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Stories of transformation >> Leonid Pogreban
Leonid Pogreban (17.11.2009)

Agriculture Business 

Location: Speia, Moldova

Family: Married with 2 adult sons

Type of Business: Agriculture, operates 14 greenhouses

Loans from CAMED: 1 small-business loan 

Loan Amount(s): $3,000 in 2009

Impact of the Loan:

Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, Leonid and Ecaterina Pogreban struggled to find jobs, so they decided to start their own business out of their home. They began by purchasing several acres of farming land and, for several years, the couple utilized Ecaterina’s education training in agriculture and developed other farming skills for the success of their small farm. In 2004, they built a medium-sized greenhouse on their land, where they grew zucchini, watermelon, and cabbage. After their first year, they had enough profits to help rebuild their house and build an additional, larger greenhouse. As their produce business continued to grow over the next few years, Leonid and his family were able to use the profits to expand the scope of their vegetables and build several more greenhouses. Facing a harsh winter in 2007, however, the structures of the new greenhouses were destroyed by the poor weather conditions. Though discouraged, Leonid and his wife were perseverant and decided to re-build four more greenhouses the following year. With visionary plans for the expansion of their family-produce business and the determination to succeed, the family made plans to build eight more greenhouses by the end of 2008.

They lacked the financial resources to grow at such a quick rate, but were convinced that they would be able to pay back an investment with the yields from the following summer’s crops. When Leonid and Ecaterina heard about Invest Credit from friends in a nearby village, they saw their opportunity to realize their plans for expansion. The couple took out a loan at the beginning of 2009 for approximately $3,000, which they used to purchase the materials necessary for the greenhouse structures.

Today, Leonid and his wife have fourteen greenhouses on forty-acres of land, where they grow zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cabbage. The family divides the hard work of cultivating and harvesting the vegetables between the parents and their two grown sons, and at harvest time they usually hire a few extra hands from the village to help. Ecaterina and her sons travel nearly an hour to the capital city of Chisinau to sell their crops at the outdoor markets, where they will yield the highest profit. As a result of their loan, the family was able to plant significantly more this season and anxiously anticipates the harvest when they will be able to sell their abundance of crops.

Future Ambitions:

When Leonid and Ecaterina were asked about the next few years, they said that they have “big plans” for the future of their farm. They hope to expand into other areas of agriculture through planting peach trees on the rest of their land. Also, they hope to buy equipment to build an irrigation system that will be sourced from the nearby Nistru River. They also hope to be able to provide jobs on a seasonal basis for others in their village as their business grows.

Spiritual Impact:

Leonid and his family are helping to plant a new church in their village. Their church currently has 10 members and they meet in each other’s homes. The family sees the things that God has blessed them with through their business, such as their home and financial resources, as things that can be used to bless their church. Leonid described his faith as the thing that allows him to stay optimistic and trust God with the future for his business.

In His Own Words:

“We have been encouraged by Invest Credit because it is not easy to find money now. We can see that God is providing for us . Even if it seems like we are struggling, we are putting our hope in God for the future.”