© Svetlana Costiuc (SVET Photography)

Generating Better Economic Opportunities and Skills

© Svetlana Costiuc (SVET Photography)

Since independence in 1991, huge improvements have led to Moldova reaching Upper-Middle-Income status, but it continues to face structural challenges that have been exacerbated by the impact of COVID 19 pandemic and conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.

  • Project Name
    Optim - Opportunities Through Technologies and Innovation in Moldova
  • Project Phase
    2023 to 2026
  • Funding
    This project is an SDC mandate.
  • Thematic focus
    Private Sector Development

Two sectors are having a huge potential to enable sustainable development in Moldova: agriculture and ICT. Traditionally, agriculture and food industry sectors contributing close to 20% to the national GDP and employing almost 1/3 of the working age population. ICT sector is one of the fastest growing industries whose contribution to the GPD rose to over 7% generating high-skilled employment opportunities.

Agriculture is vulnerable to climate and weather induced risks while low level of skills, technology penetration and poor access to finances caused poor productivity and competitiveness. ICT, in turn, is focused on sophisticated programming but labour retention and almost exclusive export markets orientation doesn’t allow for full recognition and support. These are the challenges that Helvetas is tackling.

Local farmers picking greenery in order to distribute it to buyers in Chisinau.
© Helvetas
Drones spray organic fertilizers. © Helvetas
During pandemic, the partners of Helvetas helped 28 local farmers to sell their vegetables and fruits by creating steady sales channels.
© Helvetas
Local buyer uses the QR code, developed through Helvetas, to pay the products exposed at a local fair. © Helvetas
© Helvetas
Helvetas (OPTIM) supports IT companies to open new branches, thus bringing more learning opportunities to Moldova. © Helvetas
© Helvetas
The Optim Team and one of the partners EuroAlun. © Helvetas

Optim 2.0 – second phase

We are particularly targeting disadvantaged groups such as young unemployed people, women, returning migrants, ethnic minorities, and those living outside the capital Chisinau.

The OPTIM Project has so far focused on supporting private sector business to improve their business models, adopt new products and services which opened doors to new markets. By facilitating access to information and training opportunities in the nationwide, more people obtain relevant demanded skills for today’s market.

In this phase Helvetas will mainly focus on increasing the competitiveness of the agricultural sector, investing in innovative solutions and business models, digital practices and technologies that lead to economic gain. As well as to create business development opportunities and offer the beneficiaries access to higher value markets and know-how, access to efficient and accessible finance, and, just as importantly, to provide affordable training offers.

«We promote new and inclusive business models rooted in innovation, embrace cutting-edge technologies, and foster collective action. Together, we shape a brighter, more prosperous future for all.»

Bojan Kolundzija, Team Leader of the OPTIM project, Moldova

The OPTIM Project is a mandate of the Swiss Government, implemented by Helvetas in Moldova.

Private Sector Development

Youth need access to reliable, fairly paid jobs to break the cycle of poverty. Helvetas creates partnerships and promotes policies that build more inclusive economies.

How Helvetas Supports People in Moldova

We aim to stimulate Moldova's market systems and generate more economic opportunities for its citizens.
© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr

Making Markets and Jobs