Beautiful bags: new family business in Calarasi, Moldova with ILO support
25 November 2021
Alionusca Ralea worked for 10 years in the beauty industry, and her husband, Vitalie, worked for four years as a photographer.
They live in the Calarasi region of the Republic of Moldova. After the end of maternity leave, the Ralea couple wanted to change their area of activity and to start a business together that would bring them a stable income.
„We decided to start a business, here, at home. We chose to produce covers for musical instruments and bags for photo-video equipment. The beginning was difficult because we did not have experience. We started everything from scratch: bought new equipment, without understanding too much about it, procured raw material at an exaggerated price, etc. There were many questions every day, but the enormous desire to create something beautiful and useful helped us to overcome all the complications", says Alionusca Ralea.
The subsidy the young entrepreneur couple received in the amount of 76 thousand lei (3,700 EUR) granted by the National Employment Agency (NEA) helped them to stabilize their fledgling company. “We learned from the specialists of Calarasi Employment Department about the subsidy programs for employers who want to hire and integrate persons with difficulties in finding jobs. We applied to this program and obtained the financial assistance to develop our business and create jobs", explains Alionusca.
Thanks to the subsidy from NEA, the young couple rented a space within the Business Incubator located in Calarasi town, where they also received help and crucial information regarding the development of their business. "Now we have modern equipment, which allows us to produce quality goods and facilitates the production process. says Vitalie Ralea. The covers and bags created in the family workshop are of high quality, thanks to the quality fabrics and accessories they use. The owners are focussed on details and meeting customers’ demands, therefore arrange for the delivery of their goods, too.
In the future, the Raleas want to become undisputed leaders in this business area, and to turn into reliable partners of their customers, as well as to be able to export their goods.
The subsidies offered by the NEA represent an active employment measure, that is, an instrument to bring hard-to-employ people back to the world of work. The Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance provides for the subsidies, which is being tested this year with the assistance of the ILO in the Republic of Moldova. The ILO is working with NEA as a partner in developing and implementing employment policies.