19 entrepreneurs will benefit from financial assistance of US$15,000 each to procure goods and services and therefore start up or develop businesses on both banks of the Nistru river. The entrepreneurs were selected from 170 participants at the competition conducted in the framework of the “Advanced cross-river capacities for trade” (AdTrade) Project, financed by Sweden and implemented by UNDP.

Besides non-reimbursable financial support, the entrepreneurs will also benefit over the next 15 months from coaching and mentorship for business development. The assistance provided by Sweden and UNDP will help the entrepreneurs from both banks of the Nistru river to overcome the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic, to adjust their business models to the new reality, and to create about 60 decent jobs.

“The Swedish assistance programs in the Republic of Moldova cover all the regions of the country, including the Transnistrian region, through initiatives promoting confidence building and inclusive growth measures. In all its development interventions, Sweden is a continuous promotor of reforms in areas which increase women’s participation and empowerment, and we are so glad to see that 14 women are among the entrepreneurs awarded today. Women’s entrepreneurship was recognized over the last decade as an important unexplored source of economic growth,” stated Anna Lyberg, Ambassador of Sweden in the Republic of Moldova, during the online event for grant certificates’ award held on October 20, 2020.  

The winning projects are diverse and include, among others, production of syrups made of fruits, berries and medical plants, manufacturing of wooden and wrought iron items, production of artisan cheese, clothes for children, organic cosmetic products, production of bread and bakery products according to an innovative method, growing ecologic vegetables and bacciferous crops, etc. As well, a tourist boarding house, a consultancy agency in education, and a technical repair center for electrical devices will be established.

Marina Tabuncic from Ustia village, Dubasari district, is one of the 19 contest winners, mentioning that the provided assistance will help her a lot in developing her business, especially during the pandemic crisis conditions: “We plan to launch a production line for children’s clothes made of organic cotton, which does not affect babies’ skin. This idea has emerged because children’s clothes are on high demand on the market. We intend to open five shops on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, to increase sales through the online shop of the company and to sell our products on foreign markets.”

Attending the online ceremony for grant certificates’ award, Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova, stated: “The on-going public health crisis is development crisis as well, imposing losses of revenues of households and business. In this regard, support to SMEs, a hugely affected sector by COVID-19, especially targeting youth and vulnerable groups is greatly needed and will ensure a sustainable local development. Today’s event is of particular importance - we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of 19  women and men from both river banks, who made a courageous decision to start a business during these times and are passionate about their ideas and dedicated to make it work.”

Supporting entrepreneurial initiatives for creating and developing enterprises on both banks of the Nistru river is one of the basic components of “Advanced cross-river capacities for trade” project (AdTrade). The projects supports creating long-term trade relations between the entrepreneurs on both banks of the Nistru river, fosters initiatives and promotes exports of goods and services from the region by accessing the opportunities offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The AdTrade Project is implemented by UNDP during 2019-2022 with financial assistance from Sweden.

Contact person: Natalia Costaș, Consultant in Communication and Media Relations, UNDP/AdTrade Project. Tel.: 0 69 22 11 41; e-mail: natalia.costas@undp.org

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