Social entrepreneurs – heroes of society

2022 was complicated for the business environment, especially for social entrepreneurs. They had to face the consequences of the war, increased tariffs on electricity resources, as well as high competition and difficulties related to the registration of the enterprise. In order to have a complex understanding of the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs in 2022, we talked to both entrepreneurs and experts in the field of social business development.

Even in these difficult conditions, social entrepreneurs proved once again that they deserve the title of “HEROES OF SOCIETY”, as they actively engaged in solving social problems.

“Social entrepreneurship – a developing phenomenon in the Republic of Moldova, which, I hope, will gain momentum in the next period. This summer we launched the first Accelerator of Social Entrepreneurship – Central Region, to support and encourage the involvement of entrepreneurs and NGOs in solving social problems. Challenges? Sure! As in any activity, social entrepreneurs also encounter challenges, but it is important when you can get the necessary support, at the right time.

The challenges that social entrepreneurs encounter, for the most part, relate to the business registration procedure, obtaining the respective status and accessing fiscal facilities and private financing. That is why the priority of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, since the launch of the HUB in the Central region, is to offer support to social companies. At the same time, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry promoted the interests of social entrepreneurship on the existing platform of public-private dialogue, where the current topics and initiatives to harmonize national legislation with that of the EU were addressed.

I believe that the biggest challenge for social entrepreneurship this year was the lack of sustainability, but I am glad that despite the fact that the social entrepreneur does not benefit from economic facilities, our entrepreneurs do not despair, on the contrary – they come up with new initiatives which can develop the community, integrate different categories of people and be closer to the people.” said Sergiu Harea, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova.

The refugee crisis caused by the war in Ukraine was another challenge. In this case, social entrepreneurs did not remain indifferent. The social insertion enterprise “EduJoc” was actively involved in supporting those who fled the path of war, especially in providing support to families with children. Thanks to the support offered by our partners, they also involved international volunteers, among them the actor Orlando Bloom, who visited the Republic of Moldova to meet with the children and families of refugees from Ukraine.


“2022 was a very difficult year for us, as it was for many others. It was the first year we had very few sales. Our escape was local and international organizations, funded by external partners, who made large purchases. They helped keep us afloat and we were able to make up the shortfall at the store. Also, 2022 is the year the war came and messed up all our plans. At the same time, we managed, once again, to turn challenges into opportunities and we managed to expand our mission to give every child in Moldova the chance to have at least one educational toy in their home.

Thanks to the volunteers from all countries of the world, we managed to make many new games such as the rubber band toy in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, the puzzle map of Ukraine, Tower of Fears, Bricks, etc. However, the biggest challenge was launching GustoHora. The challenge was to migrate from the production of toys to the gastronomic field. We were lucky to have volunteers from Japan and Ireland who are head chefs and through their experience have shown us that we can expand our range of services. After two months of purchases and transformations, we have created a van that helps us organize real festivals and involve children in cooking activities.

I would really like to have a chef with special needs on our team to inspire and encourage other young people with special needs in the villages we will go to. We have undertaken with the team that in the next 10 years we will do advocacy so that people with special needs, especially children, no longer feel self-isolation and to convince the authorities that all playgrounds must become inclusive, especially public ones .” said Igor Hîncu, the founder of EduJoc.

The war is a real challenge for social entrepreneurs, when customers refrained from events and purchases.

“At the beginning of 2022, the activity of Ecovox Grup SRL (which includes 2 social entrepreneurship activities: solutions for the organization and management of events – Keystone Events and the production and sale of traistes under the Ecovox brand) fluctuated between trying to recover from the pandemic crisis, which limited the number of events and customers and entering the crisis caused by the war in the neighboring country.

The war in Ukraine initially created a reluctant audience and customers who refrained from purchasing and organizing events, and subsequently caused an upward flow of requests from customers. As a result, additional human resources were required to handle the upward flow of requests from customers and partners. Currently, we consider it necessary, on the one hand, to continue advocacy activities in order to develop social entrepreneurship, obtain more fiscal facilities and implement new measures and support mechanisms from the state. On the other hand, it is necessary to continue improving, digitizing and scaling social business, as a business model that creates impact in society.” mentions Ina Zaporojan, Social Entrepreneurship Manager, Keystone Moldova.

The increase in tariffs for energy resources has also brought with it the increase in the prices of raw materials, which represents another challenge for social entrepreneurs.

“2022 was a challenging year for us. The increase in raw material prices, electricity and fuel prices have affected and thwarted our plans. We also faced staff shortages, including hiring people with disabilities.” declares Tatiana Puga, director of Credem Eco SRL from Balti.

The social enterprise Vibe Academy also faced the problem of rising prices.

“The biggest challenges for us remain the high rent prices, which have increased a lot for us; increase in gas and electricity rates. Under these conditions, we would have been forced to raise prices, but we didn’t do that, and it’s against us.” says Maria Pasat, founder of Vibe Academy.

The challenges depended a lot on the field in which social entrepreneurs operate. For those active in the field of agriculture, the drought has given a lot of trouble.

“We have a hive of 60 beehives and employ young people with disabilities, especially from rural areas. Working in agriculture, we depend a lot on the rules of nature. This year, due to the drought, we had less bee products. Also, not having experience in entrepreneurship, it’s a little more difficult. Even with such challenges, when you see the satisfaction of the employees, it motivates you a lot. In the future we hope to be able to hire as many people as possible.” mentions Veronica Căpătici, founder of Darul Albinelor enterprise.

This material was produced with the financial support of the European Union and Sweden. Its content is the exclusive responsibility of the project “We capitalize on the potential of civil society for the promotion and development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova”, financed by the European Union and co-financed by Sweden, carried out by the East European Foundation in partnership with the Contact Center and Keystone Moldova. The content of the material belongs to the authors and does not necessarily reflect the view of the European Union.

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