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TEKWILL – RELIABLE PARTNER AND SUPPORT FOR ENTREPRENEURS IN MOLDOVA
July 27, 2020 @ 10:10 am
A sustainable, competitive, and successful entrepreneurial ecosystem ensures the growth of the national economy and including local communities. And the exchange of experience and mentoring are the pillars that underlie the improvement of entrepreneurial capacities, but also of the potential of startups to build a viable ecosystem. The TEKWILL project, which since its creation is the most representative platform in preparing the workforce adapted to the current needs of the IT industry, continues to respond to new challenges in the field and creates specialized events and courses for innovative development of small and medium business. The programs are implemented with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sweden, and so far, thanks to these investments, the number of beneficiaries has reached 23 thousand.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM
The TEKWILL project supports and implements programs, which aim, on the one hand, to educate and increase the new workforce, ready to meet market requirements, and on the other hand, to support entrepreneurship.
In order to encourage small business that develops innovative products and services that can help other sectors of the national economy, TEKWILL has implemented the project “Startup Moldova”. Registered companies benefit from educational programs, the infrastructure necessary to build and develop a business, consulting, mentoring, opportunities to connect to international events and competitions, but also to attract funding sources.
One of the components of the “Startup Moldova” project is “Digital Upgrade”, which involves the digitization of internal processes, which lead to increased productivity, sales, and e-commerce. And so, 40 companies in the country became beneficiaries. In this context, in order to identify the right solutions, the TEKWILL Project, together with its network of partners, mobilized the entire IT community in Moldova, and over 530 companies and startups responded to the invitation to help transform traditional industries.
To encourage sectoral collaboration between traditional and IT industry representatives, TEKWILL launched the “Digital Impact” initiative, with the aim of researching and identifying problems in strategic sectors of the national economy and providing real IT solutions. It is about process automation solutions, improving business tools, facilitating the use of e-commerce and sales tools.
Mentoring. International and local experts, mentors and entrepreneurs with impressive experience have joined TEKWILL’s approach to opening new opportunities for Moldovan entrepreneurs. Thus, through all the programs and events organized, the mentoring sessions continue to provide entrepreneurs and enthusiasts with the knowledge, connections and support needed to develop successful products, to grow their business faster and access existing opportunities in the foreign market.
In order to stimulate and multiply the innovative and business potential, dedicated to all entrepreneurs, the TEKWILL Project continues to organize entrepreneurial events aimed at including the young workforce. TEKWILL remains a platform for meeting, ideas, and exchange of experience, connecting people and ideas. The goal is to prepare and develop startups and innovative ideas through hackathons, encourage inventive thinking and develop new products, followed by business acceleration and funding programs.
At the national level, in order to develop the entrepreneurship system, the TEKWILL Project continues to create programs that allow young people to have access to the local community of entrepreneurs, to create connections with investor networks, to participate in events dedicated to the transfer of experience and know-how, but also to have access to a unique infrastructure, designed to help them successfully complete all the critical stages of business development.
Consulting. To ensure the development of startups and technology products, TEKWILL mentors provide support and advice in relation to business pivoting, team building, marketing, sales, focus, motivation, commitment, and investment.
The residents’ program aims to connect professionals from abroad to interact and invest in various startups in the local community. Foreign mentors offer complex and intensive programs to help entrepreneurs develop in the local and international market, while also providing them with legal advice. The TEKWILL project aims to build an innovative and creative economy through joint enhanced cooperation in the fields of research and development, science, technology and innovation, startups and the digitization of industry and services sectors.
SUPPORTING COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
Another program launched by the TEKWILL Project, which aims to support community initiatives, is “Tekwill Ambassadors”. It provides support to Moldovan teams and startups to capitalize on business opportunities, to participate in events, conferences, exhibitions, B2B tech missions around the world. The program is dedicated to all individuals, non-governmental organizations, companies, and initiative groups and is a support for initiatives and projects dedicated to the development of communities in the field of information technology through educational and entrepreneurship strengthening actions.
Events for entrepreneurs. Over a thousand current and future entrepreneurs benefit annually from valuable information on funding sources, learn to manage a startup, participate in constructive dialogues for economic development, technology, application of trends and creating opportunities for small business. The “Gov4Startups” event teaches small entrepreneurs about the legal framework and small business development models internationally. Moreover, the TEKWILL Project continues to strengthen startups in the country and help them overcome the biggest challenges in lending to banks, investors, and financial institutions. Entrepreneurs in FinTech, FashionTech, Gaming and E-sports, WineTech and CleanTech are taught to learn the mechanisms behind growing an online business and the connection between economics and technology. The TEKWILL project also develops events in which students, freelancers, employees, and digital enthusiasts can visit the most active IT or ICT companies and local hubs.
During “Chisinau Startup Week”, a Techstars event, which takes place in over 50 countries around the world and takes place in entrepreneurial communities, the TEKWILL Project brings together relevant people in building the entrepreneurial ecosystem, from representatives of public administration, to future entrepreneurs, investors and support structures.
Supporting other initiatives. Because a competitive labor market needs well-paid professionals with practical skills adapted to reality, the TEKWILL projectile encourages the private sector to get involved in the development of regional human capital and the implementation of entrepreneurial initiatives with potential for ICT development, following the co-financing model. The aim is to prepare qualified human resources in the field and a competitive regional market, with local investments of IT companies.
Community of mentors. The TEKWILL project together with the Tech Women community launched the “Tech Women Ambassadors” program, in order to intensify and facilitate the transfer of knowledge, motivation and experience between 11 IT professionals, but also to inspire and encourage the aspirations of girls who want to pursue a career in this industry. Young women benefit from monthly informational events, conferences, socializing sessions, career guidance, mentoring, exchange of experience and other forms of meetings to capitalize on opportunities for professional affirmation in IT.
To accelerate startups, the TEKWILL Project initiated the “XY Accelerator” program. For 4 months, 5 local companies are helped to develop their business, through in-depth operational support and financial investments. Thus, in the approximately 1280 hours of mentoring, entrepreneurs work with specialists in finance, communication, and sales.