Passion and sustainability: Ana Bradu's journey to running a successful eco-friendly business


Ana Bradu
Image credit: UN Women

In a society increasingly aware of climate change, success stories on environmentally friendly products are becoming beacons of inspiration. One such remarkable story is that of Ana Bradu, the founder of Green Pack Moldova. An entrepreneur with a clear vision for a sustainable future, Ana owns a business focused on ecological packaging: compostable shopping and trash bags, cotton bags, disposable paper and sugarcane tableware, paper drinking straws and other eco-friendly products. Through her determination, Ana demonstrates that it is possible to protect the environment while developing viable and responsible business solutions.

It all started with a personal shift in perspective. Ana reevaluated her own lifestyle, noticing the negative impact her unsustainable habits had on the environment. Merging passion and professionalism, her transformation is contributing to a cleaner world. "Undoubtedly, everything stemmed from an awareness of my previous lifestyle,” Ana explains. “My process of becoming more aware was amplified by climate change, which has been such a pressing issue, and the need for a responsible attitude towards nature. I changed my lifestyle and realized that I can make others follow suit."

Ana’s participation in the project "U-POWER - Supporting Women's Leadership and Social Cohesion in the Peacebuilding Process," which was implemented by the NGO Women for Women with support from UN Women Moldova and funding from the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund, played a crucial role in developing her business and vision. Through the project, Ana rediscovered the importance of continuous learning. "The business-related modules were very useful,” she says. “There were many concepts I was already familiar with, but they were presented in a simple and clear way, making them easy to apply. Additionally, the psychological counseling sessions were very beneficial." This project not only provided her with new knowledge and perspectives but also encouraged strong bonds among the participants, offering a platform for support and collaboration. "For a long time, I worked alone, but I understood that it wasn't good to stay isolated and that I needed a community,” she says. “Here, I found an environment from which I can draw inspiration and motivation."

Running a sustainable business comes with challenges, from the higher costs of eco-friendly products and the need to educate consumers, to building a dedicated team. Yet, through determination and a clear vision, Ana has managed to make a difference. "It’s not easy, but I look more at the impact of my business in terms of the added value it brings to the community," she explains. So far, she has managed to introduce compost bins for organic waste to the Moldovan market. Considering that approximately 50 per cent of household waste in the country is organic, these bins offer an innovative and sustainable solution. Thanks to a grant of 80,000 MDL through the project, Ana is also developing an online commerce platform, which will give Green Pack Moldova’s customers access to the entire range of eco-friendly products available for sale.

Looking to the future, Ana sees a horizon full of possibilities for the green economy in Moldova. Emphasizing a sustainable and innovative economy is essential to reducing negative impacts on the environment. Education and community involvement are also important in this transformation process. Ana manages to inspire through her personal example, showing that change begins with small steps and conscious decisions.

"Economic empowerment of women and addressing climate change require interconnected solutions,” says Dominika Stojanoska, the Country Representative for UN Women Moldova. “Investments in women's leadership and entrepreneurship accelerate progress towards gender equality in a sustainable environment. Creating policies and initiatives that prioritize women's empowerment, including in the green economy, is essential for ensuring a fair, resilient and sustainable future for everyone."

Along with Ana, 14 other women graduated from U-POWER’s leadership school, including three refugee women from Ukraine. In the end, seven participants from Moldova and one from Ukraine received grants worth up to $5,000 USD to develop their own businesses.

The "U-POWER - Supporting Women's Leadership and Social Cohesion in the Peacebuilding Process" project was implemented by Women for Women in partnership with the Center for Nonformal Education "Diversity" and CRISP - Conflict Simulation, with support from UN Women Moldova and funding from the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund.

About the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund

The Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund is the only global funding mechanism exclusively dedicated to accelerating programmatic and institutional support to local women's organisations operating in fragile conditions, enabling them to respond to crises and build lasting peace. As the host of its World Secretariat, UN Women plays a key role in the success and continuous development of the fund.

About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and women's empowerment. A global champion of women and girls' rights, UN Women was established to accelerate the response to their needs around the world. UN Women supports the equal participation of women in all aspects of life, focusing on the following strategic priorities:

• Women lead, participate and equally benefit from governance systems.

• Women have financial security, decent jobs and economic independence.

• All women and girls live a life free from any form of violence.

• Women and girls contribute to and have a greater influence over the creation of lasting peace and resilience, equally benefiting from conflict prevention and humanitarian action.