With EU and UNDP support, Ukrainian enterprises forced to relocate will benefit from new online business courses

July 8, 2022
Illustration: UNDP Ukraine

Kyiv, 8 July 2022 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the financial support of the European Union, presented five new online training courses for the representatives of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) displaced by war.

Training will be available on the "Start.Business" online platform, where entrepreneurs will learn what is needed to create and scale up their businesses, how to minimise possible risks, develop e-commerce and many other practical aspects.

More than a third of Ukraine's businesses have suspended operations due to the Russian full-scale invasion, and most exports from the country are disrupted due to the port blockade. The Government of Ukraine has launched an ambitious programme to relocate them to safer areas in western Ukraine. The programme is also creating alternative logistics options for exports, which are limited by the lack of access to maritime ports. The ports previously served about 90 per cent of Ukraine's commodity exports.

Frederik Coene, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, said that as MSMEs provide about 60 percent of employment and 20 percent of GDP in Ukraine, it is essential to ensure they are up and running and able to do business in this challenging environment so the economy continues to function.

“This new training package give them the necessary entrepreneurial and logistical skills to do that,” he said.  “And we are proud to be a part it.”

The programme is in high demand and has been successful in helping critical businesses get back to work. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy, as of mid-May 2022, the Government has processed more than 1,500 applications for the relocation of enterprises from areas of active hostilities. Thanks to the relocation programme, 510 Ukrainian enterprises have moved their facilities to safer oblasts and have resumed operations. According to a survey conducted by the European Business Association, only 3 percent of the 134 surveyed companies did not operate as of the beginning of May.

Manal Fouani, acting UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, said UNDP considers economic recovery as an integral part of the larger resilience building and recovery of Ukraine where every effort should be made to support and empower micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises affected by the war and those relocated from eastern and southern Ukraine.

 “Some 96% of all enterprises in Ukraine are considered micro-enterprises. However, with close to 12 million people displaced – both outside and inside Ukraine – many businesses have closed while people have lost their jobs,” Fouani said.

“To overcome the consequences of the war, improve socio-economic conditions and restore the national economy, it is crucial that the private sector walks on the recovery pathway first as it will eventually create more investments in the local markets. This is where the role of chambers of commerce become crucial to facilitate the process,” she said.

UNDP, through the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, has been providing comprehensive support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises since 2015 through grant funding for various business areas and professional training to improve the knowledge and skills of Ukrainian entrepreneurs. From today, training on the following topics is available on the online learning platform:

Business in the field of architecture: How to open a business in architecture from scratch; how to do extraordinary projects that will satisfy both the customer and the team; why you should talk more about your work, and how to turn the backstage of the project into an effective PR tool; the experience of Balbek Bureau.

Business in the field of construction: How to prove yourself as an expert in the professional community; what are challenges of working with new technologies; why it is essential to continue learning and developing all the time; how the newest eco-materials provide safety and comfort; how eco-houses allow their owners to save; how the quality of construction materials influences the quality of human life.

Business in e-commerce: How to start an e-commerce business; how to work on scaling the business model; what are the tasks of the CEO of the company; the marketing for the marketplace, who are its target audience and suppliers; what is the most effective way to advertise.

Business in the fashion industry: What criteria are essential when choosing a direction for your own business; what role the personal preferences of the entrepreneur play; what is independent retail and its advantages; setting goals and making a business plan; why the break-even point should be calculated; why entrepreneurs should not be afraid of credit funds.

Cooperation of MSMEs with Chambers of Commerce and Industry: How to cooperate with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. One of the critical opportunities that members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry receive is finding internal and external partners and contractors: getting to know each other, communicating and jointly working out the rules of business interaction. After all, a successful business requires more communication and openness.

The "Start.Business" learning platform targets both beginners who are interested in entrepreneurship but do not know where to start and those who already have their own business and are looking for practical advice on developing it.

Read more about how UNDP launched an online educational platform for entrepreneurs, "Start.Business", with the financial support of the Government of Poland.

Media enquiries

Yulia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Communications Leader; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org