Meet the Women Entrepreneurs: Elena Gorgan


Elena Gorgan is a beekeeper and entrepreneur selling natural products in Moldova. Photo: UN Women.
Elena Gorgan is a beekeeper and entrepreneur selling natural products in Moldova. Photo: UN Women.

Elena Gorgan, 54, is a beekeeper and founder of ApiHerb, a small business producing honey and beeswax products, natural herbal teas, and plant-based cosmetics in Puhaceni village, Moldova. Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, she took part in a project supporting local women producers in business development for sustainable growth, implemented by Sweet Mary and UN Women Moldova and financed by the Government of Sweden. Recently, Gorgan showcased her products at an exhibition and conference organized in Chisinau in the lead-up to the Regional Women’s Entrepreneur EXPO 2022.

“I have been an entrepreneur in the field of beekeeping for 5 years now. Previously, my family and I had been growing tomatoes in greenhouses for more than 15 years. When you do agriculture, you spontaneously become an entrepreneur. In this way, a woman automatically becomes an entrepreneur due to the much greater responsibilities she has.

Work in beekeeping is quite complicated, especially for a woman. But this profession has brought me great satisfaction through the constant learning opportunities and the accumulation of new knowledge in this field, but also the therapy that bees offer when you are working on the hive. At the moment, we are making an effort to develop our business. We produce honey and grow medicinal plants.

I have heard many stories of women entrepreneurs and I was ready for some of the difficult aspects that come along with this work. The truth is that entrepreneurship has come with several challenges, especially related to testing and to the many necessary documents. I have encountered challenges at the sales stage as well. You notice that you are first analysed and then listened to. People often question women’s business skills. Therefore, we need to work hard and ensure continuous performance, including through advanced studies in the fields in which we operate.

To succeed, women entrepreneurs need more learning opportunities, simplified legal procedures and a proper platform to promote and sell their products. The exhibitions organized by UN Women represented a step forward for me. Experience is like real schooling, that’s why I’m happy to get involved every time. I gain new knowledge, a larger customer base and new colleagues.”

Launched in 2021, the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO is a unique partnership platform to promote women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem building in the Europe and Central Asia region. EXPO provides an interactive space for women entrepreneurs, investors and private sector representatives for networking and collaboration, peer learning, ideas generation, capacity building and business development. EXPO 2022 is organized by UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Yıldız Holding as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator supported by Mary Kay. Learn more and register.