Moldova’s First Impact Fund Announced at Impact Days

Ben DeVries |
Moldova’s First Impact Fund Announced at Impact Days

More than 170 participants gathered for Moldova’s Impact Days event, including 40 speakers and 10 international guests from Germany, Spain, Romania, Ukraine and Armenia.

As covered on our recent episode of Impact People, the purpose of the event was to encourage collaboration between people involved in Moldova’s impact ecosystem, including both those who create a positive impact on the community or the environment, and those who want to make a transition to more responsible business. It was the first event of its kind in Moldova, at the initiative of EcoVisio and the East European Foundation. 

A conference highlight was another first: the unveiling of the first Moldovan Impact Fund, an initiative launched by the East European Foundation, supported by EVPA and local Moldovan partner of the project Collaborate for Impact. 

The first organisations who stand to benefit from this financing tool were eight impactful businesses and startups, including participants of a business accelerator (Local Changemaker Accelerator led by EcoVisio). These entrepreneurs have pitched their ideas and needs in front of donors and potential investors.

Reactions from attendees and speakers pointed to the necessity of such a gathering. "Today's event is an extraordinary platform to learn and identify methods to collaborate between projects, between entrepreneurs," commented Sergiu Rabii, Future Technologies Sector Director.

Angela Achiței, the president of ADV Romania drew attention to the idea that the existing economic theories no longer correspond to the current needs of the people, and that the event is of major importance for the changes that must follow: "Today, from my point of view, you will write history, because you will put a new brick, first of all, to change the current economic theories that exist in the market and Impact Days is just the beginning".
Mrs. Andrea Cuzyova, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Moldova, also shared a message of congratulations, and mentioned the openness of development partners to support such events: "We are very pleased that we had the opportunity to participate and to contribute to the event. Taking into account the current crises, we try to put our shoulder to support small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those that generate an impact," she said.

Attendees of Impact Days had the opportunity to participate in discussion panels on: social entrepreneurship and social economy; impact investments; ESG for business; innovations and impact in the startup ecosystem; implementation of sustainable development objectives in business. Later, they also took part in a series of workshops on: sales strategies for impactful businesses; promoting businesses with impact; updates on digitization from the Ministry of Economy; measurement of social and economic impact; trends in organic farming.

Among the international organisations in attendance were representatives of Ashoka Romania, one of the largest networks of social entrepreneurs in the world; ADV Romania, an important actor in the promotion of social entrepreneurship in the region; Impact HUB Yerevan, a tool that supports social and impact entrepreneurs; and EVPA, the European network for impact investing. 

The second day was also full of knowledge exchange. The well-loved format of Impact for Breakfast was ideally suited to share the experience of Eastern Partnership countries and veterans of impact alike, regarding the development of social economy, especially social entrepreneurship. Guests described the ecosystem of social entrepreneurship in their countries, the process of its development, the insightful cases and regional specifics.

As with any impact conference, it’s just the beginning: the connections made and initiatives announced are works in progress. Stay tuned for more developments from Moldova’s burgeoning impact ecosystem, including the first activities of the newly launched impact fund!

Impact Days was organized by EcoVisio, East European Foundation and ADV Romania.
This is a project financed by the European Union and co-financed by Sweden through the East European Foundation in partnership with the European Business Association and the Contact Center; co-organized within the "Collaborate for Impact" project financed by the European Union and carried out by EVPA and 5 partners from the Eastern Partnership countries; co-financed by IM Swedish Development Partner; by the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE DF); by UNDP Moldova; and organized including with the support of the Future Technologies Project, funded by USAID, Sweden and Great Britain.