Tekwill has been designed as a national public private partnership between the Government of Moldova, USAID, Microsoft, and IBM to answer the needs of the ICT industry to close the gap of the human capital shortage, as well as support the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The initial goal of the project was to contribute to the extension of the Tekwill project as a sustainable network and deploy its programs on regional/national level. The project aims at determining the operation model of the network, determining business plans for the relevant created centers or partners in the regions, deploy scalable activities to connect an estimated of 150,000 people to ICT (school and university students, community, etc.), deploy entrepreneurship programs aiming at both scaling up existing programs, as well as create inclusive innovation platforms for the regions, with their respective specifics and potential to absorb/apply ICT. We envision a minimum 10,000 beneficiaries/year for each direction (education and entrepreneurship) As a result of the project, 2 main outcomes of the project are expected: more and better qualified skills and workforce developed leading to a stronger ICT industry in Moldova, as well as creating the premises for a Startup Moldova program driving opportunities for companies seeking capitalization.
The first phase of the project represented a USAID grant for Development matched by both cash and in-kind contributions provided by private and government partners that brought significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments, and mentorship. Private partners included multinational companies, IBM and Microsoft, but also members of the Information Technology and Communications Association (ATIC) comprised of local Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies. Among government partners which have provided their support are the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, the e-Government Center and the Technical University (TUM). Hosting the first Center in its premises, the Technical University of Moldova has contributed with resources for initial investment and maintenance costs during the startup phase.