“In our region, agriculture has always been predominant. As I always liked the industry, I wanted to become engaged by creating something new,” says Andrii Vyacheslavovich Isichenko, who found support for his ambition from the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) and the EU4Business initiative in Ukraine.
“I decided to engage in the production of flexible packaging, made of propylene. This is a new industry area which is rapidly developing and with a constant growing demand especially in from the agricultural industry. By building up my production I hope to create additional employment,” says Isichenko.
EFSE works with two local partner banks in Ukraine, Megabank and ProCredit Bank, to provide sustainable funding to micro and small enterprises under the European Union’s EU4Business initiative.
When Isichenko decided to approach ProCredit Bank for a loan, he had 31 employees: in the first year after receiving the EU4Business loan, his production increased by 20%. Now, his business employs more than 100 people and caters to clients who are not only small and medium sized enterprises, but also large Ukrainian companies. His business now also has products for export. “I believe that all power is in the people, so I rely on a team of specialists to achieve that goal – which is our team moving ahead step by step.”
“Organising raw material from local suppliers has been a challenge for my business, and with the political instability and its negative effects on the economic situation in the country life has not become easier. It has been a real challenge to create a team from zero, but ProCredit Bank, with their professionalism in dealing with me and my loans has helped me in increasing sales. With this financing, I hope to increase my staff and invest in additional equipment which will lead to increased sales across the country and abroad. I also hope to start my own line for production of raw material.”
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 €122 million in sub-loans in Ukraine to small businesses like Andrii Isichenko’s, with an average loan size of €51,000.