Ten women and girls from the left bank of Nistru river obtained grants from Sweden and the United Kingdom for up to US$10,000 each, to set up new businesses or develop micro and small enterprises. These are the winners of a public contest organized by the UNDP “Advanced Cross-River Capacities for Trade” (AdTrade) project, in which 102 women and girls from the left bank of the Nistru river participated.
Steven Mark Fisher, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Republic of Moldova, declared during the online event for awarding grant certificates, organized on 13 October 2021: “Equal opportunities in the economic life of the country is not just a universal human right, but also a good reasoning for economic development. To maximize their potential, economies should harness competences, creativity, and hard work of all the citizens – regardless of their sex, ethnicity, and any other characteristic. This project – including these grants that we award today to these creative women entrepreneurs – aims to provide opportunities and promote equality”.
The winning projects are diverse and provide for creating new services or launching pioneering goods on the market: processed fruits and vegetables based on shock freezing, artisanal cheeses, ice-cream produced based on Italian technology, teas from eco plants and forest berries, micro-greens, apiculture products. As well, several services will be created: verifying the quality of crops by using high technology equipment, a video studio for organization of online events, a wellness center and a café specialized in making pancakes.
Irina Noskova is one of the 10 winners of the grants’ competition: “Deep freezing of products is an innovative technology, as a result of which the fruits and vegetables preserve their freshness and nutritional properties over a long period of time. It is easier to store and transport them in this condition. I will buy the raw material from local suppliers. This business will allow us working all the year around, as food production will always be relevant and profitable. There is a constant need of vitamins in the weather conditions of our region, hence frozen fruits and vegetables will always be in demand. Thanks to the provided assistance I will be able to offer to clients the products they want, of the best quality and for a reasonable price."
Another entrepreneur, Xenia Migova, noted that the assistance provided will help her business better overcome the impact of the pandemic crisis: “When I was thinking about creating a video studio for online events, I wanted to facilitate the creation of interactive videos of high quality for any client, as such services are missing in the region. This contest is a unique chance to obtain support and to make my dream come true. It is rather difficult for a young woman to start a business, and thanks to the grant I will be able to earn more and to ensure my financial stability in future. I really hope that our studio will become a creative center, in which all the people will have access to modern technologies. Unfortunately, the highly performing technologies appear with delay in our region, hence our task is to be an open window towards the world of innovations."
Besides the non-reimbursable financial assistance, the selected entrepreneurs will benefit from business mentoring over the next two years, which will allow them not only to increase their revenues and living standards, but also to create more jobs, to develop business partnerships with the right bank, to be able to increase their competitiveness and production capacities, and to export goods and services abroad.
Katarina Fried, Swedish Embassy to the Republic of Moldova: “During last years of implementation, within the AdTrade project, many companies were assisted in reaching new markets and finding new partners. The new businesses that have been initiated and supported targeted the participation of women, youth and returned migrants on both banks of Nistru river and it made a difference at personal level but also at the community level. By having this women-entrepreneurs dedicated support programme, beneficiaries will receive the needed expertise and equipment to develop further their business ideas”.
In 2020, 21 other entrepreneurs from both banks of the Nistru river were selected within a similar contest organized by UNDP/AdTrade Project and obtained financial assistance for procuring goods and services for a value up to US$15.000 each, as well as individual counseling for business development. So, the beneficiaries succeeded to increase their sales and to employ 60 persons, of whom 46 from vulnerable groups, and to maintain the working places for other 45 persons who were on the edge to be suspended due to the pandemic crisis.
Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova: “During the last two years, we have been facing unprecedented challenges generated by the global COVID19 pandemic. Women have been especially highly impacted. Recent studies show that nearly 60% of people who lost jobs due to COVID19 were women. The on-going public health crisis is also a development crisis, imposing losses of revenues of households and businesses. The support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises - a hugely affected sector by COVID-19 – is direly needed especially targeting women and girls. Otherwise, a sustainable local development will be undermined. Today’s event is of particular importance - we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of 10 women and girls from Transnistrian region, who made a courageous decision to start a business during these critical times and are passionate about their ideas and dedicated to make it happen and contribute to building forward better”.
Supporting entrepreneurial initiatives for creating and developing enterprises on both banks of the Nistru river is one of the basic components of the “Advanced Cross-River Capacities for Trade” (AdTrade) project. More, the project provides assistance for creating new long-term trade relations between the entrepreneurs from both banks of the Nistru river, fosters and promotes goods’ and services’ exports from the region, by accessing the opportunities provided by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and the Strategic Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Moldova etc. The AdTrade Project is implemented by UNDP during 2019-2023, with financial assistance from Sweden and the United Kingdom.