Nineteen entrepreneurs have obtained financial assistance to purchase goods and services worth up to $15,000 and will develop businesses on both banks of the Nistru River. The entrepreneurs were selected from 170 participants in the competition organized by the project “Development of export capacities on the banks of the Nistru River” (AdTrade), funded by Sweden and implemented by UNDP.
In addition to the non-reimbursable financial support, over the next 15 months, entrepreneurs will also receive advice and mentoring for business development. The assistance provided by Sweden and UNDP will help entrepreneurs on both banks of the Nistru river overcome the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt their business model to the current situation, and create about 60 jobs.
“Sweden’s assistance programs in Moldova cover all regions of the country, including the breakaway Transnistrian region, through initiatives to promote confidence-building and inclusive growth. In all development interventions, Sweden is a continuous promoter of reforms in areas that increase women’s participation and empowerment. We are particularly pleased to see that there are 14 women among the entrepreneurs appointed today. Or, women’s entrepreneurship has been recognized in the last decade as an important untapped source of economic growth,” declared Anna Lyberg, Swedish Ambassador to Moldova.
The winning projects are diverse and include, among others, the production of fruit, berry and medicinal syrups, wooden and wrought iron objects, artisanal cheeses, children’s clothing, organic cosmetics, bread, and bakery products. A tourist boarding house, an education consulting agency, and a technical service center for electric cars will also be created.
Marina Tabuncic from Ustia village, Dubăsari district, eastern Moldova, is one of the 19 winners of the contest and claims that the provided assistance will help with developing her business, especially in the conditions of the pandemic crisis: “We set out to launch a production line of children’s clothes, made of organic cotton, which does not affect the babies’ skin. We aim to open five stores in Moldova, increase sales through its online store, and sell our products on the foreign market.
Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova, present at the online grant award ceremony, said: “The public health crisis has a negative socio-economic impact, causing loss of household and business income. That is why it is essential to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), a sector severely affected by COVID-19, which provides jobs for young people and vulnerable groups and which will ensure sustainable local development.”
Supporting entrepreneurial initiatives for the creation and development of enterprises on both banks of the Nistru is one of the essential components of the project “Development of export capacities on the Nistru River” (AdTrade). Besides, the project provides assistance in creating long-term trade links between entrepreneurs on both banks of the Nistru, stimulates and promotes exports of goods and services from the region by accessing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement offers. The AdTrade project is implemented by UNDP in the period 2019-2022, with the financial assistance of Sweden.