Daniela Pruteanu: A businesswoman with Down syndrome

The National Bureau of Statistics accords that between the years 2016 and 2020, the percentage of women involved with economic development surpassed twice its previous stats, going from 16% to an impressive 34%.

Moldovan Florist Daniella Pruteanu is a 19-year-old girl with down syndrome who was amidst these economically empowered women by defying the odds and becoming an entrepreneur and a business owner at such a young age.

Due to her parents’ interest in farming and cultivation, as well as the whole family’s shared love of nature, her fascination with flowers began at an early age. Her mother added that her first word was “Flower”.

After watching her daughter’s excitement whenever they grew flowers in pots, Daniela and her mother Elena started their small business. Considering the market demands, they started with just a few seeds proceeding to plant more and more flowers, until they filled their entire greenhouse with fragranced multicolored flowers and started selling.

Daniela’s parents prided their daughter saying that even though she has Down syndrome, it never stopped her from going to school, playing the violin, doing photography, and having plans for the future.

Nowadays after their business bloomed, she dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur who pursues her life dream, and builds a satisfying future for herself, in addition to prover herself to those who didn’t initially believe in her abilities.

Daniela’s close circle of friends refers to her as “Child of the Sun”, in regard to her bright smile, cheerful personality, and undying love for nature, a name that always makes her giggle with joy. Her mom also admired her smile every time she walks into the greenhouse greeted by her sweet-scented flowers, indicating that it’s Daniela’s favorite part of the day. She went on about how her daughter doesn’t even perceive it as work or notice how much time she spends inside the greenhouse, as she enjoys it very much.

“When you do something that you enjoy, it is not just work anymore,” adds her mother, Elena, and Daniela nods.

The young businesswoman prefers Sundays and the eves of holidays to the rest of the days because that’s when she gets to fill her baskets with her lovely flowers and sell them at the market in Cahul.

Elena described her daughter’s daily routine; on weekdays she checks on her flowers in the morning before and after school, and she spends the rest of the day doing school activities and homework. Saturdays on the other hand, are when she commits all her time to take care of her flowers and tending to their needs, which include light, water, heat, and vitamins.

Daniela is a beneficiary of the EU-funded “EVA Project – Strengthened Gender Action in Cahul and Ungheni districts”, which is implemented by UN Women in partnership with UNICEF. The project interventions aim to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through the strengthened implementation of gender mainstreaming in Cahul and Ungheni districts, and to combat domestic violence affecting women and children.