Flowers, water and textiles: Winning short videos from the Big Stories of Small Businesses Competition Announced

Posted March 30, 2021

A story about the “queen of flowers” from the town of Horlivka took first place in viewers’ voting for videos in the Big Stories of Small Businesses project, which is being implemented with financial support from the European Union and the governments of Denmark and Japan.

The video, made by Ukrainian director Anastasia Kovalchuk, tells the story of Nina Radchenko – the owner a garden centre in Oleksandrivka, Donetsk Oblast. Radchenko and her family moved to Lyman District to start afresh there in 2014, when they could no longer stay in their native town of Horlivka due to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Radchenko, who grows flowers and essential oil plants, now considers gardening her calling rather than just a way to earn money.

Second place went to the story of a priest and volunteer Serhiy Kazmenko. The story was filmed by director Maria Derhachova. In 2014, Serhiy moved to the town of Dobropillya from the village of Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast. He engaged in volunteerism for several years before deciding to open up his own business – the production of Source of Health drinking water. To get his business off the ground he used the money he and his wife had been putting aside for holidays. Kazmenko used a UNDP grant to purchase more modern water treatment equipment. He hires internally displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes.

Third place went to a video about Lidiya Khyla and her textile workshop, which was filmed by director Maksym Liukov. It all started when Khyla was fired after working for 19 years at a company. Khyla decided that this was a great opportunity to start her own business. With that in mind, Khyla found a like-minded friend. Together they opened a sewing workshop in their native town of Melitopol using a UNDP grant.

Watch all of the project videos here:

Background information:

Big Stories of Small Businesses is a social campaign to promote entrepreneurship, which is being conducted by UNDP as part of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with financial support from the European Union and the governments of Denmark and Japan.

A series of short videos tells the stories of entrepreneurs from Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. Some of them are internally displaced persons who left their homes and started their own business from scratch: one launched a clothing brand, one opened a hub, and another established a museum. Others are processing garbage, developing tourism, treating water, repairing cars, and providing medical services to people. All of these people once received UNDP grants to develop their business from the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme.

The UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme is being implemented by four UN agencies: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The programme is supported by 12 international partners: The European Union, the European Investment Bank, the Embassy of the United States to Ukraine, and the Danish, Canadian, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Polish, Swiss, Swedish, and Japanese governments.