Doing Business in Moldova: Sandra Cavallo

Sandra has worked for almost 20 years in digital communications – first as a freelance consultant, then in the communication departments for many European Union institutions and others organizations across Europe. She is passionate about knowledge management, adult education, and IT as a tool for democracy, transparency, and participation. Since 2013 she has been based…

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How to Use Odnoklassniki for Business

Odnoklassniki is a social network for classmates and friends, comparative to Facebook. It was created in Russia and has extended into Eastern Europe. In Moldova, Odnoklassniki is king. In June 2012, Odnoklassniki was reported as being the most popular social network in Moldova with more than 720,000 registered users. There are two strong reasons why Odnoklassniki is first in Moldova. First,…

Doing Business in Moldova: Valentina Brega

Valentina Brega is the owner of TLC Language Center in Chisinau, Moldova. The center provides English courses to adults. Valentina graduated from Wofford College in South Carolina, USA in 2009, majoring in Finance and German. Over the past two years I have had the pleasure of consulting for TLC Language Center and building a strong professional relationship with…

Doing Business in Moldova: Abayomi Ogundipe

Abayomi Ogundipe is the co-founder of TEKEDU, which is empowering institutionalized children for inclusive ICT education and development in Moldova. I have worked with Abayomi over the past year and become motivated by his outstanding efforts with TEKEDU. He has a knack for networking with Moldovan professionals, harnessing IT and business development talent, and is an excellent…

Right Way v. Being Flexible

Understanding which projects to implement or specific partners to conduct business with is extremely difficult to gauge for Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova. I have had both incredibly positive and very underwhelming experiences when working on projects with counterparts. All of which have been performed with transparency, integrity, a central focus placed on skills-enhancement, and…

How to Utilize Facebook in Moldova

I have now served two years in Moldova as a small enterprise development volunteer with the Peace Corps. Social media has been the key instrument for marketing and advertisement of any of the institutions, programs, or projects I have worked on, but particularly Facebook. I utilize it to create pages and events; post videos, pictures,…

Timp de Reflectie XVII

Two months of service now remain. I reflect on a day of hosting international guests at the Business Incubator of Leova and detail what life is like in our town.

Leova Basketball Court makes National News

Thank you to an incredible network of donors from the U.S. and an active local community, the city of Leova was able to raise enough funds to refurbish the local basketball court behind the Russian school. The project took six months to complete and was accomplished primarily through crowdfunding donations on Indiegogo from personal contacts. An amazing…

On His Way to the States

Playing basketball with the guys one day after work, I was approached by Alex. He and I were acquaintances through a family I spent quite a bit of time with in town. He waltzed over to me on the court and asked if I could help him to improve his English. Based on trial and error, I…

Hit Refresh

Relationships are construed as finite. They are not. Instead, they need to be viewed as muscles. In order to strengthen them, they need to be flexed and worked continuously. Sometimes working them hurts, but pain does bring pleasure. It took me 26 years to learn this. I have always viewed relationships in my personal and…

Radical Transformation

It is crazy just how lost I became in this week. Coming in from Moldova, I had a plan to structure each one of my days around the trainings and knowledge I could extract from each topic. I wanted to meet as many participants as possible and discover their skill sets. Something special happened. I…

#BringAshtoMoldova

For the past year and a half, a group of Peace Corps volunteers and I have been working with startup entrepreneurs and resource strapped NGOs in the Republic of Moldova. It was not until Matt Rutter introduced us to the Lean Canvas that we realized the power of lean methodology. After learning about and working with…

Life Changing Advice

With only a few weeks left of spring courses at DePaul University in 2009, I was eager for the summer to arrive. Sitting in Global Marketing Management one morning, our class was interrupted. In came two of our professors from the honors marketing program, otherwise known as Integrated Marketing Education (IME). One professor, a short,…

Diamond Challenge Moldova

The Diamond Challenge is a real world business concept competition with a strong educational foundation. Participating students working in teams of 2-4 submit written concepts for new businesses and social enterprises, deliver 5-minute investor pitches, and answer questions about their concepts. A panel of entrepreneurs and business executives evaluate the written submissions, pitches, and responses…

Social No Man’s Land

Since June 2012, I have embarked on an incredible professional, cultural, and personal journey. The decision has given me so much strength in all three domains of life, which I felt were weak upon departure from Chicago. More than halfway done with the four year program (which started at the University of South Carolina and…

5 Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

Over the past two years I have been living abroad. In 2012, I spent four months in Guadalajara, Mexico learning intensive Spanish and for more than 1.5 years I have been volunteering in the Republic of Moldova learning Romanian. In this time, I have been able to study both languages to intermediate and advanced levels…

How to Create an Indiegogo Campaign

This past fall and winter the community of Leova, Moldova and I built a basketball court for the kids in our city. Due to the lack of extracurricular activities, problems with drugs and alcohol, countless hours spent online, and apathy amongst children we decided it was time for a change. We did not have sufficient…

Merry Orthodox Christmas!

As a member of the steering committee and mentor for Diamond Challenge Moldova, a business competition for high school entrepreneurs, I made this video to not only wish all participants a Merry Orthodox Christmas but also to give them some words for encouragement heading into 2014. Baftă!    

From Italy with Love

Business development is one of the most difficult obstacles Moldova must tackle in today’s unstable environment. Approximately 45% of Moldovans currently work abroad, due to a lack of employment opportunities in country, and transmit remittances home to help support their families. In 2012, remittances totaled a whopping 38% of GDP, which is the second largest…