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The up-and-coming generation of young entrepreneurs in Moldova will be the ones to build the country’s future economy, so it makes sense to invest in them now to ensure that future economy is both sustainable and inclusive.

With that goal in mind, the European Union co-financed by Sweden through the East-Europe Foundation, has launched a new project called “Local Civil Society Contributes to the Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Development of the County.”

Under this €3.8 million initiative, the project will provide 43 grants to civil society organizations, and some 200 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMSs) will be given access to business support centres. In addition, the project aims to help 70 SMEs break into the EU market.

Business Skills Hub ­– A launch pad for women entrepreneurs from Balti

Balti, in the north of Moldova, is one of the areas of the country already benefiting from this initiative. The city’s Business Skills Hub, a business support centre, was launched by the Businesswomen’s Association of Balti, and aims to foster the entrepreneurial and managerial spirit of dozens of young women who have recently entered the business world.

The creation of the centre was made possible by a €100,000 grant, given within the “Local Civil Society Contributes to the Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Development of the County” project.

The Business Skills Hub is a work area and social platform that aspiring businesswomen in Balti can use for business and consulting meetings, says Tatiana Puga, the president of the Businesswomen's Association of Balti.

“We aim to be useful and to cater to the needs of entrepreneurs who are at the beginning of their journey in business,” Puga says. “The business support centre offers training, consulting, mentorship, and also thematic workshops that are interesting for young businesswomen.”

EcoVisio – Social Entrepreneurship HUB: Turning ideas into sustainable businesses

With the issues of caring for the environment and climate change coming to the fore in recent years, it’s important to encourage business to help build a sustainable future for everyone.

That was the idea behind the launch of the EcoVisio – Social Entrepreneurship HUB by the EcoVisio Public Association, an environmental organization. The hub works to transform ideas into sustainable solutions to the social challenges facing the region. The production of biodegradable bags, establishing connections between small village farmers and urban consumers, creating innovative solutions to road safety problems, and setting up spaces for creativity and rest are just some of the areas of activity of the hub.

Thanks to the project, EcoVisio was able to develop the online IarmarEco platform, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell their products for free and meet other entrepreneurs in the EcoVisio-IarmarEco community.

Through the platform, producers have the opportunity to build valuable and lasting partnerships, supporting their domestic sales in the Moldovan market, as well as gaining footholds on export markets.

Youth Development for Innovation business support centre: Keeping pace with digital transformation

Digital technologies are now an important part of developing any business, and young entrepreneurs need to make sure they have skills in this area to make their business thrive in an increasingly online environment.

That’s why the Youth Development for Innovation Foundation business support centre was set up for young entrepreneurs in central Moldova. Through the centre, they can access business education, digital and innovative tools for developing and testing business ideas, as well as tools to help them access financial resources, or find investors and partners.

Y4i is now implementing multiple projects in various social and economic fields, and provides free IT courses to around 200 people. The project was launched in January 2022, the learning process will last two years, and at the end of it, 14 projects will receive grants worth €1,500.

According to Irina Tizu, the project’s manager, the hub will contribute to improving the regional economy and create opportunities for young people who want to achieve their professional aspirations in Moldova.

Background

The “Local Civil Society Contributes to the Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Development of the Country” project aims to empower Moldovan civil society organizations to play an effective role in public policy advocacy, private sector development, and sustainable economic development. In particular, with the support of the project, CSOs will empower vulnerable people, men and women (returning migrants, young people, people with disabilities) and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to capitalize on sustainable economic opportunities, along with the benefits of Moldova’s AA/DCFTA with the European Union, as well as manage emerging economic risks such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

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