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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

Vision: Roma Digital Boost’s (RDB) mission is to develop the digital entrepreneurial skills of 60 Roma entrepreneurs in three countries (North Macedonia, Serbia, Romania).
Purpose: RDB aims to use an e-Accelerator in order to help protect and improve entrepreneurial Roma businesses in their transition from conventional to digital. The focus was especially on those businesses mostly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s businesses and those functioning in the informal economy.
The need: RDB project is aimed at Roma entrepreneurs with new or existing businesses, start-ups, developing businesses, formal or informal businesses who want to expand or to move their activity in online. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand of certain socio-economic restrictions, for a fair part of these entrepreneurs the digitization became imperative, while for others represents a needed alignment to the commercial and service market.

Partners:
    Swiss Entrepreneurship Program
    Startup Macedonia
    Business Impact Lab
    E-commerce Macedonia
    E-commerce Serbia
    Spheric Accelerator Romania

    Measures:
    Interactive e-learning platform
    Mentorship and coaching
    Digital skills learning program
    Financial support based on grant competition
    Progress evaluation and support
    Post-program follow-up

End of project and follow-up: The project ended with an award ceremony for the Roma Digital Boost Awards. Three women from the three countries received the first prize amounting 5000 Euros. Other participants received prizes consisting in marketing and commercial support services.
On January 1st 2021, at the end of the project, the 60 participant Roma businesses have been evaluated. One third of them answered the questions about the project process and their results. Most of those who won prizes made investments in new materials, equipment and online instruments. The others were in the process of acquisition. Almost half of the participants increased their sales thanks to the project, and 4 out of 5 participants requested further support.