Artur Gevorkyan doesn’t have pleasant memories from the early stages of his business, which makes special moulds and parts for car companies, the aerospace industry, hospitals and other fields.
“I remember driving once and bawling because I didn't know what to send home to my parents and sons,” he says. “I would compare those first years to walking over an abyss on a beam, where it is important not to look down."
Visiting a trade fair in Slovakia to find customers in those early days, Gevorkyan couldn’t even find a hotel room in the area, so he walked around and then stayed on the street. "Once I came to a church where there was a service,” he says, “and the pastor said, ‘Knock and it will be opened to you.’ This touched me. As if the priest was saying it for me.” When he returned home, he asked one of his employees to call all the phone numbers of financial leasing firms he had found in an industry magazine to try to get help buying more equipment. This was one of his ways of knocking. “There was nothing to lose," he recalls.
Finally, he got in touch with Société Générale Equipment Finance (SGEF), which has offices in Czechia and Slovakia. SGEF provides leasing and financing to manufacturers for equipment and other production needs. In June 2020, the European Investment Bank signed a so-called intermediated financing loan of €70 million with SGEF, which allows the firm to offer loans to growing young companies in Slovakia and Czechia. SGEF believed in Gevorkyan and helped his company get the financial assistance and advice it needed to grow, allocating a total of €2.8 million of the EU bank’s financing to Gevorkyan since the middle of 2020.