With EU support, entrepreneurs from both banks of Nistru River learned to increase their income by use of innovations

Lean start-up, Crowdfunding, Socially Responsible Business or Human Centered Design will become working tools for 30 entrepreneurs from the right and the left bank of the Nistru River, who participated in the period of 9th and 17th of August at the Business Innovations School. The training was organized in the framework of the Support to Confidence Building Measures Programme, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP.

The participants, beginners and with certain experience in business field, tackled subjects on financial planning, legal aspects of business and accounting, specifics for various banks, being guided by experts. The most useful innovation tools were explored and tested virtually to analyze their impact on profit.

Victor Colta, partner of KIVA – a platform for financing social projects talked about opportunities offered by crowdfunding. Elena Zgardan, who runs the platform Guvern24 shared results of conducted crowdfunding campaigns. David Smith – an American who opened a café, Smokehouse, in the center of Chisinau – was one of the school’s guests. David achieved his dream after working hard and reaching out to crowdfunding platforms.

Entrepreneurs learned from their peers who succeeded thanks to use of innovative tools at the right time how to give a new approach to a traditional product or service, how to make it more attractive to consumers, cheaper in production or more competitive.

Pavel Moraru, creator of SparkLab, revealed how he manages to provide IT services from Moldova to factories in Russia and other CIS countries.

In the age of information technology, the seller, or service provider is the one looking for the buyer. This approach laid the foundations for “Eat and Fit” business which belongs to Artiom Tcaciov, fitness instructor, school guest. He understood that in the 21st century people are informed about the importance of healthy food, but speedy rhythm and lack of time are preventing them from following a healthy diet. So, he decided to create a niche business – he develops individual menus and delivers daily meals to his clients, whose number is constantly growing.

Pavel Eremeev and Nata Albot were also guests of the school. Pavel has founded in Tiraspol the anti-café “Freedom” where visitors pay an entrance fee to participate in intellectual games and for some consumption. Nata Albot shared her experience in harnessing the potential of traditional products in a less traditional way, such as promoting the popular outfit – traditional shirt, through IA MANIA festival or consuming local produced berries within the campaign Summer Berry Fair.

Entrepreneurs learned to apply Human Centered Design – product or service creation technique based on the needs identified by consumers or the business launch model Lean Start-up. And because one of the Start-up challenges is the lack of a name on the market, Eugen Boico, the founder of Publicis, shared some information about branding, and Dmitri Volosin, the founder of www.999.md and Simpals – about the most useful selling methods in the case of low budgets on the local and international market.

In order to strengthen their theoretical knowledge, entrepreneurs were involved in various exercises, moderated by practitioners who know well local specifics. Mixed groups of entrepreneurs from both banks of the Nistru River presented joint business proposals with strong innovative elements. Two, the best proposals on use of hydroponic systems for strawberry cultivation and production of refractory accessories were awarded with over 1,700 euros each.

“This school has only winners. Each of us got here 29 friends, 29 potential business partners, valuable knowledge and motivation”, concluded the participants.

The School of Business Innovation was organized under the EU-funded “Support to Confidence-Building Measures” Programme, implemented by UNDP. The Programme contributes to enhancing confidence between people living on both banks of the Nistru River by involving the representatives of local authorities, business environment, and civil society in joint projects of business development and social infrastructure improvement.

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