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European Union awards a new €8 million grant to support entrepreneurship in Moldova

European Union awards a new €8 million grant to support entrepreneurship in Moldova

The European Union (EU) is allocating €8 million in non-reimbursable funding to co-finance seven state programmes to support entrepreneurship implemented by the Organisation for the Development of Entrepreneurship (ODA). The EU direct grant contract with ODA was signed at a press conference  on 24 May. The expected results of the “EU for SMEs” project are targeted to support at least 300 companies in their efforts to create, develop, expand or internationalise their businesses, of which at least 50% will be able to take advantage of new opportunities in sectors with high growth potential and 80% will cover rural areas. The European assistance project will be implemented by ODA in the period 2023-2026.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Digitisation, Dumitru Alaiba thanked the EU for supporting the development of entrepreneurship in Moldova, the development of support infrastructure in the regions, the sustainability of business and supporting integration into the EU economic area.

“This funding will help to improve the investment climate, facilitate people’s integration in the labour market, and create a favourable business environment for MSMEs. I would like to express my gratitude to the European Union for its continuous assistance provided to the entrepreneurship in Moldova, for the development of support infrastructure in the regions and for supporting Moldova’s integration into the European economic area. It is an honour for us to have such a close and fruitful cooperation with the European Union”, said Dumitru Alaiba.

Janis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union in the Republic of Moldova noted that  the “Strong SMEs are instrumental for Moldova’s economic recovery and growth. “EU for a sustainable, innovative, green and competitive economy” (EU4SMEs) will support the creation of new companies, increase the competitiveness of domestic entrepreneurs, as well as promote entrepreneurial culture in the Republic of Moldova. This is another sizable EU contribution to economic development and Moldovan people’s welfare.”

The “EU for SMEs” project of financial support in the amount of 8 million euros comes to supplement the state budget of 7 non-reimbursable financing programs: PARE 1+2, Start for Youth, SME Greening Program, Digital Transformation Program, Upgrading and Energy Efficiency Program, Program to Support Women Entrepreneurship and Rural Tourism program.

ODA Director Dumitru Pîntea gave a brief presentation of the main expected results of the European support for local entrepreneurship.

“EU support through co-financing of state programmes will double the number of companies supported, especially in rural areas, will allow for increased investment in modernisation and implementation of European environmental and quality standards, attract foreign investment, increase business resilience and decrease migration flows from rural to urban areas or  abroad. SMEs will become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly and, last but not least, will stimulate economic empowerment of young people and women.”

The overall objective of the EU for SMEs project is to contribute to resilient, sustainable and inclusive economic development and to support   the green transition in the Republic of Moldova. 

The specific objective of this action is to improve the investment climate, employability and a favourable business environment for SMEs, especially in rural areas , ensuring better access to finance for rural and women-owned SMEs.

ODA will ensure that at least 80% of the beneficiaries will be from these regions (practically the whole country except Chisinau).

At the same time, the development of rural tourism will be supported in the framework of the future Rural Tourism Programme, with particular attention to the promotion of the sustainable economic model, which involves the development of rural areas.

The implementing institution will ensure that at least 30% of the total number of beneficiaries in all programmes co-financed by the European Union will be managed by women.

Beneficiaries of European grants will also have access to the necessary advisory services, entrepreneurial education, trainings and mentoring.

It is worth mentioning that during 2018-2021 period, ODA (ex-ODIMM) has successfully implemented grant project    funded by the European Union in the amount of €4 million for the capitalization of the National Programmes “PARE 1+1”, “Women in Business” and “Support Instrument on Digitization of MSMEs”. Following the implementation of the project “Support for SMEs in rural areas”, 564 businesses have benefited from direct grants, vouchers, training and free consultancy for the development of business plans, resulting in the creation of 1582 jobs. EU funding has attracted a total investment of over €8 million in the national economy.