Eleven entrepreneurs from the districts of Nisporeni, Calarasi, Leova, Dubasari, Gagauzia and Transnistrian regions received grants of US$18,000 each to initiate environmentally friendly and climate-resilient businesses. The beneficiaries were selected from 41 project ideas submitted at a grants competition organized by the UNDP project "Climate resilient communities by empowering women", funded by Sweden.
In the next 12 months, the selected entrepreneurs will put in place: solar photovoltaic systems, biomass-based boilers, small scale wastewater treatment system, resource efficient irrigation systems and other technologies needed to develop climate-resilient businesses in such areas as eco-tourism, fish farming, vegetables growing in greenhouses, fruit production and processing, and others.
“The main particularity and value of the project, as we see it, is the interaction among multiple actors such as Local Public Authorities, NGOs, businesses and households for creation of an enabling environment for exercising climate resilient practices. The project will continue offering support and mentoring in performing the roles of stakeholders in the best positive way,” noted Adam Amberg, Counselor/Head of the Cooperation for Development Unit of the Embassy of Sweden in Chisinau, at the grant certificates award event, held on 22 December 2021.
In addition to the non-refundable financial support, the 11 entrepreneurs will also benefit from free mentoring and coaching, which will allow them not only to develop sustainable businesses, but also to increase their competitiveness, production capacities and create more jobs, including for women and socially vulnerable people.
”In Moldova, rural women are four times more prone to absolute poverty, they are underrepresented in the public decision-making and are more vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, targeted actions are required to enhance women’s access to alternative income generation activities, as well as to the knowledge and information on resilient management of natural and agricultural resources on which they depend. The selected projects would bring such important benefits as increased resilience of private and residential infrastructure to climate change, providing additional income for the rural women, and demonstrating practices of sustainable and efficient management of natural resources and systemic adaptation to climate change with high replication potential,” said Andrea Cuzyova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
Galina Lefter from Sarata Noua village, Leova district, runs a farm specialized in growing vegetables in the greenhouse: "Every year we are exposed to drought, frosts or other unfavorable climatic conditions. If we didn't have a greenhouse, we wouldn't be able to grow vegetables for sale. But for this business to be profitable, you need to invest in modern heating and ventilation systems, which we, rural people, cannot afford. That's why my husband went to work abroad. The grant will help me not only to buy a biomass-based boiler and install an economical heating and ventilation system for greenhouses, but also to reunite with my family. My husband decided to return home to develop this business together, which is our only source of income. This way we can offer organic, fresh vegetables to our buyers and at a good price, the year around.”
The project "Climate resilient communities by empowering women" contributes to sustainable development and increased resilience to climate change of the localities in the districts of Nisporeni, Calarasi, Basarabeasca, Leova, ATU Gagauzia, the security zone and the Transnistrian region through the economic, social and educational empowerment of women. The beneficiaries of the project are environmental NGOs, local public administrations, women entrepreneurs, as well as women with economic activity in households from target districts, which will be assisted in identifying, formulating, planning and implementing initiatives to reduce environmental degradation and increase resilience to climate change at the local level. The project is implemented by UNDP from 2020 to 2023, with the financial assistance of Sweden.