Moldovan women were encouraged by authorities and the European Union to start business

The Women Entrepreneurship Support Program: Development Opportunities through Grants from European Funds took place in Bardar, Ialoveni district. The event was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Digitisation, Dumitru Alaiba; the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, Janis Mazeiks and the Acting Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Organisation (ODE), Gheorghe Iudin.

“A modest estimate suggests that eliminating inequality in society can have a positive impact on GDP of at least 8%. More rights for women do not mean fewer rights for men. We all need to understand. That’s why we want to have as many female entrepreneurs as possible alongside male entrepreneurs, as many businesses founded by women as possible alongside businesses founded by men. This will give us the economic growth we need,” said Dumitru Alaiba.

“Encouraging women’s entrepreneurship stimulates diversification and innovation, which leads to a more dynamic and competitive economy. But gender gaps still exist, and these gaps are costly, missed opportunities, both for individual businesses and for the economy. For this reason, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment is a major political priority of the European Union’s support to the Republic of Moldova,” EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova Janis Mazeiks said.

The program offers a non-reimbursable grant of 200,000 lei to women entrepreneurs who are just starting, and 600,000 lei to women who already have businesses they want to develop.

“The new program to support female entrepreneurship comes with new and more varied support measures for women entrepreneurs. Women’s needs are more targeted and economic support is more consistent. At the moment, we have allocated a 30 million lei budget for this program and, from the European Union, we have also allocated 720 thousand euros”, the acting director of ODE, Gheorghe Iudin stressed.


Financial support can be solicited for machinery, raw materials, and quality certificates, obtaining franchising and software applications.

“For us, this is the second ODEs in other areas, that women are active in business as well, and there is great interest in the programs we support not only for women entrepreneurs but also for businesswomen interested in other programs,” Janis Mazeiks added.

The location for the launch of the women’s grant program was not chosen by chance. Barda Butchery, an enterprise specializing in meat processing, is run by Olesea Plugaru, a young entrepreneur and beneficiary of ODE programs, who decided to set up the business after a family holiday in the Austrian capital.

“We were impressed and, at the same time, indignant: why is there no chickpea in Moldova, why can’t we get cooked chickpea, but in Austria hundreds of people stand in long lines waiting to buy a cooked chickpea? We stayed till the end and bought that chickpea, came home and thought: we can do it too”, recalls Olesea Plugaru, the founder of the business.

The couple presented their business to the guests, taking a tour of the production department, heat treatment, and meat maturing room.

“It’s a business that generates 26 jobs here in the village of Bardar. That means 26 families staying at home, paying taxes here, at home, staying with their children at home, and making a life here in Moldova,” Dumitru Alaiba said.

The grant program funded by the government and the EU through the ODE is accessible to all women in Moldova.

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