SMEs in the Republic of Moldova are firmly moving towards digitalization. We are talking about a series of companies in fields such as: finance, agriculture, education, leisure and justice, which have benefited from all the necessary resources to implement, within the businesses they manage, digital transformation solutions, which will propel them towards another level of development. Their support was possible thanks to “Digital Upgrade” – a program dedicated to startups and private sector companies, which want to automate services and business processes, to be as competitive and closer to customers.
“Digital Upgrade” is part of the National Startup Moldova Program, developed by the Tekwill project, implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with the financial support of USAID and Sweden.
Digital solutions for small and medium businesses
One of the beneficiaries of the project is the tourist cluster “Serpentina Nistrului”. The digital solution to be implemented is a booking platform, which will allow you to perform online all the operations necessary to buy a travel route.
Rodica Russu, a beneficiary of the project “Digital Upgrade”, the cluster “Serpentina Nistrului: “I turned to the program, because I felt the need to develop a booking site for the tourist cluster” Serpentina Nistrului “- a complex tourist route, which includes 7 localities, of which 5 riparian. The platform will help us to promote around 20 locations: wineries, restaurants, architectural monuments, mansions, farmhouses, etc., which are included in the travel offer. Visitors will be able to make an online reservation, will be able to choose their tourist route, the places to stop, the dishes to taste, but also other benefits offered by the cluster.”
Another digital solution is the CRM system, implemented within the company “Ju Bijoux”. The system will facilitate the recording and storage of customer data, data used by the company in the sales process, with the ability to open customer accounts, add notes and comments.
Olga Nedbailo, a beneficiary of the “Digital Upgrade” program, “Ju Bijoux” SRL: “After 13 years on the market in the Republic of Moldova, it was just the right time to move to digitization systems to help us streamline work with customers, but also e-commerce. Because we have different products, we promote ourselves on 6 pages of Facebook and Instagram, and thanks to the new CRM system implemented, communication with customers and potential customers is integrated into a single software, to have access to all interaction with them. We want this digital solution to help us achieve a 30 per cent increase in sales in the coming years.”
And the company “Agro-Vet Consulting” is to implement a special application, which works based on weather forecasts, in order to protect crops from pests, but also to increase production.
Ion Tasca, a beneficiary of the program “Digital Upgrade”, “Agro-Vet Consulting”: “We used the resources of the project to purchase a special software created for the climatic conditions in the Republic of Moldova. “Digital Upgrade” has given us the opportunity to move to another, more digital level, because without this segment, the business cannot thrive. We expect the implemented digital solution to help us save about 10% of the time and have an added value of up to 5%.
Support and expertise for SMEs
During the program, for a year, participants learned about the importance of online business presence, had expertise in detecting the problems they face, but also consulting and guidance in choosing the most viable solution to propel their business.
Ana Chirita, Tekwill Project Director: “In order for small and medium enterprises to continue their activity and be competitive, switching to online is one of the emerging implementation solutions. These companies, however, need support in their digitalization path. We set out to offer them the support and expertise we have, because we want a technological company, connected to the latest trends, in which processes are simplified, and solutions-integrated to increase demand for products and services. The “Digital Upgrade” program also involves strengthening intersectoral relations. On the one hand, IT companies find out what the difficulties are facing the industries, and on the other hand – the industries can choose those solutions that are closer to the specifics of the business problems. ”
“Digital UPGRADE” is part of the “Startup Moldova” National Program and is developed within the TEKWILL project, with the support of USAID and Sweden’s development partners.
Madelene Eichhorn, Program Manager, Swedish Embassy in Moldova: “Digital transformation is one of the goals that Sweden supports globally. Companies face various obstacles in their development, especially in terms of business scaling and online presence. For this reason, we invest in digital education, capacity building, mentoring and consulting, promoting digitalization and IT solutions as important components of change and inclusion. We aim to offer opportunities and possibilities for business development, in order to grow, in general, the country’s economy, to provide better living conditions and for a new perspective.”
Scott Hocklander, Head of the USAID Mission to Moldova: “In order to stand out and be known, services and products need to be promoted. In this context, at this stage, digitalisation has become a component that we need to focus on and continue to develop. “Digital Upgrade” is a public-private collaboration initiative, which we support, in order to move to another stage of business evolution in the Republic of Moldova. IT solutions can develop the world, offering other opportunities. The time has come to implement them widely in all areas. “
Startup Moldova – we grow ideas that change the world!
“Startup Moldova” is a platform for generating, piloting and implementing new ideas for both the local and global market. The program will map all the actors involved in this field, and information technologies will be connected to all areas of public and private interest, on local and global markets. The program is part of the TEKWILL Project, implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and Sweden. “Tekwil” was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova, with the main purpose of aligning the field with current market requirements. Aiming to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center expanded its fields of activity, becoming in 2019 a complex project at national level, with the slogan “The revolution begins!” The basic objective of the TEKWILL Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country, by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society, but also by increasing the research and development potential of educational institutions, in line with the demand in the IT market More details on https://startupmoldova.digital.