Empowering women entrepreneurs in Moldova

Supporting women-led small businesses in overcoming the impact of the war


The ‘Female Entrepreneurship in Moldova – Emergency Initiative for Economic Empowerment’ (FEMEIE) program was created to provide direct support for Moldovan entrepreneurs and displaced Ukrainian entrepreneurs in Moldova, with a specific focus on supporting women. To create a comprehensive, sustainable and empowering network, the program will provide a support center in Moldova, financial support, access to global network and resources, and entrepreneurship education and training.  

Key stats

  • Duration

    01.10.2022 to 31.01.2024

  • Supporting

    75 women entrepreneurs

  • 500 Euros/month

    direct financial support

Objectives

The aim of the program is to provide comprehensive support for entrepreneurs in Moldova that have been affected by the Russian war of aggression.

  • Locations

    Moldova

     

  • Targeted SDGs

      

How does the program support you?

Financial support

500 Euros/month for six months to be used for assisting living expenses and costs incurred by the war.

Technical expertise

Access to one-time budget for technical expertise of up to 850 Euros per business.

Workspace

Access to facilities and workstations at the support center for the duration of the program.

Resilience Training

Training sessions on relevant topics for Leadership, crisis resilience, digital transformation, sustainability management, and impact measurement.

Mentoring and guidance

Access to mentoring and guidance through companies and industry experts in the EU market.

Networking opportunities

Monthly networking events within the local ecosystem in Moldova and regular sessions with local, regional and EU partners.

Market access

Support with internationalization, funding landscape, and opportunities for acquiring partners, suppliers and clients in the EU market.

Program timeline

02 January 2022

Call for applications launch.

06 February 2023

Applications close. Selection process starts.

March 2023

Official program launch.

September 2023

Program wrap-up and closing.

How does it work?

Take a look through the steps to find out what to expect from the FEMEIE program and how to prepare.

  • Review eligibility criteria

    Read carefully through the program requirements and download the evaluation criteria document. We advise reading through the application questions before starting your application.

  • Prepare all information

    Prepare your national ID or passport, your residence permit if applicable, the registration certificate of your business, and your CV/Resume (Optional). To complete your application, you’ll also need to answer questions about your financials in 2021 and 2022.

  • Fill the application form

    It should take about 20 minutes to complete the form if you have everything ready! You can choose which language to fill the form in. If you need support with filling in the form, please feel free to reach out to support@enpact.org.

  • Upload your documents

    Once you submit your application, you will receive an e-mail with a secure link to upload your documents. Please upload them using the link to complete your application.

  • Join us for an online chat

    Your application is reviewed by multiple experts from our team. If your application is eligible, you will be invited to a 30 minute interview to talk more about your business and why you’d like to join the program.

  • Check your e-mail

    Following the interview, you will receive an e-mail with the next steps within three weeks. The e-mail will notify you if you are accepted, or share feedback in case we are unable to accommodate you in the program. Please make sure to also check spam.

Find out if FEMEIE is the right program for you


  • You are a woman founder or woman in leadership for a small or medium enterprise* currently based in Moldova  
  • Your business was legally registered in Moldova or Ukraine prior to December 2021  
  • Your business had a monthly turnover of at least 250 EUR per employee** prior to the onset of the Russian aggression (In January and February of 2022 or November and December of 2021)
  • Your business is majority-owned by Ukrainian or Moldovan nationals and/or Moldovan residents  
  • Your business does not operate in any sectors that directly or indirectly support weapon manufacturing, including transport of weapons and the entire supply chain of the arms industry and military technology 

*The EU defines SMEs as having up to 249 employees and an annual turnover in Euro of up to 50 million  
**Full-time equivalent. 

Application deadline 06 February 2023
Apply Now!

For more information, download the eligibility criteria overview below. You can always e-mail us at support@enpact.org to receive support with your application within 24 hours of your request. Please note that this is the only official support channel for the FEMEIE program, and the only way to guarantee a timely response.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)


What does FEMEIE stand for? 

FEMEIE stands for ‘Female Entrepreneurship in Moldova – Emergency Initiative for Economic Empowerment.’ 

FEMEIE is also Romanian for ‘woman’, as one of the program’s key goals is to empower women entrepreneurs to maintain and grow their businesses. 

What is the purpose of the FEMEIE program? 

The purpose of the program is to mitigate the economic and social repercussions of the war through providing a support infrastructure for SMEs – which make up over 98% of all businesses in both Moldova and Ukraine and thus are the structural backbone of both economies respectively. Ultimately, the program aims to preserve jobs and ensure continued livelihood in Moldova and Ukraine that are affected by the Russian war of aggression. Small and medium sized businesses are needed for any reconstruction effort, since they are integral part of the supply chain; furthermore, the current situation poses a big risk for the loss of talent in the region. By supporting these businesses, staying in the region will be more attractive and feasible. 

The program aspires to enable women entrepreneurs to preserve their income and jobs created by their businesses  and empower women in leadership. 

How is the FEMEIE program funded? 

The program is implemented by enpact e.V. with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim of the program is to counteract the economic and social repercussions caused by the Russian war of aggression.  

What sectors/industries are eligible for support? 

The FEMEIE program is open to supporting all sectors/industries, except sectors that directly or indirectly support weapon manufacturing, including transport of weapons and the entire supply chain of the arms industry and military technology.

Do I have to be based in Moldova? 

In order to qualify for the FEMEIE program, you have to be currently based in and operating in Moldova. 

Do I need to have a physical business location? 

You don’t need to have an operational office or a physical business location to be accepted into the program. 

Does my business need to be registered in Moldova? 

Your business must be legally registered in Moldova or Ukraine. 

Can more than one person from the same business apply for support? 

Yes. Up to 3 women entrepreneurs/leaders per business are eligible for supportAll participants will need to verify that they have a Founding and/or Managing position in their  business. 

My business was registered in 2022. Does it qualify for support? 

Only businesses that are registered in December 2021 or earlier are eligible for the FEMEIE program. There is no lower time limit, the business could have been registered at any point in time prior to 2021.

How do you define an SME? Does my business fall into this category? 

An SME is defined by the European Union as having up to 249 employees and an annual turnover in Euro of up to 50 million. If your business falls within the above parameters, then it is considered an SME and is eligible for support through the FEMEIE program (Download the evaluation criteria from the ‘Helpful documents’ section below to learn more.)

Why do I need to submit identification documents? 

In order to be able to assess the eligibility of your business, we need to be able to verify that your business is registered and that you – as a Founder – are a Moldovan/Ukrainian national or a Moldovan resident. Acceptance into the FEMEIE program is preceded by a thorough due diligence process in which the legality and authenticity of all submitted documents will be verified through the appropriate authorities in Moldova. 

All your data is protected through our privacy policy. If you have any questions regarding data privacy, please e-mail us at support@enpact.org with the subject line: ‘Privacy Inquiry – FEMEIE program’ and your question. The application and selection process does not include any information that is considered part of your proprietary technology. The questions asked focus on the team, market potential, business model, financial status, amongst others.

How do you select entrepreneurs to participate? 

Entrepreneurs are selected to participate through an application process, based on the eligibility criteria of the program. The application is assessed based on: 

  • Whether it fulfills all the legal requirements of the program 
  • Its level of completeness and accuracy 
  • The extent to which the business has been impacted by the war 
  • The extent to which the business has had proven traction and a validated product, and has shown financial stability prior to the war 
  • The participant’s motivation for joining the program 

Each applicant receives a combined score based on all the above parameters, taking into account their personal circumstances and the degree to which their business can benefit from taking part in the FEMEIE program. 

Can I send my application via e-mail? 

No. All applications must be submitted online through the application form. 

The link is not working/I am having technical difficulties. 

Please make sure to open the application in a broadly supported browser like Chrome or Safari and try refreshing the page. 

If you are still experiencing problems, make sure that you are respecting character limit for each question, please refrain from using any symbols or punctuation marks such as dots, commas or double spacing. 

If it still doesn’t work, please e-mail us a screenshot of your error at support@enpact.org

In general, we advise you to not wait until the last minute to submit your application, as the application form and/or website page sometimes experience technical difficulties in the last few hours leading up to the application deadline due to an influx of submissions. 

Is there a number I can call to talk to someone about my application? 

If you have questions about your application, you can register here to join us at our info session on the January 26, 2023 at 18:00 Chisinau time to ask all your questions regarding the program and the application process. If you are unable to attend the info session, our team will be available on zoom for open support hours in the two weeks before the application deadline (Timings to be announced soon!) – just pop in and ask your questions. 

How do I know that my application has been successfully submitted? 

Once you have submitted your application through our form, you will receive a confirmation e-mail which contains a link where you can upload your documents. Once you submit your documents, you will be redirected to a successful submission page.

I applied but still didn’t receive a response. How do I follow up? 

All applicants will have received a response to the status of their application within two weeks after the applications deadline. Please make sure you are also checking your spam folder. If you are unsure whether your application was successfully submitted, please reach out at support@enpact.org with the e-mail information that you used for your application and we will follow up with you. 

The selection process is expected to conclude by the second week of February 2023 at the latest. 

How does the financial support work? 

The financial support is 500 Euros per month, which will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of each participant in the program. In order to participate in the program and receive financial support, you must have a bank account in Moldova in your name. 

Additionally, you have access to a budget of 850 Euros per business, not per participant, that can be used to contract technical expertise for your business. 

Do I need to pay a fee to participate in the program? 

There are no fees to participate in the program, and no additional costs or fees incurred or requested throughout the duration of the program. The aim of the program is to provide you with financial support, training and networking opportunities to overcome the social and economic repercussions of the war. 

I have a majority shareholder that is not a Moldovan national, Ukrainian national or Moldovan resident. 

Unfortunately, we are only able to support locally-owned Moldovan or Ukrainian businesses through the FEMEIE program. This means that your business cannot be majority-owned by an individual or entity that is not Moldovan/Ukrainian/based in Moldova.

The FEMEIE program offers support in facilitating EU market access for businesses that have been affected by the war, which are currently based in Moldova. This includes: 

  • Regional and international networking opportunities with entrepreneurs, industry experts, business mentors and various partners.  
  • Training sessions on internationalization that focus on how you can adapt your business model for different markets, including understanding local customers’ needs and behaviors, analyzing competition, adapting your marketing and sales efforts and building your team’s capacity 
  • Training sessions on funding landscape in the region and the opportunity to connect with fundraising experts, investors and potential funding partners in the EU market

There are multiple types of networking opportunities available through the program, namely: 

  • Monthly networking sessions within the local ecosystem in Moldova 
  • Regular networking sessions with local, regional and EU partners 
  • 1-on-1 meetings with business mentors and industry experts from different markets in the EU, tailored to your business needs, growth stage and sector 

For your business to best benefit from the FEMEIE program, we advise you to commit to attending the training sessions and networking events as they are designed to support you in maintaining your operations and overcoming the negative repercussions of the war. During the program, with the support of the team, you will be setting milestones for your business that you will need to meet and track in the program’s duration and for the six months thereafter.

Of course, we are aware that you are an entrepreneur in a time of crisis and therefore your time is especially limited, and the program is designed to accommodate that. The estimated time required for making the most out of the program is an average commitment of 4-8 hours a month. While we ask for a minimum level of commitment to make the most out of the program and the financial support,  each situation will always be evaluated on a case by case basis, taking into account the circumstances that you and your business are experiencing due to the war. 

FEMEIE is a hybrid program. All core training sessions and workshops will take place online and allow for the opportunity to join remotely. You will have the chance to use our workspace in Chisinau to tune in as well if it’s not possible for you to access the sessions from home or your office. Regular events and meetups will take place in person at the support center in Chisinau. 

All material related to the FEMEIE program (i.e. Call for Applications, training content and learning platform, legal paperwork, etc.) is made available in English, Moldovan, Ukrainian and Russian. English is not a requirement for applying for or taking part in the program. 

You can e-mail us at support@enpact.org to receive support with your application within 24 hours of your request. Please note that this is the only official support channel for the FEMEIE program, and the only way to guarantee a timely response.

Program partners

The program is implemented by enpact e.V. with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim of the program is to counteract the economic and social repercussions caused by the Russian war of aggression.  

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