In the words of Ina Iavorschi: "Don't be afraid to take the first step in IT"
Ina Iavorschi is a young entrepreneur who helped launch VV-Billing, a digital platform that will facilitate the billing and payment of communal services, among other things. Ina told UN Women Moldova about her experience as a woman entrepreneur and the professional development opportunities offered in IT.
"VV-Billing is an online platform that will provide tenants’ associations with an innovative tool for billing communal services. Our goal is to develop an efficient digital tool in the administration of communal services, debts and payments. The platform also facilitates an online data exchange with institutions involved in the process of providing services and payments. The ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem of tenants' associations that ensure cooperation and transparency during the entire process. The idea arose after we realised that the administrators of tenants’ associations use an outdated system for their monthly billing process. They often rely on paper notes to enter meter data and then turn to outsource companies to prepare bills.
At the moment, our business is in the stage of software development and testing. I was given a major boost after having the opportunity to participate in various hackathons, accelerators and trainings. At the end of 2021, I applied to the XY Pre-Accelerator, when this project was only an idea. Thanks to the programme, I was able to bring that idea to life. This was followed by an acceleration programme, where we were able to register the business and attract more administrators of housing associations, including a communal living household. Within the programme, we benefited from the support of the organizers, individual mentoring and informative sessions – that is, everything necessary to develop a business.
Now that I have a good understanding of effective ways to build a business, I offer guidance to founders of startups and small and medium-sized companies on accelerating the development of their business idea or the business itself.
In our team, I’m in charge of business development, and the two other co-founders of the startup are in charge of developing the platform. A great advantage in this field is that you can launch a business and then develop your IT skills later. The important thing is to have a good team. For me, as a mother, another significant advantage is having a flexible work schedule. This allows me to combine and prioritise activities without having to choose between family and career. I’m also glad that I’m setting an example for my children and that they’re proud of me.
I believe that gender stereotypes prevent girls and women from pursuing a career in IT in our country. However, as I work in this sphere, I see more and more women choosing IT careers, and I’m happy to see this.
I urge all girls and women who want an IT career to try, test and accept the challenges! Don’t wait for that ideal opportunity. The sooner they begin to go through trials and failures, the faster they will create their own experience. At the moment, there are a lot of possibilities, events, workshops and accelerators that provide the necessary support in developing a business, including in the field of IT. It is important to apply and try. Don't be afraid to take the first step."
Ina Iavorschi is a beneficiary of the pre-acceleration programme for girls and women, implemented with the support of UN Women Moldova and financial support from the Government of Sweden. During the programme, she had the opportunity to interact and receive support from professionals in entrepreneurship, finance, communication, sales and other key areas. This article was developed for International Women's Day, under the theme "DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.”