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FEATURE STORY

Moldova: The Lifeboat of Small and Medium Business

January 29, 2009


Not much is happening in the main business park of the small Moldovan town of Glodeni , just northwest of the capital city of Chisinau. Building after rusted-out building sits abandoned and unused.

World Bank Group

Not much is happening in the main business park of the small Moldovan town of Glodeni , just northwest of the capital city of Chisinau . Building after rusted-out building sits abandoned and unused. In recent years, Glodeni has lost 10,000 people who have left in search of work elsewhere, and employment opportunities for those who remain are few and far between.

Partnering with local government officials, the World Bank is hoping to spark life into business parks like Glodeni's with the Rural Investment and Services Project (RISP). The project provides funds and helps to develop business plans for eager Moldovan entrepreneurs – and it is getting results.

One glimmer of hope for job seekers in the Glodeni Business park is Treealcot, a sewing business founded by two Moldovan women that grew out of funding provided by the RISP and recently relocated there to lower their operating costs.

Developing the business has not been easy, says Alexandra Gasca, who handles the operations side of the start-up. Before they moved, their rent was much higher. Their staff members were untrained as tailors before they were hired, so instead of training for three days, the training took three weeks.


" Across the whole country, the RISP project has been a life boat for people who wanted to start small businesses because it helped them get their start. "

Gheorghe Filip

deputy county chairman in Glodeni

The 25 jobs her business creates are important, particularly because most of the women she hires are the sole bread winners in their household. She hires former teachers, vendors, or sugar factory workers, who now churn out 15 items a day to supply an Italian producer with a factory near Chisinau.

Business is good. Right now she has more orders than she can handle, and if it keeps up, she hopes to hire on a few more people.



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