More and more entrepreneurs in Moldova are benefiting from support and guidance in business development. In the last 12 months alone, the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitisation, through the Organisation for the Development of Entrepreneurship (ODA), has provided financial support to around 2500 companies in the small and medium-sized enterprise sector. The financial support provided amounts to around 850 million lei, in the form of non-reimbursable financing, financial guarantees, compensation of interest on loans or subsidising the costs of participation in exhibitions. Thus, the Government support has reached about 500 start-up entrepreneurs, as well as active companies seeking to expand and modernise their business through digitisation, greening or re-engineering of production processes.

These achievements were reached as a result of the institutional reform started with the approval of the ODA Statute (Government Decision No. 487 of 13 July 2022), which aimed to create a well-governed institution with an independent decision-making system and extensive capacities to interact with entrepreneurs. The objective of the reform was to create an institution that can implement complex instruments, channel support quickly to different categories of beneficiaries and support ambitious government projects. 

At present, the Government, through the ODA, supports domestic entrepreneurs through 15 Business Support Programmes financed from the state budget or from resources attracted from external partners. Thus, with the support of the European Union, grant programmes dedicated to start-ups or those supporting digitisation, greening and business re-engineering are implemented. With the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Digital Innovations Programme is implemented, and with the support of the World Bank - the SME Internationalization Programme. Also, with the support of the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the Fund for Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth of Moldova - FACEM is being developed to provide access to credit on favourable terms for local entrepreneurs. 

At the same time, the Government, through the ODA, facilitates access to finance by providing individual guarantees for loans and credits granted by financial institutions through the Credit Guarantee Fund. A new product - "Portfolio Guarantees" will also be launched shortly which will enhance the ability of entrepreneurs to attract capital from the banking sector and reduce the interaction time between banks, ODA and entrepreneurs.

Increasing access to finance is one of the Government's top priorities. Recently, the "373" Programme, implemented by the ODA, was launched to provide unprecedented lending conditions for SMEs. Thus, Moldovan entrepreneurs can take out loans of up to 15 million lei from any of the 11 commercial banks at an interest rate of only 3% in foreign currency and 7% in lei, with a grace period of up to 3 years.

Finally, the diversity of programmes is expanding. From 1 July to 31 August this year, the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitisation is compensating up to 10 thousand lei for the expenses of patent holders who switch to self-employment, and will shortly also compensate the expenses incurred by establishments training specialists in the dual education process.

Also, the implementation of the Programme for the creation of Multifunctional Industrial Platforms continues with the start of construction works in the cities of Ocnita and Glodeni, and the entrepreneurial support infrastructure in the regions is being strengthened through financial support to projects submitted by members of the Business Incubator Network. At the same time, with the reduction in interest rates, the process of granting state guarantees under the "First Home" programme for people who want to buy a house is being revived.

Supporting SMEs is one of the Government's top priorities. In this regard, the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitisation and the ODA are seeking to expand support for entrepreneurs, particularly as the recent crises have affected the stability of Moldovan companies. New support programmes are to be launched shortly, including: (i) the rural tourism programme, (ii) the female entrepreneurship programme, (iii) the small producers programme and (iv) the programme for integrating local producers into value chains.

This is how we grow Moldova's economy,

ODA - the bridge between the state and entrepreneurs!

For more details on the area of intervention and the range of entrepreneurial support programmes, please consult the institution's website - www.oda.md or call the Advice Centre +373 (22) 22 57 99.