Empowering Moldova’s Young Entrepreneurs: EU-UNDP Initiative ‘Start for Youth’ Drives Innovation and Economic Growth

The final conference dedicated to the “Start for Youth” project took place in Tiraspol, bringing together over 60 young entrepreneurs. Since 2020, the European Union, through the EU “Trust-Building Measures” program implemented by UNDP, has supported 39 business ideas with over €440,000.

“The European Union recognizes the importance of addressing the challenges faced by people and promoting sustainable practices. Therefore, we have encouraged young entrepreneurs to develop businesses that have a positive impact on the environment, society, and communities. This approach not only supports economic growth but also promotes a culture of responsible entrepreneurship,” stated Magdalena Mueller-Uri, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

The new businesses launched or sustained through EU-UNDP support cover a wide range of services and products, including tailoring services, culinary studios, veterinary clinics, deliveries, and food production (biscuits, cheese, wine, vinegar, smoked meat), as well as industrial goods (furniture, 3D-printed items, eco-friendly bags, and toys). During the conference, young entrepreneurs who were grant recipients shared their experiences and journeys in the business world.

“Supporting young entrepreneurs on both sides of the Nistru River means not only promoting local economic growth but also investing in the future of the business community and strengthening social cohesion. UNDP and the European Union firmly believe in the synergy between the banks, which contributes to a prosperous common future,” affirmed Andrea Cuzyova, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in the Republic of Moldova.


In the face of new work realities imposed by multiple crises, the EU and UNDP have supported the maintenance/creation of jobs in sustainable and future-ready economic sectors and have encouraged young people to choose to stay at home rather than emigrate.

One of these young people is Oleg Gorshenev. In 2020, he launched his own business producing bicycles and carbon fiber parts. “Due to difficult economic conditions, our fellow citizens are often faced with the choice of staying in the country or leaving. I love living in my city. I am part of this city, of this country. I will work to improve the lives of people in the region. By obtaining the grant, I was able to provide a few jobs, allowing three individuals and their families to stay home. I believe that without the support of my business, even I would have left,” shared the young entrepreneur.

The “Start for Youth” grant competition has had two editions, with 26 young entrepreneurs receiving funding in 2020 and another 13 in 2022. The “Trust-Building Measures” program, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP, contributes to building trust between residents on both banks of the Nistru River through their involvement in joint development projects.

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