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Small Flower Garden Dumitrache: quality requires technology

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Catalin Dumitrache was a vegetable gardener for 20 years, but his real interest was in flowers – geraniums, petunias, hyacinths and many others. Catalin originally planned to grow the flowers for himself as a hobby, but decided to take it a step further and turn his passion into a real business.

Located in the Prahova district, between Bucharest and Ploiesti, Small Flower Garden Dumitrache produces flowers for wholesale and in pots across 2200 m² of modern greenhouses equipped with automated heating and conveyor systems.

“The company currently has four employees”, explains Catalin, “we buy the seeds and bulbs from Germany and the Netherlands, grow the flowers, and sell them to flower shops or directly to customers. It’s a business that generates profits, but it requires a big investment. This is not easy in Romania - a lot of farms and producers are going bankrupt, but we want to be successful.”

In the process of expanding operations, Catalin secured a loan from Good.Bee Credit, backed by an EIF guarantee under the EU’s Employment and Social Innovation programme. “It’s very difficult for small enterprises to go directly to the bank for financing”, Catalin explains, “and because of the yearly flower production cycle, it is difficult for companies in this sector to show a profit on paper, which makes it harder to get a loan with lower interest. It’s also a slow process with a lot of paperwork involved. With the EU guarantee, it was much easier to receive the funds; the process was faster and required less paperwork, which was a big advantage.”

The loan enabled the company to expand the greenhouses and purchase new automated equipment such as heating stations that can be controlled from a mobile application and don’t require physical presence. “Quality requires technology”, Catalin concludes. Small Flower Garden Dumitrache is preparing to build a new greenhouse in the near future and continue improving production methods.

Company: Small Flower Garden Dumitrache

Type of business: Agriculture

EIF financing: EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument

Financial intermediary: Good bee Credit

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Romania, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/ro/index.htm

 

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