The Ukrainian Catholic University Business School (LvBS) community and external experts from various fields of the economy have launched a platform to support small and medium enterprises. The platform is a kind of marketplace. On the one hand – Ukrainian entrepreneurs offer their services and products, and on the other – potential customers from abroad can help the Ukrainian economy with their orders.
How did the idea for the project appear? “Small and medium-sized businesses are, in fact, the basement of the economy, taxpayers and employers. Now they are at risk of shutting down. We want to help businesses survive the war by systematically helping them build new economic ties with Western partners, foreign companies that have been mostly focused on the domestic market. In this way, we are laying the foundations for the new architecture of the Ukrainian economy of future, which will work after the victory”, – explains Yaryna Boychuk, Head of the UCU Business School.
Olesya Yedynak-Khoma, an LvBS graduate and founder of the Yedynka DGTL agency in Kyiv, initiates this project. “From the first days of the war, everyone was focused on today’s struggle, and there was almost no time to think about ‘tomorrow’. But I, like many other entrepreneurs whose projects with Ukrainian customers ended in one day, had to think about tomorrow immediately. After all, if Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses have savings, that may be enough for a month or two, and what’s next? So it has become obvious that we need to start looking for a solution now until the resources are completely exhausted. And, obviously, the decision was clear – we need to find new customers in foreign markets – Europe, the United States, Canada or other friendly countries”, – remarked Olesya.
Other community members from different fields and industries, teachers and the whole companies immediately involved in the search for a solution. They generated dozens of their own ideas. Thus, the “Do Business with Ukrainians” project was born.
How does it work? As of now, we have a platform where a questionnaire is posted for entrepreneurs from Ukraine. They can apply for the project if they have something to offer to partners from abroad. At the same time, we are searching for potential foreign customers of Ukrainian goods and services. About 100 companies from Ukraine have already applied. There were also several comprehensive applications for Ukrainian products and services from Britain and Sweden. Data verification and opportunities for further cooperation will be conducted with all companies.
Now the project works like a startup, and about 15 people have already joined the development.
- To help Ukrainian small and medium enterprises to attract international orders.
- Provide support for the successful management of these international projects; (knowledge, networking, mentoring, English-language accounts).
- Provide grant assistance for small businesses to help them already meet their obligations (pay taxes, salaries).
In fact, one of the next levels of the project is considering the possibility of helping entrepreneurs to attract grant aid.
“Today, we are negotiating with several international organizations on the formation of a grant fund. Unfortunately, some organizations cannot support the Armed Forces of Ukraine in accordance with their statutes, but they can support Ukrainian businesses. Therefore, we have the opportunity to receive additional funds in the Ukrainian economy from budgets for projects and services and increase the export of our services”, – explains Olesya Yedynak-Khoma.
According to Yaryna Boychuk, UCU Business School is a community of people united by a common idea for the future of Ukraine, awareness of the role and involvement of business in the processes taking place in the country, and responsibility to society. In the LvBS Community, there are more than 1,000 small and medium-sized business owners and managers in all parts of the country.
“And from the first day of the war, we saw how business became involved in the struggle for our country and its independence and freedom. They support our Armed Forces and ensure their needs, both in financing and in providing logistical ways to supply the necessary funds, not only for humanitarian purposes and not only within Ukraine.
The role of the Business School in a unique environment, which was a result of the war, has become key to building connections and effectively integrating all members of the community according to their needs, capabilities and initiatives. Since in peacetime we, as an institution, were constantly in close contact with members of our community, including companies, managers and experts, we quickly became a platform for cooperation and new initiatives for our common goal – the victory of Ukraine” – emphasizes Yaryna Boychuk.
If you are a Ukrainian company that needs help to enter foreign markets, find staff or legal aspects, please fill out the form: https://lvbs.top/mrf.
If you have ideas on how to attract customers to Ukrainian services and products, please write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.