In the morning she is a teacher at the community school, and in the afternoon – an entrepreneur who manages a flower business. This is Ana Koroli-Pavlova from Dezghingea village, Comrat district.
The woman has been combining these two jobs for more than seven years and for half a year she has been doing it more successfully. This progress was made thanks to a grant received from Sweden and UNDP, which was used to build a modern greenhouse for decorative plants of more than 125 square meters in area, covered with foil and equipped with an irrigation system.
The grant amounting to about US$4,200, offered by Sweden as part of the “Sustainable and resilient communities through women empowerment” UNDP project, was of great help for Ana, who had long dreamed of turning her passion into a forward-looking business. “Now, having this greenhouse, we are no longer afraid of frosts, hail, acid rain or other disasters that are becoming more frequent and that have often compromised our harvest. I can grow plants around the year,” the young entrepreneur says.
The woman collects and uses rainwater for irrigation, prepares her own compost for the greenhouse, uses natural remedies against pests and the plants reward her with abundant flowering. She learned that at the workshops and mentoring sessions conducted by the project.
She got passionate about flowers seven years ago, when her husband gave her a plant with yellow flowers. Ana knew neither what plant variety that was, nor how to take care of it, but she liked it so much that she decided to plant a few more. This is how she started developing her skills on the go. The journey was difficult. She first grew flowers only in the garden, under the open sky. Then she built a small greenhouse, using household materials. She gained the customers’ trust slowly, but surely, thanks to plants’ high quality and competitive prices. Now she already has a loyal customer base.
Though it is hard work, Ana calls it a relaxation. “Growing flowers is a blessing.” She also encourages other women to turn to live their business ideas: “Do not be afraid of anything.”
Ana says that she has succeeded in business because she shares with her husband the household chores and they are both engaged in taking care of their three children, including the four-month-old Andrei.
Ana Koroli-Pavlova is one of 120 women who have received grants up to $4,400 from Sweden as part of the “Sustainable and resilient communities through women empowerment” UNDP project to start up climate-resilient economic activities in their households.
In addition to grants, women also benefit from one year of business mentoring and training in applying sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices, using green energy and energy-efficient technologies, etc. Beneficiaries come from the districts of Nisporeni, Călărași, Basarabeasca, Leova, Găgăuzia and the Transnistrian regions.