Like a delicious dessert, a small business requires many inputs and careful preparation to be successful. Without the right combination of ingredients and enough time to bake, a cake will not set. Every small business starts with a great idea or product, but without flexible and reliable cashflow it will not have the people and time to succeed.
When Mergim Ademi and his mother, Nazlije Ademi founded Embelsia DPH in 2008, they set out to bring their own brand of traditional sweets to the marketplace in Kosovo. Invoice discounting has helped them achieve their goal.
Ingredients for Launching a New Business
Nazlije started by taking a class on how to turn home baking into products for market. They launched the business from their kitchen, baking traditional foods for sale in local markets, including “Fli,” a pastry layered with cream and yogurt and “mantia,” a savory phyllo roll containing meat, onions, and cheese. “Tatli” or dessert cakes became the favorite of customers and their product focus for expansion.
Support for Small Business Cashflow
Mergim found help through agencies and organizations created to encourage small business development. Embelsia applied for an HACCP license to verify food safety standards and increase sales inside Kosovo and for export. Embelsia joined: Increase Youth Employment (EYE) through TUV Austria, a project to study the dynamics of the dessert sector, its potential for growth and for employing women.
Working Capital to Grow the Supply Chain
Expanding their market remained a challenge. To reach new buyers with larger orders required more working capital. They turned to the first factor in Kosovo and a partner with AGC to provide invoice discounting on delivered goods. When Embelsia needs to increase cashflow, they request immediate payment on approved invoices from the factor instead of waiting 30 to 60 days for payment from buyers. Transactions are flexible, fast, and based on the commitment of the buyer to pay the invoice.
According to Mr. Ademi: “It helps me to have cash so we can use the money to invest in production. We can also participate in joint promotions with supermarkets to introduce the products to new customers.” Immediate payment on invoices helped the family manage cashflow, expand their business, and strengthened their relationship with buyers.
An Employment Growth Engine
Embelsia recently moved into a professional kitchen with plenty of space and bright light to produce larger and larger orders of cakes. In addition to Mergim and Nazlije, the company employs 16 women in manufacturing and 2 men in sales. Their next investment will be software to maintain sales data in a more professional way. With flexible cashflow, the company continues to grow and delight customers with delicious sweets.