In focus: Some schemes and initiatives open to women entrepreneurs in Ukraine
#ShepreneursUkraine #EconomicRevival #WomenInBusiness #EmpowermentUnleashed
In Ukraine’s evolving business landscape, women entrepreneurs have emerged as a driving force, constituting an impressive 51% of the 36,892 registered individual entrepreneurs in 2023. Aged between 30 and 50, these women, many holding higher degrees, actively pursue development through business training and self-education.
Despite operating mainly as sole proprietors within their regions, 13% of women entrepreneurs extend their business footprint nationwide. Notably, 7% actively participate in exports, fostering economic ties with countries like Poland, Moldova, Uzbekistan, and the EU.
The Ministry of Economy of Ukraine is actively supporting women entrepreneurs through various financial initiatives, including grants for personal and veteran-led businesses. Tetiana Berezhna, Deputy Minister of Economy, highlighted the active engagement of women entrepreneurs, with 3,793 having received grants.
#UkraineEntrepreneurs #WomenInBusiness #EmpowerHer #EconomicRevival
However, the harsh reality is that challenges persist. The ongoing war has disproportionately affected women, unemployment and limiting access to resources. To foster recovery, inclusive economic growth, concentrating on income generation and supporting women-led enterprises, emerges as a crucial priority. Women entrepreneurs in Ukraine embody resilience, contributing not just to the economy but also to the nation’s spirit of revival and determination.
Here are some schemes and initiatives open to women entrepreneurs in Ukraine.
> Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO
The Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO event in Ukraine is organized by UN Women in partnership with various government partners, including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, the Apparatus of the Government Commissioner on Gender Equality Policy, the Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of Digital Transformation. It also collaborates with the private sector, including EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy, GoLocal, Marie Claire Business Ukraine, Ukraine Investment & Trade Facilitation Center, WEPs signatories, companies engaged in the “Women For The Future” Initiative coordinated by Happy Monday, and the “Dream and Achieve” Initiative coordinated by Impact Force. Additionally, the event partners with international development partners and civil society organizations.
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.
> iHUB’s Programme for the Development of Female Entrepreneurship
iHUB’s Programme for the Development of Female Entrepreneurship is recorded as the first initiative in Ukraine – to support women in business creation, from the initial idea to the set-up of a working business. It covers both knowledge and practical support, including providing guidance on how to attract investors. The initiative seeks to promote gender equality and female entrepreneurship through education and mentorship.
iHUB is a network of technological and entrepreneurship hubs in Kyiv, Lviv, Vinnytsia and Chernihiv, which are created in public-private partnership with local authorities. iHUB has received a huge support from city councils as its activities, such as the support of tech companies, start-ups, SMEs, and innovation, and the promotion of gender equality in business and technology, are considered priorities for Ukrainian regional development. All programme activities are carried out through the iHUB network.
> ‘Pochatok’ & ‘Start’
As it has become known, majority of new individual entrepreneurs (IEs) registered in Ukraine in 2023 were women. Therefore, the government is now trying to support women who are starting out in business as much as possible. And, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, Ukraine launched a new educational and grant program for women entrepreneurs called ‘Start’.
Ukraine launched an educational and grant program called ‘Pochatok’ for women entrepreneurs.
The educational and grant program ‘Start’ is implemented by the network of entrepreneur support centers Diia. Business with the assistance of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Office for Entrepreneurship and Export Development with the support of UN Women Ukraine and the Government of Japan in Ukraine.
Women who already have their own business, as well as those who are just starting out, can take free training and receive a grant for their own business.
> Work Book for business – a guide
An interactive practical guide created by Ukrainian entrepreneurs and business consultants for owners and managers of micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as business project management specialists.
> Government agencies and organizations supporting women and women’s entrepreneurship
Browse through this list of government agencies, Ukrainian and international organizations and associations supporting women, leadership development and women’s entrepreneurship.
– Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine
– National project for entrepreneurship and export development Diia.Business
– Ukrainian Edutainment Platform for Reskilling and Digital Literacy Diia.Education
– State Institution Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office
– Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine
– Ministry of Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine
– Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
– State Institution Ukrainian Cultural Foundation
– State Employment Service of Ukraine National organizations and initiatives
National Organizations and Initiatives
– Ukrainian Investment and Trade Facilitation Center (ITFC)
– Academy for women entrepreneurs
– Ukrainian Platform of Women in Business
– NGO League of Business and Professional Women of Ukraine
– Ukrainian Women’s Fund
– Women’s Consortium of Ukraine
– She’s Next — a program to support women’s entrepreneurship
– Women IN
– Expert organization Center CSR Development (CSR Ukraine)
– European Business Association (EBA)
– Union of Ukrainian Entrepreneurs (SUP)
– International Embassy of Women Entrepreneurs in Ukraine
– International community for women Wtech
– Rural Women Business Network
International organizations and programs
– UN Women
– World Woman Foundation
– United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine
– United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
– European Training Foundation (ETF)
– EBRD Women in Business Program
– European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors
– European Gateway for Women’s entrepreneurship WEgate
– USAID Program Competitive Economy of Ukraine
– Project EU4Business: SME Competitiveness and Internationalisation
– European Union House of Europe Program
– Charitable organization Her Equality Right and Autonomy (HERA)
> International Mentoring Program
Encap’s International Mentoring Program was launched for the first time in Ukraine. The 3-month mentoring activity will support women-led Ukrainian SMEs in creating an actionable export plan to facilitate their entry into the EU market. This serves as a stepping stone towards establishing their presence and laying the groundwork for integration in the EU market. The duration is – 1.10.2033 to 31.03.2024.
The aim is to create equitable opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Ukraine to facilitate EU market access and internationalization with the goal of strengthening Ukraine’s economic resilience, recovery and growth.
> Women In (WIN)
Women In (WIN) is a women’s community that helps, supports and disseminates experiences among women entrepreneurs. The goal is – to develop women’s entrepreneurship in Ukraine. Their mission is to disrupt the stereotypes about women, teach and show gender equality for everyone, and stimulate determination and courage to act and realize dreams.
So, Women IN is a community that promotes women’s entrepreneurship and leadership, which every woman can join. The community has several areas of activity: Women Biz Days – business seminars for women entrepreneurs: Mentor Bridge – a free mentoring program for women entrepreneurs; Ukrainian Women Entrepreneur Portrait – study on barriers and opportunities for women entrepreneurs; WorkBook for business – note for owners and managers of MSMEs.
> The Ukrainian Business Women Platform
The Ukrainian Business Women Platform, founded by President Nadiia Lysetska, specializes in assisting business women and women entrepreneurs, especially during wartime in Ukraine.
Lysetska and Kateryna Khudyk, platform mentors, along with Deputy Director of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programs Stephen Rosenlund, CAE, IOM, explained the essential mission of the association and its impact. Both of them draw from their personal business experiences and explained how the war has changed the role of women in the economy and how the platform empowers those women.
CIPE’s work with the Ukrainian Women in Business Platform is part of the WE-Champs program, short for “Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by Networking Regional Women’s Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations,” funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI).