When Mark and I came up with the idea for our business a year ago, we thought the hard part was behind us. In fact, finding the finances we needed was the hardest part of all, since all the banks we approached felt our business plan was too risky. So then we turned our attention to small loans, but that didn’t prove to be much simpler either. In the end the best offer came from Evergreen, who promised us the best Ts & Cs. Thanks to the loan they gave us we were able to get our business off the ground and find clients straight away, and we were even able to bring someone in to work with us. The way we see it now is that we’re lucky things turned out the way they did. At the moment we’ve got another project in the pipeline, and we’re hoping Evergreen will come to the party again. Working with them so far, everything’s just gone so smoothly and so easily and so flexibly, from applying for the loan to making our repayments. We wouldn’t even think of going back to the big banks with their rigid terms and conditions now.
Three years ago I made a complete sea change by quitting my long-term office job to start my own company – my very own beauty salon. It’s a dream I’d had for ages, but it was only then that I finally worked up the courage to do it. At first I took on four staff – two hairdressers and two manicurists I knew. I found the perfect space for us as well in town. The only thing I didn’t have was the funds to deck the salon out. It needed hairdresser’s chairs, manicure tables and the like, which all cost money I didn’t have.
To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of Evergreen beforehand. Somehow I just found myself on their website, filled in an application form and voila, before I knew it there was the offer from them in my inbox – which had a really reasonable interest rate. They issued me with the loan really quickly and we opened the salon less than a month later. I can’t even imagine myself back in an office environment any more. You have to dream, and if you long to do something else, then that’s what you have to set your sights on.
LUISA (43),BEAUTY SALON MANAGER
I’d been working as a translator and editor in a translation agency in Tallinn since I graduated from university. I liked the job, but I’d always known there was an entrepreneurial spark inside me somewhere and that I’d make a go of my own company if I put my mind to it. I ran my ideas by a colleague of mine, and within a week we’d set up our own firm and found our first clients. We decided to borrow the start-up capital we needed from Evergreen, who were very responsive and easy to work with. Using the loan, we were able to buy the programmes and equipment we needed and to rent space for our first office. A year later the loan had been repaid in full and our little team had added a few people to it. Thanks for trusting us, Evergreen!
MARI-LEEN (29),TRANSLATION AGENCY OWNER
When I wanted to buy some more powerful equipment to expand my small business the banks wouldn’t even grant me an audience. Evergreen Capital agreed to look at my application and analyse my situation though, and in the end gave me a loan. Now, a year later, my company’s turnover is up 50% and we’ve extended the loan. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to buy the equipment I needed and the company would have had no chance to expand. So for that you have my eternal thanks!
PRIIT (37),SMALL FACTORY OWNER
One day when I was opening my café I realised our old stalwart of an oven had finally given up the ghost. I was worried, because good ovens don’t come cheap, but at the same time without an oven a lot of our everyday turnover would just disappear – and if we didn’t have warm food to offer customers, we wouldn’t be able to rely on tea and coffee drinkers alone. We didn’t have time for the rigmarole of getting a loan from a bank, because the problem needed sorting out straight away. In the end we borrowed the money we needed from Evergreen Capital and opted for a modern, decently sized, large-kitchen oven. We did have to pay 3.4% interest a month, but we’d repaid the entire loan within 10 months and managed to keep our business very happily afloat.
REET (42),CAFÉ OWNER IN HARJU COUNTY
I moved to Southern Estonia last year to take over a local timber-processing business with 15 employees. The company was doing OK, not terrible, not great, but I could see straight away that there was a lot that needed updating. For starters, there was equipment that had been there since day one which in modern terms was pretty clunky. I decided to bring the company’s machinery bang up to date using a collateral loan from Evergreen, which was a much better deal than the offers I got from other lenders. Thanks to the new equipment, we’re now able to take on more orders each month and operations are running much more smoothly. Thanks for all your help, and for simply giving companies like ours the time of day!
TARMO (39),TIMBER ENTREPRENEUR
Thanks to a timely loan from Evergreen Capital we were able to relocate our company to exactly the right place at just the right time. Our repayment period was one year and we paid 2.8% interest a month, but given the timing it was worth every cent!
At the start of the year we got a big order from a real estate company to fit out their rental apartments with our equipment. We wouldn’t have had any problems fulfilling the order except that we’d just restocked our warehouse with different stuff – not what we needed for this job. But you don’t look a gift horse like this one in the mouth, so we took out a short-term loan from Evergreen Capital, who sympathised with our position and agreed to finance us. Our loan period was initially just one month, which we later extended to two. The whole thing was really quick and easy, and easy to understand. Our loan manager was really experienced and on the ball, understood the situation from the get-go and suggested solutions of his/her own. My partner and I stumped up the security and the money was in our account a couple of days later.
MEELIS (50),DIRECTOR OF HOME ELECTRONICS COMPANY
We repair and sell cars. Last spring this opportunity arose out of nowhere to buy a bunch of used vans at a really good price from a bankrupt estate across the border. We were going to need about €20,000, which we’d have to pay within four days. My company didn’t have that sort of money lying around, but there were plenty of cars sitting there that we’d bought to sell on. We put two of them in Evergreen’s name for a month and got the money we needed in time. It ended up being the best transaction I made last year. Evergreen earned interest on their loan, and I turned a more than decent profit. The cars were then put back into my name. If the opportunity arises again, I’ll definitely take it.
NORMAN (37),USED CAR SALESMAN
In our line of work, fluctuations from one season to the next are normal and our biggest sales tend to be at the end of the year, when companies are throwing Christmas parties and organising events. My business partner and I have a lot of experience between us when it comes to preparing great food, but we’ve never had the benefit of proper marketing and sales, mostly because of how much they cost. Last autumn we decided to launch a full-on marketing campaign, and to finance it we applied to Evergreen for a collateral loan for companies. We borrowed €3700 at a monthly interest rate of 3.5% and with a repayment period of 12 months. As things stand at the moment we’ve got three times as many bookings as we had last year, which is a fantastic outcome for us. And the money we’re making from sales we plan to re-invest in new equipment.
HELENA (37),CATERING FIRM OWNER
I’d been running an online store for a couple of years, selling stuff like clothes, accessories and inexpensive electronics. We were making ends meet – salaries and taxes were getting paid – and occasionally even turning a profit, but on the whole it was more like holding down a job than running a business. The run-up to Christmas has always been the best time for us, what with people being more willing to fork out. So last year I decided to make an investment by fully stocking our warehouse in time for December. Since the company didn’t have its own financial buffer I turned to Evergreen for help, and they agreed to lend us the money. Interest-wise I was paying almost 4% a month, but then when I saw the profit we were making each month I could only smile. And if you want to grow, sometimes you have to take risks.
RAIN (29),ONLINE STORE OWNER
I’m a driver working for a taxi company in Tallinn, for which I use my own car. I like being able to choose my own hours, and I find driving quite relaxing. But I didn’t have money of my own to buy a car to use as a taxi, so I had to find another solution. Evergreen were recommended to me by someone I knew, and they didn’t disappoint – I had a contract with them within a day of applying. They gave me the loan, I bought the car and I’ve been driving it now for almost a year.