HomeWorldEBRD and Italy bolster Moldova's private sector

EBRD and Italy bolster Moldova’s private sector


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  • Italy contributes €500,000 to support MSMEs and start-ups in Moldova

  • Initiative to support businesses’ sustainable digital transition

  • EBRD’s Star Venture programme to support high-potential start-ups

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Italy are bolstering their support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Moldova.

The Bank will deploy Italy’s contribution of €500,000 through the Central European Initiative (CEI) to help MSMEs and start-ups boost their digitalisation, unlock financing opportunities and enhance their competitiveness.

Small businesses, including youth-led enterprises and innovative start-ups, will benefit from targeted advisory support, expertise, training and access to finance aimed at helping them address challenges, and strengthening their economic resilience. Italy’s contribution will also enable the rollout of the EBRD’s Star Venture programme, a flagship initiative that helps innovative and high-tech start-ups scale their business with dedicated mentoring, consulting and access to financing.

MSMEs make up the majority of Moldova’s private sector, but they have faced a number of challenges since the start of the war on Ukraine, including transportation, logistics and supply chain disruptions, already exacerbated by Covid-19. Cybersecurity attacks also tend to disproportionately affect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that lack the resources and know-how to establish effective safeguards. Support will be offered to Moldovan businesses through the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme to help them boost their digitalisation efforts and equip them with tools to mitigate potential cyber threats.

The new initiative is aligned with the Bank’s new Country Strategy for Moldova 2023-28, which commits to helping Moldova build a competitive, inclusive and well governed private sector that empowers innovation and entrepreneurship.

Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, EBRD Head of Moldova, said: “Our partnership with Italy, through the CEI, recognises the key role MSMEs and the start-up sector play in driving sustainable economic growth and development. We are pleased to launch this joint initiative, which will enable high-potential and ambitious businesses and early-stage ventures to access critical know-how to advance their innovations and build sustainable and thriving businesses.”

Lorenzo Tomassoni, Ambassador of Italy to Moldova, said: “The CEI Fund at the EBRD is financed by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It’s an important asset in the strategic partnership between Rome and Chisinau. The Fund targets Moldovan SMEs and start-ups, with the aim of supporting entrepreneurial development, also in the light of Moldova’s EU accession progress.”

The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Moldova. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested more than €2 billion in 170 projects in Moldova’s financial, agribusiness, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

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