On 25-26 January 2022, nine social entrepreneurs from the Republic of Moldova visited three social start-ups in Kyiv, Ukraine and exchanged ideas, experiences, and business practices, as part of a study visit organised by EU4Youth.

Three social start-ups – Omega Craft, Deutsch Intensiv, and Ira Beauty – hosted the exchange sessions. During the visit to the production facilities of Omega Craft – a company producing pet food – participants learnt how a big idea can be implemented with small financial contributions and dedication. The start-up helps IDPs and ATO veterans to find jobs and cares for homeless pets. The Moldovan guests shared their eco-friendly practices for packaging and recycling, which are much more developed in Moldova than in Ukraine.

During the visits to Deutsch Intensive and Ira Beauty companies, helping orphan teens and victims of domestic violence, participants learnt the legal details of educational business in Ukraine and identified the opportunities of the beauty business on the Ukrainian market. Both start-ups already generate significant income due to high demand and their unique approaches to the service.

In turn, the Moldovan social entrepreneurs shared their experience in the production and sale of toys, voiced their ideas to prevent gadget addiction among children and plans to contribute to healthier and happier societies.

Both teams discussed export and import opportunities, possible regional cooperation and market conditions in the two countries.

“For me, the study visit to Kyiv was a real source of motivation and inspiration. It was surprising and encouraging to learn that more and more social enterprises run by young people are developing in the region,”

said Igor Hincu of the EduJoc social enterprise in Moldova.

The start-ups will continue cooperation thanks to the support of the EUnlocking project. Funded by the EU under its EU4Youth programme, EUnlocking helps to foster the social entrepreneurial potential of young people in Moldova and Ukraine by establishing a favourable ecosystem for social enterprises.