“My life story is not easy. An orphan at the age of 15, I started my own business and faced many challenges along the way. With support from others, I was able to manage these tough times. I love my team and make sure that I repay my debt to society by being available to my customers and partners,” says Tatyana.
Tatyana opened a mini-bakery in 1999, using her experience as the head of a state-owned bakery to launch a private business, starting off with six employees. Realising that she needed a loan if she was to expand her business, she first approached ProCredit Bank – a Ukrainian partner of the EFSE initiative – for a loan in 2010.
Business has expanded
Her business since then has expanded to employ 17 people, and now she has her own milling and grinding complex, a pasta manufacture, a workshop for packaging the products, warehouses for storage and more.
This is a big leap from the small bakery she started in 1999, and she acknowledges that it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the community and the bank.
With the additional funding, she is looking to expanding her workforce to keep up with the increasing production capacity. “What I am particularly proud of is that I have managed to sign contracts with new contractors as well as to increase the wholesale trade by buying and selling third party products. It hasn’t been easy in organising raw materials locally, but we’ve gotten there,” says Tatyana.
Bank support in times of crisis
“The Bank’s support in time of crisis, like loans as well as services provided by the bank’s employees has really helped my organisation,” said Tatyana.
Part of the EU4Business initiative, the European Fund for South East Europe aims to foster economic development and prosperity through the sustainable provision of additional development finance, notably to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and to private households, via qualified local financial institutions like ProCredit Bank in Ukraine.
Under the EU4Business initiative, EFSE has disbursed more than 2,000 sub-loans to small businesses like Tatyana’s in Ukraine, with an average loan size of €51,000.