VASCONI is a Moldovan clothing brand that has been able to expand thanks to a loan provided by the EBRD under the EU4Business Initiative. The company received a €20,000 line of credit that has helped transform the company over several years into a modern, technologically savvy business with 114 employees.
Recent years have seen Moldova’s light industry grow steadily. We’re discovering brand names that were actually established decades ago. One of them is VASCONI, a company that makes knitwear for men, women and children.
“The business was started up by my parents,” says VASCONI CEO Constantin Cojocari. “My mother loved sewing clothes and my father started selling them abroad. When he came back, he decided to start a business.”
Taking the VASCONI brand to success
The VASCONI brand name is based on the first letters of the names of family members, which makes both the founders and the employees feel more responsibility to build an internationally recognized quality product.
The factory started operations in 1994, in a rented space and with a handful of employees. Today, VASCONI has its own space, 1,200 sq m and it employs 114. Plans are to hire more as demand for their products has been growing strongly.
Over the years, VASCONI collaborated with a number of international brands, including PUMA. Today, the factory produces 20,000 knitted articles for adults and children that are sold in 16 stores across Moldova. Its successful growth and the skills gained over the last 26 years, VASCONI has plans to expand to the international market.
Foreign investment to develop local business
The Cojocari-Grup LTD’s VASCONI brand received a €20,000 loan from the EBRD through the auspices of the EU4Business initiative. This made it possible for the VASCONI factory to purchase accounting software that includes automated sales at stores and effective business planning.
This enabled the company to make substantial progress. The new information system has integrated several departments, allowing the company to obtain accurate information on production costs and volumes, and to track stock, sales and expenses. This means VASCONI can now manage its growing customer base effectively by responding to their needs and retaining customers.
“The EBRD-EU4Business credit line allowed us to buy modern software that lets us manage the business based on the latest standards,” says Cojocari. “Many work processes are now automated, allowing employees to allocate time usefully to other activities."
The VASCONI factory’s loan is just one of 210 loans worth a total of €30 million provided to SMEs under the EU4Business-EBRD credit line in Moldova since 2017.