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Ion Dulgheru from Todiresti, a village in Ungheni District, in west-central Moldova, is a young entrepreneur who decided to develop a business in the food industry. He runs a company specializing in the production of nutritional bars, and walnut paste with honey and cream and freeze-dried fruits.

“We’re manufacturers of sweets, oatmeal bars, dried fruits, seeds and honey,” says the entrepreneur. “We started as honey producers, and along the way we decided to focus on a more specialized niche of products containing honey. Thus, we decided to produce nutritional bars, and walnut paste with honey and cream and freeze-dried fruits.”

At first, he produced the bars by hand in his own kitchen. After getting a grant from Romania, he moved his business there and produced nutritional bars for three years, working in slightly more automated conditions than in the kitchen at home.

Dulgheru is now one of the 75 entrepreneurs from Cahul and Ungheni regions who benefited from a grant grogramme. In 2021, tired of commuting every weekend, Dulgheru decided to return to Moldova.  As part of the “EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” programme supported by the EU4Business Initiative, and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF, Ion Dulgheru obtained financial assistance worth EUR 30,000. The funds were used to purchase a packaging line, a large-capacity mixer, and cold rooms.

“After three years on the Romanian market, an opportunity arose and we received financial assistance in the Republic of Moldova, which allowed us to increase our production capacity from 2,000 bars per month, to 2,000 bars per day,” says the producer.

“As part of this programme, we purchased a packaging line, a large-capacity mixer and cold rooms, and this has allowed us to increase the quantity and quality of the product.”

Dulgheru has already managed to send his first batch of exports to Romania, and in the future intends to access other European markets.

“At the moment, we’ve started to export to Romania, and in the future, we plan to increase the quantity of the products reaching other EU countries as well,” Dulgheru says.

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The “EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” Programme (2019–2024) supports intelligent, inclusive and sustainable social-economic development in the Moldovan districts of Cahul and Ungheni to ensure better standards of living for citizens. The total value of the assistance issued is approximately EUR 1.7 million to 75 entrepreneurs in the Cahul and Ungheni districts.

The programme has a total budget of EUR 23 million, it is funded by the European Union under its EU4Business Initiative, which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).


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