Oksana’s day begins with smiles of little residents of Chausy town, Mogilev region. Oksana is the founder of the first private kindergarten in town, which has been working for almost two years. Over 50 children benefit from better knowledge development than in ordinary kindergarten, learn English and prepare for school. Oksana’s path to her business was not easy. However, her commitment to succeed and support from her family helped young entrepreneur move forward, be creative and achieve her business ambitions.
As a kid, Oksana wanted become a doctor. She studied biology and chemistry in depth and entered the medical university in Mogilev. But when she started the surgical practice, she began to feel unwell due to the empathic distress she was experiencing while dealing with patients in difficult situation. She decided that medicine is not best place where she could excel. She dropped out of medicine and soon after got married and started family.
“When my child was born, I realized how lovely children are, how much joy they bring. That is how I came to an idea to work with children professionally,” says Oksana. With this motivation, she decided to get back to university. After obtaining her diploma from the Pedagogical University in Mogilev she got a job in a kindergarten, where she worked for five years as an infant educator.
The idea of a private kindergarten did not come immediately; Oksana had an idea for starting her own business around her passion for children education for long time. She started to knit and sell children clothes, but she understood that to satisfy her growing entrepreneurial ambitions, she needed a larger project that would benefit more people. So gradually the idea of a private kindergarten arose, especially since there were limited kindergarten options in the town. With the encouragement and support of her partner she decided to give it a try. She soon realized that for making her ideas come through she needed a new skills and specific business management knowledge.
She decided attending a business planning course, delivered by local Employment Center. After completing the course, Oksana developed a business plan for a preschool educational center project. The project proposal received a grant from the joint Russian Federation and UNDP project supporting local business initiatives in rural regions.
Once her business was up and running, Oksana continued to generate new ideas for the development of her business. She came up with the idea of opening a small family fitness center next to the kindergarten, where families could work out while children learn new knowledge. Oksana immediately transferred her idea into a business plan and, with additional financing from Russian Federation and UNDP project, acquired all the necessary sports equipment.
“I still have a lot of plans for the future. For example, creation of a children playground. I really want that in town there was a place where children could go to jump, climb,” shares Oksana.
However, implementation of her plans will have to wait. The situation with COVID-19 has made its own adjustments. Oksana was forced to suspend activities of her center.
“Parents in our town are responsible and we decided to close the center till the beginning of the next school year,” says Oksana. “I sent everyone small assignments by email, and this is the maximum that I can do now. Transferring learning to online format won’t work with preschoolers. It will be difficult for them to sit in front of the screen for a long time.”
Hopefully, situation will improve soon, and Oxana’s center will be full of cheerful twittering and laughing of children. Oksana’s main business principle is not to give up and believe in her conception of work with infants around the family circle which gives her bold innovative ideas.