“Being an entrepreneur has been a way for me to develop fully and to have the freedom that I couldn’t find as an employee. Nevertheless, I have very quickly learned the need to constantly evolve and to be resilient, especially while the difficulties of the last three years. Microlux has been the helping hand that enabled me to cope with the current economic crisis with its advice but also its financial support.”
PETsitting at Olingen – Dogs used to work pretty hard, in security, farming, hunting… and some still do. But most of our four-legged friends live like kings today. This explains, at least in part, why people are willing to invest more and more in services like doggy day-care and next level pet-sitting. This is a market opportunity that Amandine, originally from Strasbourg, has tapped into in Olingen, on the outskirts of the city of Luxembourg.
EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR
After 10 years in the communications and print world, Amandine moved to Luxembourg in 2008 to work with some friends running a pet-sitting business. In 2012, she took over the company: “I never dreamt of owning a business, it just happened,” she explains. “But now it’s my dream job and I can’t see myself doing anything else,” she says. Today, Amandine offers day-care and boarding services for dogs, immersed in the beautiful natural landscapes Luxembourg has to offer. “My philosophy is to care for the dogs as a member of my family, without cages and in plenty of fresh air.”
THE WEIGHT OF RESPONSIBILITY
Although fulfilling, running her own business comes with the heavy baggage of responsibility: “The hardest part is finding resources on how to run and grow the company. You don’t know who to ask for help. You’re on your own. You swim, or you drown. Plus, this was a new type of company, which made everything yet more challenging. Insurance for example… Initially, they didn’t even cover this kind of service.”
Another challenge has been bridging the cashflow gap between high season and slower months. Reaching out to banks, she found many doors closed, but her luck changed when she secured a microfinance loan from microlux, backed by the EIF under the InvestEU programme. With cashflow constraints resolved, Amandine was able to go back to the important stuff: taking care of dogs and growing the business. “I would like to have a larger garden for the dogs. I’ve found a place actually, and now I’m negotiating with the municipality,” she says. Looking back, it’s been a bumpy ride, particularly with the pandemic slow-down. But Amandine remains upbeat: “I’m proud to still be here, even after 15 years – and especially after the last three. I would have never expected these struggles.” Cheers to that!
Texte : courtesy of the European Investment Fund (EIF)
Photo : © lisbethganerphotography and PETsitting
“Microlux had confidence in my project! Their explanations of the little details you can forget were a great help to me, and the support of a volunteer means you don’t feel alone or lost! Today, entrepreneurship gives me professional and personal fulfillment and a great deal of freedom to make decisions!”
“Entrepreneurship has brought us more freedom, more responsibility and more work, but we’re proud to have come this far and we thank microlux whose support has helped us realize our dream. “
“Being entrepreneurs has given us freedom in time management, independence, lots of experiences we wouldn’t have in a normal job and lots of new relationships. And microlux is very responsive, which is great! “
Thank you so much to microlux for the support in helping me with the renovation work and website for my massage studio. The interest-free part of the loan that I don’t have to pay back right away is really nice. This allowed me to reduce my expenses for the first year.
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