Support for women's businesses in action: the first 16 businesses will receive assistance
01 July 2022
Support for women entrepreneurs, implemented by the Ukraine Investment and Trade Facilitation Center with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy Program, successfully passed the first stage. After reviewing 532 applications from business owners, support organizers chose those who will receive the necessary support in the near future.
Recently, the Ukraine Investment and Trade Facilitation Center announced a large-scale project to support women entrepreneurs. It aims to restore and scale up women-owned businesses, promote gender equality, and support the country during war and post-war reconstruction.
The importance and relevance of support is due to the difficulties that have put the existence of many businesses at risk in 2022. Because of the war in Ukraine, many small and medium-sized enterprises need financial and informational support, relocation to safe areas or help with access to European markets. In order to ensure a powerful restart of the economy, Ukrainian and Western public organizations joined their efforts and launched a joint program to support women entrepreneurs.
"In just two weeks, while applications were being accepted, 532 women from 10 regions of Ukraine registered to participate in the support," says Iryna Tytarchuk, executive director of the center. - As the survey showed, Ukrainian entrepreneurs today develop their own businesses in a wide range of activities - from the service sector to the processing industry, from agriculture to IT. The largest number of participants applied for the purpose of scaling up their business, renting premises or buying equipment - 145 people. Another 111 needed help with entering European markets, and 125 women declared their desire to create a new enterprise."
Among others, women entrepreneurs indicated the following needs:
- formation of a marketing strategy;
- using opportunities of social networks for business;
- business recovery and scaling;
- promotion on non-international trading platforms, etc.
"The U.S. Agency for International Development is developing a number of tools to help Ukrainian businesses survive in wartime conditions. Among the initiatives implemented, the most sought-after are helping women entrepreneurs to move businesses to safe regions, maintain a presence in current markets or enter new markets or develop marketing strategies, and implement digital tools. As the experience of our activities shows, the demand for support is huge, so we continue to cooperate with partners so that as many women as possible can develop their business even in such a difficult time for the country and the economy," says Nataliya Petrova, Program Manager, Economic Growth Office USAID
Such statistics show that Ukrainian entrepreneurs are persistently looking for ways to stabilize and develop even in times of crisis. A considerable number of applications came from Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv regions, there were also many applications from Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Volyn regions. Almost 76% of businesses were not relocated after the start of the war and remained operating in their own or several regions. The task of the state and public organizations of the regions is to support business, which is the backbone of the economy, and to provide effective tools for its growth and development.
Almost 82% of appeals were received from IEs, and about 16% from representatives of LLCs. In the overwhelming majority of cases, small businesses need help, which always have a difficult time reacting to crisis periods, however, among the applications there are also startups and medium-sized businesses that require resources to scale and save jobs. Providing the necessary assistance today means laying a solid foundation for the future prosperity of the country's economy, and the initiators of supporting women entrepreneurs have already chosen the most promising participants. They became the representatives of 16 businesses (69% of grant recipients work through IEs, and 31% are representatives of LLCs):
- Marsala - premium shoe brand.
- Forma Center - production of women's clothing.
- "Elastic IT Solutions" LLC - IT company that develops modern solutions for business and government structures.
- Zalizo Company - metal and loft-style furniture production.
- Wood Mood - home decor and gifts.
- 3DFabrica - 3D printing studio.
- Yakush - tableware and decor made of handmade ecological materials, mainly made of tempered glass.
- She Flowers – decor, compositions, candles with dried flowers and stabilized flowers.
- March & Co – bakery and confectionery.
- Framiore - women's clothing brand.
- English Monsters - English language school.
- Anzyhome - craft workshop where home decor items and furniture are created by hand: ottomans, carpets, baskets, cradles for newborns, etc.
- "ACCA (Agency of Modern Specialists and Authors)" - publishing house is a publishing house specializing in children's fiction, school and educational literature.
- OLawander - eco-park with a lavender field.
Heathy Tradition - production of healthy food products with a balanced composition.
NUB - family workshop for the production of handmade leather goods.
Grant funding is provided in the following directions:
- business exit to foreign markets – 30%
- product certification – 13%
- marketing strategy development – 13%
- business relocation – 13%
- using the opportunities of social networks for business - 13%
- trademark registration - 6%
- services for systematization / improvement of operational activities - 6%
- promotion on international marketplaces (Etsy, Amazon, etc.) – 6%
The total amount of grant assistance in the amount of UAH 1,503,750 will be divided among the selected participants, in accordance with the submitted price proposals, in order to maximally satisfy the needs of their business. Ensuring the conditions for the activity of entrepreneurs will support economic life now and in the period of post-war reconstruction.
About the Ukraine Investment and Trade Facilitation Center
Ukraine Investment and Trade Facilitation Center is an independent non-profit organization specializing in the development of small and medium-sized businesses, women's entrepreneurship, support for exports and trade in various sectors of the economy.
About the USAID Competitive Economy Program
USAID Competitive Economy Program supports startups and small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) in order to increase their competitiveness in the domestic market of Ukraine and in international markets, helps in building a simplified and transparent business climate, and also provides Ukrainian companies with opportunities to take advantage of international trade.