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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Qredits case study: Constantijn Koen (Netherlands), Funeral services


One of the hardest decisions in life is to follow one’s gut instincts, take the leap, leave behind your job, and dare to start up your own business. The EU’s Investment Plan for Europe aims to support European entrepreneurs in starting up their own companies and pursuing their ambitions by offering better access to the necessary financing. Constantijn Koen is one such entrepreneur who married this access to finance with his own determination and zeal: “If you really believe in something, you can definitely achieve it.”

Constantijn was twelve when his mother died. While this was an intensely sad experience, it urged him to think a lot about life and its meaning, ultimately inspiring him to pursue a more fulfilling life – and career. After working for several years for an energy company, Constantijn decided to follow his heart and do something that had been on his mind for a long time: become a funeral director. He had already applied for a similar position at a younger age, and, despite being rejected, he had scored very well in the tests and was confident that he could do a great job.

This new beginning gave him what he was looking for: personal contacts with the family, and the opportunity to pay close attention and carefully cater for everything during a difficult period. “The appreciation of the survivors, the family, and their gratitude mean everything to me. I attach great importance to a professional, personal approach and look closely at the desired atmosphere.”

During a very emotional time, Constantijn takes the burden off the family so they can focus on the grieving process. He offers an all-round service, from selecting the coffins to transportation, funeral notices and cards, flowers, music and even caters for special requests like videos or presentations at the funeral. His business partners can also offer bereavement support or notary services to deal with the any complex issues that may arise.

But in order to start this business, Constantijn needed to make certain adaptations to his premises in order to make them suitable for his new business. For this, he turned to Qredits for a loan backed by EIF, and his plans really started to take off. He has since developed a professional service reflected also in a very detailed website. His strategy is to expand and become a prominent 'player' in his area of expertise in the Arnhem and Nijmegen region of the Netherlands.

Constantijn is proud to put so much of his own touch into his day-to-day business, treating every client with care, respect and compassion, “you can only do a funeral well once. I therefore make every effort to ensure that those involved will look back with a good feeling. This remains my biggest motivation.”

Company: Constantijn Koen (Netherlands)

Type of business: Funeral services

EIF financing: COSME LGF, EFSI

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


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