop and improve yourself. That means you have to learn many new things you never thought about before and constantly seek new ways to offer more and for students to have a better learning experience.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be open to learning new things that are not necessarily your field of expertise.
  2. Be prepared to do some things that you might not like so much or that don't interest you as much. Like in any job, nothing is 100% interesting, so you need to be flexible and adaptive.
  3. Respect deadlines, be responsive, and truly care about your customer's experience.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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