Chisinau, 25 November 2023 - The European Union is co-financing with 8 million euros in the form of non-reimbursable funds 7 programs implemented by the Entrepreneurship Development Organization (ODA). The funding programs, targeted at several categories of beneficiaries, were presented at the Antreprenor Expo exhibition held at Moldexpo. These are PARE 1+2, Start for Youth, SME Greening Programme, Digital Transformation Programme, Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Programme, Women Entrepreneurship Support Programme and Rural Tourism Programme.

The event was attended by Nina Potînga, Deputy Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Organisation, Miroslav Božić, Programme Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, business people who have developed their enterprises thanks to grants obtained under these programmes, as well as small entrepreneurs interested in obtaining non-reimbursable financing. 

"Entrepreneurs in the Republic of Moldova have found themselves in a period of prolonged crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed by it. Then, the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine have put entrepreneurship in front of several problems and challenges, the most difficult situation being for small and medium-sized enterprises. We thank the European Union for its support for the development of entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova. The €8 million funds allocated by the EU will support at least 300 entrepreneurs in their efforts to create, develop, expand and internationalize their businesses between 2023 and 2026," said Nina Potînga, Deputy Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Organization.

The cooperation started in 2018 with a project for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, and has grown to several support programmes for SMEs, said Miroslav Božić, Programme Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to Moldova.  Miroslav Božić explained why the EU is co-financing these 7 programmes in our country, which are part of the EU SME Project.

"The basic priorities of the EU are to reach a developed and sustainable economy and we know that Moldova is a candidate country to become a member of the EU and she is the one interested in this. And, of course, we focus very much on young people, women, to stimulate them to be better in entrepreneurship. We are also stimulating those in rural areas to have cooperation in the economic field and to make the economy work. SMEs are at the core of EU support for the private sector in Moldova. We support them not only through the ODA programmes, but also through other programmes with other EU funding institutions that help entrepreneurs to benefit, create and develop services."   

In just 6 months since the launch of the "EU for SMEs" project, funded by the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, 78 small and medium-sized entrepreneurs have received grants totalling €1.6 million, 70% of them from rural areas:

  • 30 projects submitted by young people (Start for Youth Programme)
  • 21 enterprises founded by migrants or their relatives (PARE Programme)
  • 13 companies will digitise their businesses (Digital Transformation Programme)
  • 3 companies will implement good environmental practices (Greening SMEs Programme)
  • 11 companies will replace obsolete equipment (Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Programme)

The company "V.T.V NORD", which owns the bakery and pastry factory "Royal Bliss" in the Falesti district, received a grant under the Digital Transformation Programme. Irina Ambros, the company's representative, said at the event that they aimed to digitize the company to meet new market requirements and to connect with customers using state-of-the-art digital technologies to promote products and develop the business, including on the Romanian market.

"This Program has helped us increase our competitive advantage and customer portfolio, leverage new technologies, optimize internal processes and minimize human factor errors. The company is at the negotiation stage with partners in Romania. The goal of the project has been achieved", Irina Ambros added.

It is worth mentioning that in 2018-2021, ODA (ex-ODIMM) successfully implemented a grant project funded by the European Union with 4 million euros for capitalizing the national programs "PARE 1+1", "Women in Business" and "Support Instrument for the Digitization of SMEs". Following the implementation of the project "Support for SMEs in rural areas", 564 enterprises have benefited from direct grants, vouchers, training and free consultancy for the development of business plans. As a result, 1582 jobs were created. The EU funding has attracted a total investment of over €8 million in the national economy.