“I want to uphold my family’s tradition in agriculture.”
Failure rates cited for new businesses run as high as 90% or even more, so the ability to sustain and grow operations for two decades symbolises a kind of success that is all too rare. However, even established businesses encounter the occasional rough patch – especially when the market shifts or competition increases – and sometimes a manager requires outside support to implement change. At times like these, Romanian produce farmer Mladen Marian turns to his lender, the microfinance company Patria Credit.
Mladen started his agricultural company in the mid-90s with help from his parents, and he celebrated his 20th anniversary in the business in 2016. That same year he also received his most recent loan from his lending partner, the largest non-banking microfinance institution in Romania. “Patria Credit has been there to help me whenever calamity strikes, and they are continuing to ensure my company is able to grow.”
Growing is Mladan’s business in more ways than one. On a 1.5-hectare plot, he cultivates enough varieties of vegetables to fill a cornucopia: radishes, tomatoes, spring and summer cabbage, tomatoes, celery, green beans, parsley, eggplant, and peppers. Financing from his partner helps the business keep expanding. “The loan is allowing me to increase output and buy watering equipment for my produce,” he says. “In the past, Patria Credit has supported purchases of the kinds of machinery instrumental for making my business prosper, and they are doing the same thing right now.”