Switzerland, UNDP, work to strengthen business membership organizations in Ukraine

Posted November 10, 2021

Initiative aimed at supporting micro, small and medium enterprises

Eduard Maltsev, deputy dean of Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, addresses leaders of Ukrainian small business organizations at a UNDP-sponsored event in Kyiv. Photos: Anton Skyba / UNDP Ukraine and Valentyna Naumenko / kmbs

Kyiv, 10 November 2021 – More than 200 online and offline representatives from business membership organizations from across Ukraine attended a special conference this week to strengthen management and leadership skills. The event was organized by UNDP, with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine and in cooperation with the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School (kmbs). 

Nicole Ruder, Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine, said the event brought together all three necessary components for success, "namely, the right idea, which in our case is the development of business organizations, reliable partners, and the demand for what we do,” she said. “I think now we have successfully managed to bring them all together.”

Manal Fouani, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to Ukraine, told participants in her welcoming speech that her organization places great emphasis on supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, “because they essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine.” She added that this is a difficult process full of significant challenges, one of which is the fragmentation of the MSME sector. “Therefore,” she said, “only by uniting and acting as a single voice will MSMEs be able to overcome all obstacles and make a valuable contribution to the sustainable economic growth of Ukraine.”

Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Deputy Dean Eduard Maltsev said the phenomenon of modern leadership allows people to join efforts to serve the idea and create a vision of the future together. “Successful leaders create a sustainable environment, promote equality between men and women, speak the language of many cultures and are champions in the pursuit of the common good,” he said.

During the event, conference participants had the opportunity to join the online component of the leadership programme right at the event. All interested representatives of business organizations of Ukraine can join it via the link until November 13. The programme includes:

·       the broadcast of five monthly one-day modules,

·       weekly webinar-consultations, and

·       online events with leading representatives of the expert community and opinion leaders.

A report on the results of mapping of member business organizations (BMOs) of micro, small and medium enterprises of Ukraine as of 2021 was presented to the participants for discussion. This study contains universal criteria for the classification of member business organizations, tools for selecting an organization for membership, as well as a database of 420 member BMOs in Ukraine.

Participants also discussed the results of the Foresight for the MSME Development Strategy. Commenting on the strategy, Valeriy Pekar, kmbs lecturer and UNDP national consultant, said the main challenge for business is the constant change of the rules of the game. “This conclusion is based on the map of the main problems of the business, developed during the Foresight,” she said. “The key problem for individual entrepreneurs is uncertainty about the future, for micro-businesses – high taxes and low purchasing power. For small businesses, labor shortages are decisive. Medium-sized businesses are most concerned about insecurity and raiding."


The National Conference "Strengthening Business Membership Organizations of Ukraine " was held within the project "Strengthening business membership organizations of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine," implemented by UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine and with the support of Switzerland. 

During the first phase of the programme (2015 to 2018), UNDP supported seven BMOs through Phase I of the Project. Based on this experience and lessons learned, the key focus of Phase II of the Project is to ensure sustainability and to build on the positive results achieved in the first phase, in particular by intensifying the voice of MSMEs in Ukraine through making BMOs more professional, demand-oriented and customer-oriented. The Project also aims to expand the representation of BMOs throughout Ukraine, and is expected to have a positive impact on their ability to engage members, promote constructive cooperation with government agencies, and aid policy development – all of which will ultimately lead to the growth of the MSME sector.

Media inquiries

Yuliia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP in Ukraine, Yuliia.Samus@undp.org  or +38 097 139 1475

2021.11.09. BMO Conference / kmbs