A total of 1,246 Moldovan businesses have received funding under the EU-funded PARE 1+1 programme since 2010, with total grants of 242.4 million lei trigerring further investments worth 767.7 million lei, the Interlic news website has reported, quoting a government press release.
The programme has helped open 538 new businesses - mostly in rural areas, and to create 3,200 jobs. Programme participants have developed new businesses for Moldova such as almond cultivation, and ostrich and snail farms. Just under half (48%) of the entrepreneurs supported are under 35 years old and about 30% are women.
PARE 1+1 is a programme financed by the European Union, designed to attract migrant remittances back into the local economy. According to the funding formula, each Moldovan leu invested by the migrant is supplemented with another leu in the form of a grant provided by the state. Under the programme, entrepreneurs can get a grant of up to 250,000 lei.
The programme thus facilitates access to finance for migrants and their reintegration into society, while contributing to the economic development of the Republic of Moldova. The programme also stimulates the setting up of SMEs, raising awareness among migrants about the opportunities for developing a business in the home country.
A total of 1,975 people have been trained under the programme in how to set up a business, according to the press release.
The latest phase of PARE 1+1 receives EU funding under the EU4Business Support to SMEs in Rural Areas programme.