Helping Moldova’s Covid-affected businesses evolve

Published: Oct 20, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
Helping Moldova’s Covid-affected businesses evolve
© Foto: Natalia Rotaru

During the Covid-19 crisis, small business owners in Moldova have struggled to stay afloat due to a precarious economic environment and the lack of tangible assistance from the state. But a People in Need (PIN)-led initiative aims to reverse this trend. Called “Dreamups,” the innovation and entrepreneurship accelerator in the capital city of Chișinău is supporting Moldovan entrepreneurs who have been affected by Covid-19 disruptions.

When the pandemic hit, Moldova’s entrepreneurs faced a shortage of customers and government-imposed restrictions on their operations. To address these challenges, Dreamups began providing digital masterclasses in sales, marketing, exporting, e-commerce, and fundraising, training some 250 Moldovan entrepreneurs to transform their businesses with online tools for working remotely, branding, and more.

Seemingly simple questions – How do you create a Facebook page? Can you advertise on social media? What does a good product photo look like? – became matters of economic survival. Dreamups and its associated online training platform Dreamclass, was the lifeline that enabled many business owners to stay afloat.

“We identified five of the most important topics: marketing, sales, export, e-commerce, and fundraising,” says Aliona Rotaru, CEO of Dreamups. And then, we opened the classroom doors.

Digitally-astute entrepreneurs learned how to switch their entire operations online. But many, especially those in Moldova’s more rural regions, lacked relevant technology and language skills to evolve independently. They needed a push to get going.

Step into the online world

So far, Dreamups’ masterclasses have trained more than 400 participants. Local professionals in the communication and sales sectors have instructed entrepreneurs on using online tools to engage effectively with their customers. “My masterclass is about selling products worldwide,” says Vlad Vedrasco, one of the trainers. Vedrasco shows his students that “[t]hey have the opportunity to sell their products everywhere with e-commerce platforms.”

PIN’s Cristian Slobodeaniuc says: "COVID-19 brought a lot of challenges to Moldovan civil society, especially those providing social services for elderly people with disabilities, and children, but in addition to those categories, the business environment was also affected by the pandemic," which is why Dreamups was launched. 

Dreamups project was implemented by PIN with funding from the European Union’s COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership. Partner organisations include the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and AFEW International.

This article was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its content represents the sole responsibility of the “COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership” project, financed by the European Union. The content of the video belongs to the authors and does not necessarily reflect the vision of the European Union.
Autor: Tereza Hronova

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