“A successful business begins not only with an idea but also with the right people who are around at the right time,” – Eugeniu Damian, Microinvest client | Microinvest

Eugeniu returned from the U.S. to be near his family, and today is the founder of four successful businesses. This is a young entrepreneur from Singerei, who proudly calls his enterprises a “holding company” because he has invested time and resources in each of them and has promising plans for their development. In the North of the country, the Damian family is known for its unusual event decorations, fresh flowers, and a delicious variety of dishes made from wholesome products with love and skill. During the pandemic, it faced the challenges of the economic crisis directly but managed to cope with them through efficient planning and responsible investment.

Eugeniu Damian is one of 91 Microinvest clients who have taken advantage of a special financial offer in partnership with the Soros Foundation-Moldovaa loan with a grant component. The goal of the project was to support businesses affected by the pandemic by subsidizing interest for the first 6 months of the loan from sources of the Soros Foundation in Moldova and providing deferred payment on the loan from Microinvest. The financial support received was invested in the purchase of a car and a computer to run the business more efficiently.

Eugeniu, what is it like to be an entrepreneur in Moldova, and how did it all start?

I grew up with an entrepreneurial mindset. My parents taught us to be responsible and independent from childhood. Do something of our own and help others. I worked in America as an employee for a while. You can earn money there, salaries are very good. However, I really missed Moldova, my family, and my home. I realized that in order to earn a lot of money, you need to open something of your own. I founded my first business in the USA in the construction sector. There I got a taste of entrepreneurship. In Moldova, I started with decor, then I opened a flower store, and then the Apetisant cafe. We are developing with small but confident steps. And we invest money from the company’s profits in continuous development.

Tell us more about your family holding.

We call our business a holding company, even though we only have 10 employees. The people on our team are utility-men because every business has its season. March is the month of flowers. During this period, my wife devoting herself completely to the store, not forgetting to take care of our six children, who are also gradually getting involved, and I am doing other things. Event decor is more popular in August. And our cafes work all year long, we have reliable managers who take care of everything. Over time, we have fine-tuned the menu to meet the preferences of our customers. We mainly prepare lunches, as well as traditional placindas (one of the most demanded and popular dishes in Moldovan cuisine – stuffed flatbread) according to an authentic recipe. We even have a menu according to the individual tastes of our regular customers, for example, Denis’s menu.

When and how did you decide on financing, and why did you need a loan?

As for any business in Moldova, and all over the world, the pandemic was a very difficult period for us. We haven’t worked for 2 months. We tried to refocus on online sales with delivery but this is not very relevant in the regions. The need for funding arose when we felt difficulties with the food provision of the café. We decided to buy a car. We also needed a computer with a high-performance accounting system to make it easier to manage all the expenses and needs of the holding. We had never had loans before, and we were analyzing whether the investment was worth it or whether we could wait.

How did you find out about Microinvest and the special offer in partnership with the Soros Foundation-Moldova – a loan with a grant component?

Before I started working with Microinvest, I only knew that it had an office in Balti and that it was a serious and large company. Igor, our loan officer, found us and made a personal offer for the holding company. I had no credit anywhere, but I knew for sure that if I needed money, I would take a short and inexpensive loan from Microinvest. A loan with a grant component in partnership with the Soros Foundation in Moldova was a real help for businesses affected by the pandemic. The offer is very good. For six months Microinvest did not charge interest and I did not pay on the loan, besides I received the money quickly and on time. We have made very important investments in our business that have helped us grow and remain optimistic even during the pandemic.

What is the secret of successful business in the region?

For a successful business, you need to show up in the right place, at the right time, and with the right people by your side. The first important thing is that people in the regions are very attentive not only to the goods and services they need but also to the reputation of the entrepreneur. Direct recommendations from satisfied customers are of great value. In our business, we pay great attention to quality and objectivity. We are honest with every customer and want them to be satisfied not only when they buy something but also afterwards. Now, in the midst of rising prices and the crisis that has touched all of us, both entrepreneurs and individuals, we are trying to keep prices down as much as possible and not disappoint people. As one entrepreneur said, “There are no bad regions, there are poorly managed businesses.” Therefore, we make sure that everything is fair.

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Microinvest is a non-banking lending institution with foreign capital that has been operating in the Republic of Moldova since 2003. According to the National Commission for Financial Markets, Microinvest is the company with the largest portfolio among non-banking lending institutions in the country. We offer flexible financing for individuals and small businesses on favorable terms and at the right time.

The Soros Foundation-Moldova is a non-governmental, not-for-profit, and non-political organization, which was established in 1992 by the philanthropist George Soros. The main goal of the organization is to promote the values of an open society in the Republic of Moldova by implementing a large number of projects in various fields, as well as grant programs and operational projects.

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