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Small social tailorshop based in Bucharest created an ecosystem of small tailorshops to produce medical equipment.

Atelier Merci tailorshop adapted clothing manufacturing to medical protective suits when the crisis started and engaged 2 more tailorshops.

Photo of Daniela Staicu
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What is the need are you focusing on?

In the current COVID-19 crisis, Romanian hospitals are deeply affected by the shortage of medical protective equipment. Even though the Government has placed orders for medical equipment, contracts around the world are not being honored anymore. Currently, 19% of the COVID-19 infected people in Romania are medical staff. There are constant alarm signals drawn by the medical staff that the protective equipment is not sufficient and without it, sooner or later they will get infected and become unable to treat patients. The staff supply is limited. Therefore, we had to build a local capacity for producing medical equipment, for short and also long term medical protective equipment manufacturing. We are applying for this grant because: -Support the medical sector in Romania by offering to the hospitals 600 medical protective suits. - Contribute to job creation: We want to keep our two tailors and offer work and collaborate with 2 more small tailorshops.

What is the best example of business adaption you’ve seen in response to COVID-19?

Our example is a good example of adapting a (social business) to the COVID-19 crisis and of fast-response one because we have switched from producing women clothing and recycling fabric waste from our manufacturing process into producing medical protective suits. We managed to help the medical sector, keep our tailors busy and employ 2 more small tailorshops from Bucharest, helping them to keep their tailors working. We have had this initiative starting 5 weeks ago when in our country started the COVID-19 crisis.

What is your profession?

I am an economist, associate professor and social entrepreneur.

Where are you located (country)?

Bucharest, Romania

Where are you located (region)?

  • Europe

Which industry do you work in?

  • Academia/Research
  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your submission? Are you participating in these efforts?

We are aware of two grant opportunities: CEI Extraordinary Call for Proposals 2020 and Antler GLOBAL Covid-19 Call. However we are seeking for sponsorships/funds so we can manufacture the suits, but not charge the hospitals. The cost for one suit is 16 Usd and we can produce 600 suits in 1.5 - 2 months. So far we have shipped 40 suits to 3 hospitals in Romania.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Welcome to the challenge Daniela Staicu . It is exciting to learn about your idea esp in addressing needs around medical equipment. I'm curious what the progress has been so far.

Since you are suggesting a pivot that you working on and that might benefit from more feedback, would it be possible for you to re-submit the under the ideas section: for considering for the challenge prize with other ideas?

Photo of Daniela Staicu

Hello, Isaac. Thank you for your message. I am actually interested to register our idea for "Five selected submissions will be eligible to receive $10,000 each in seed funding from the Vodafone Americas Foundation." Where should I upload our idea? Thank you for your feedback!