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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Engine of Progress Rocking it at 66!

The Republic of Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, is facing a deep demographic crisis, caused by migration and low birth rate accompanied by a high mortality rate. The elderly from Moldova – representing 16% of the total resident population – are the poorest and most discriminated, also in terms of employment. Thus, a UNDP project, funded by the European Union, provides practical solutions to create employment and business development opportunities for young people and for the seniors of an active age.

Green light for innovations
At 66 years old, Nicolai Constantinov from Comrat has seen his childhood dream come true. Last year he attended an intensive business training, won a grant of € 3,000, and founded the first electric cars service centre in his home town. His passion for electromechanics has become a business due to the Innovative Career Development SYSLAB Centre, set up by UNDP in Comrat and another four towns in Moldova.  "During the four months of training, I did not miss a day.  I learned how to develop a business plan, get to know about innovation, how to run a business... Even after completing the course, I am provided with guidance on how to make my business run smoothly,” says Nicolai Constantinov. It’s a step ahead of our time, as he claims that the future belongs to electric cars, which are environmentally friendly and economical. In wait for them to become popular in Moldova, meanwhile the Comrat inventor assembles electric cars for children, fixes appliances and promotes alternative energy sources at his center.
He believes that the donors gave him the green light, because they share similar perspectives: an innovative idea must be original, implementable and meet a particular need. Moldova is in great need of alternative sources of energy, especially of environmentally friendly ones, and of qualified labor force, regardless of age. This is not the first innovation implemented by Nicolai Constantinov. Together with a group of young people from Comrat, he built over the past years solar-powered tricycles, quadricycles and cars for children. Last year he created the first local solar-powered vehicle – a construction that is more advanced than his previous works. It is powered by solar batteries and can develop a speed of up to 25 km/h.
Leaving no one behind
Now, Nicolai Constantinov attracts with his inventivenss a lot of youngsters eager to learn something new. A magnet of knowledge and creativity. He tries to nurture their love for technology, to pass down his knowledge and experience gathered in a lifetime, and urges them to turn to the Syslab Centre services. Svetlana Georghieva, the Comrat Syslab Centre coordinator, says: "Over 300 people have already increased their chances to be employed or to launch their own business thanks to the 5 SYSLAB centres in Moldova".

Source UNDP

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