New economic empowerment initiative will create livelihood opportunities to more than 300 women in Moldova

As part of the new initiative, 200 women entrepreneurs in Moldova will enhance their skills to start-up and run their own businesses, secure jobs and better manage their personal finances. Around 35 young women, especially those from underrepresented groups, will receive non-reimbursable grants to invest in their own businesses. Additionally, a sustainable network of up to 100 women entrepreneurs will be established to support each other and advocate their socio-economic needs to policy and decision-makers. The economic empowerment initiative is implemented by UN Women and the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises Sector Development established under the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure (ODIMM) of Moldova.

Date: Thursday, November 5, 2020

UN Women and ODIMM Agreement
The signing ceremony of the partnership agreement between UN Women and ODIMM 

Under UN Women’s regional project ‘Responding to the urgent needs of women and girls in marginalized and vulnerable situation exacerbated by COVID-19 in Europe and Central Asia’ (June 2020 to May 2021),  a new initiative in the Republic of Moldova is enhancing women’s resilience by improving their access to new sources of income and livelihood opportunities, as well as enhancing women entrepreneurs' participation in decision-making processes through professional associations and networks.

UN Women signed a partnership agreement with the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises Sector Development, a public non-profit institution established under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure (ODIMM). Moldova’s National Program “Start Up for Youth” is a key pillar of the project followed by knowledge building, and grants for women to start-up or grow their businesses, especially in rural areas. The project is being implemented with generous support from the Government of Japan.

UN Women and ODIMM Agreement
The signing ceremony of the partnership agreement between UN Women and ODIMM

This partnership between UN Women and ODIMM will contribute to the implementation of the national strategic plan on COVID 19 recovery and empowerment of women, especially those who are the most affected by the pandemic. The initiative will provide women with opportunities for income security, decent work and economic autonomy. The project will also look to tackle pre-existing barriers to business management faced by women which are now compounded by COVID-19 and its knock-on effects – inaccessibility to financial services, lack of mentoring and networking platforms, and competing gendered priorities amongst others. 

UN Women and ODIMM Agreement
Dominika Stojanoska, Country Representative of UN Women Moldova, and Iulia Costin, general director of ODIMM

“With the generous support from the Government of Japan we are now able to support women, including most vulnerable in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on their economic security. We at UN Women, are so proud on the partnership established with ODIMM, as we see this as a start of a long-term cooperation towards enabling a sustainable approach in ensuring gender equality in the economic sector; For women, ensuring equality in outcomes means not only providing opportunities for securing income, it is also working on eliminating the existing barriers in accessing jobs and finances for starting business, in challenging the existing gender stereotypes and harmful social norms on women's capacities in establishing and running business, in recognizing and re-distributing of the unpaid care work at home, factors which impact seriously women’s ability to engage and sustain the paid work. The partnership with ODIMM enables us to tackle these issues in its complexity, as ODIMM has the expertise and proven experience in supporting SMEs in the country, including women ‘s  SMEs; while UN Women is the lead UN Agency with expert knowledge on global norms and standards on gender equality and with best practices on women’s economic empowerment." - Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Moldova Country Representative

The General Director of ODIMM, Iulia Costin, shared that this partnership will contribute to the development of joint activities aimed at facilitating the economic integration of women in Moldova and said: “Over the time, changing the perception of female entrepreneurship in Moldova has become a core priority for ODIMM. Multiple initiatives and projects dedicated to female entrepreneurs had been implemented. However, women and girls are still the most vulnerable, especially in the COVID-19 context due to their frontline positions in jobs related to the health and social sectors. In the current circumstances, the project provides support to the affected SME sector by building resilience and encouraging women in achieving their highest potential”.