28 entrepreneurs from the Cahul and Ungheni regions benefit of grants of overall €700,000, assistance provided by the European Union for the development of the private sector in the focal regions. The entrepreneurs were selected through open competition by the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme out of 140 applications received from Cahul and Ungheni districts.
“The EU stands by the citizens of the Republic of Moldova during this challenging period. We are proud to bring concrete and tangible support to the local entrepreneurs through our EU Focal Regions programme. The aim of EU assistance is to help save companies, support their development, create new and better jobs, boost the economic recovery, and improve the business environment. I am particularly pleased to underline that this programme is focussed on green economic principles and sustainability, thus embracing the vision of a green and long-lasting economic development. We hope that with joint efforts we will soon overcome this COVID-19 pandemic and the focal regions will become also focal points of prosperity and this experience will be extended to other localities from the Republic of Moldova,” said Peter Michalko, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova
16 existing companies, 10 start-ups and 2 social entrepreneurship initiatives will receive grants of €15,000 - €30,000 each. Financial assistance will be used to purchase equipment, goods, works and services to grow the business, create new jobs and increase the attractiveness of focal regions for new investments. The grant programme will also be accompanied by free mentoring and training activities to stimulate the entrepreneurial culture of focal regions.
"It is very impressive to see a large number of companies eager to develop or launch new businesses in the Cahul and Ungheni regions, a healthy indication of the desire to build forward better and mitigate the devastating economic impact of the pandemic. UNDP in partnership with the EU is committed to support and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of the 28 women and men from both regions and their efforts in reviving the economic sector, creating new jobs, and attracting investment in these focal regions,” said Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
Dumitru Chitoraga lives in Ungheni. In 2013, he launched a business to produce natural teas and the cultivation of medicinal plants. In Napadeni village, Ungheni district, on an area of 22 hectares in the forest area, he grows mint, lemon verbena, marigold, camomile, and other plants. The teas produced under the "Aroma Padurilor" (the smell of forests) brand are sold in stores in the country, but also exported to countries such as Canada, USA, Italy, Russia. The grant of €26,300, obtained in the category of Existing Companies, will be invested in the modernization of the irrigation system, the installation of solar panels, as well as in the contracting of marketing expertise services. "Thanks to EU funding, the ‘Aroma Padurilor’ brand will reach out to new international markets such as Romania, Japan, Belgium. We will also produce larger quantities of organic medicinal and aromatic plants", says Dumitru Chitoraga, director of the Farm "D. Chitoraga”, which comes with its own contribution of €10,000 to the grant obtained.
Catalina Pascal is originally from Cahul and together with her husband, she runs her own blacksmith shop. She creates custom product models, coordinates customer service, and manages the financial part of the business. And the husband, a blacksmith by profession, gives life to the model drawn by his wife. He produces various wrought iron objects: gates, fences, railings, grilles, and other elements that incorporate metalwork. Although the competition is fierce, the products of the Pascal family have crossed the border of the Cahul region, being in demand in the districts of Cantemir, Leova, Vulcanesti. The Pascal family is the beneficiary of the Grants Program, Start-Up category, and receives as a non-cash support of €15,000 coming with their own contribution of €1,576. "Lately, artistic metalwork is becoming more and more popular, because it is the opposite of factory template production. Using the money granted by the European Union, we will purchase modern cold metal processing equipment, which will make the cost and time of the works more efficient and will increase the competitiveness of the final product. This will increase the number of our customers and, in the end, will increase the profit of the business", says Catalina Pascal.
The beneficiaries of the private sector support program, Ist edition, cover vast fields of economic activity: furniture production, tailoring, pastry making, decorative objects, construction materials, agriculture, beekeeping, etc. The grants programme beneficiaries will create more than 200 new seasonal and permanent jobs in both focal regions.
This year, a new call for grants will be launched for entrepreneurs from Ungheni and Cahul districts. The total value of grants for private sector support in the Cahul and Ungheni regions that will be offered in the period 2020-2024 in the framework of the program is about €1.7 million.
EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme (2019-2024) supports smart, green, inclusive and sustainable development in Cahul and Ungheni, to ensure better life quality for citizens. The programme has a total budget of €23 million and is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
For additional information, please contact: Ina Prisacaru-Zglavuta, Communication Specialist, EU4Moldova Programme: Focal Regions, Tel: +373 69141006, firstname.lastname@example.org