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How to Leverage the Growth Potential of Southeast Europe With Elvin Guri From INVENIO Partners

Image credit: Andrey Andonov
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In the next episode of The Recursive podcast, we explore the topic of societal impact through investments. Our guest Elvin Guri is an Albanian-born entrepreneur. His professional path is closely connected to Bulgaria. But his impact as an entrepreneur and investor has spread throughout the whole region of Southeast Europe. 

Elvin Guri is currently managing the VC fund INVENIO Partners, a €55M regional private equity and growth equity fund, with a mandate to invest in SMEs in Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia. 

As an entrepreneur, Elvin Guri co-created Jet Finance, the largest independent consumer lending company in SouthEast Europe which he exited to BNP Paribas in 2007. 

He holds an Executive MBA from the University of Oxford. He has supported several educational initiatives in Bulgaria and Albania, including his Alma Mater AUBG, Junior Achievement & Teach for Bulgaria.

For him, entrepreneurship is a choice. It’s not something you’re born with, but rather a skill you can learn, practice, forget, re-learn and continue to practice. 

“To me, entrepreneurship is mostly about managing risk. You should be obsessed with identifying “the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns” and prepare yourself for all the eventualities. When it comes down to it, you have to be able to assess the opportunity, price it, and determine for yourself whether you are prepared to pay the price”, Elvin Guri explains.  

In his conversation with Georgi Nenov, Elvin Guri talks about the winning combination for Jet Finance to become the largest independent consumer lending company in Southeast Europe back in the early 2000s, but also his lessons learned from the successful exit afterward. 

Reflecting on his hat as an investor, Elvin shares that his ultimate goal is to help create a more equitable society through investments. 

“Societal impact continues to be a light motive of our operations. We interpreted our mandate from the JEREMIE program as not simply investing to make money but seeking to contribute to the improvement of the business climate in the country. We helped finance the launch of the first cancer treatment center in 40 years and one of the most modern in the region”, Elvin Guri explains. 

Read more:  Sigma Squared, the global community that connects impact-driven founders, to open a chapter in Bulgaria

Now, with the closing of its second fund, the team of INVENIO partners is looking to nurture the next regional champions and help them compete on a global scale. 

“We can benefit from the nearshore trend. We need to get our house in order. We have the opportunity to start building upon the industrial trend and capabilities that we have traditionally had. Second, we have an opportunity to start consolidating at the regional level businesses, and industries that service local consumption”, he explains. 

Watch the episode to find more about Elvin Guri’s investment philosophy.

Watch our previous episode and explore the future of biometric security with the founder and president of Alcatraz Vince Gaydarzhiev.

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