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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - KfW case study: Blumen Wohlers (Germany), florist’s shop

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When Kathrin Schöning’s boss decided to retire and sell her florist business to the highest bidder, Kathrin grasped the chance of becoming her own boss and offered to take over the business instead. It seemed to be a good opportunity, especially since Kathrin knew the business inside out as she had already been working there for almost ten years. The problem, of course, was finding the resources to make the bid.

In order for Kathrin to buy the florist business, she asked one of the on-lending banks of the German KfW Banking Group for a loan: “As I could show the business’ figures to the bank and I had solid professional experience with the shop, the bank was not too hesitant in believing in me, taking the risk and offering me a financing solution.” This loan, which was made possible by the joint backing of EIF and the Investment Plan for Europe, the EU initiative aiming at generating new investments in Europe through the support of small and medium-sized enterprises, directly supported Kathrin in allowing her to buy the florist’s shop.

Today, Kathrin is flanked by 7 employees and has given the shop new life. She re-styled the interior, painting it in white, separated the storage from the shop and introduced a cover for the flowers displayed outside: “I never regretted my decision for one second; I am as happy as I could be.” Kathrin’s clients are also loyal and full of praise for her work. Kathrin explains that “they constantly make many compliments on how the ‘new generation’, meaning me, is running the business.”

Kathrin is now happy with the way things are: “I do not really have a business strategy for the future. Opening a second shop would not be feasible in terms of working hours and I am really satisfied with the actual size of my shop and the way the business is running.”

Company:  Blumen Wohlers (Germany)

Type of business: Florist's shop

EIF financing: COSME LGF, EFSI

Financial intermediary: KfW Bankengruppe

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Germany, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/de

 

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