Ukrainian businesses overcome wartime challenges through strength in unity

27 MSME Business Membership Organization sign on to New Unified Voluntary Standard

November 24, 2022
Photo credit: Valentyna Naumenko / kmbs

Kyiv, 24 November 2022 – Representatives of 27 Business Membership Organizations last week signed a joint declaration for joining efforts, resources, and expertise to develop and implement a Unified Voluntary Standard to create a more cooperative business ecosystem in Ukraine. 

The declaration incorporates a set of principles and criteria that should form the basis of the future Unified Voluntary Standard and must be met by an organization that seeks to position itself as a business membership organization:

  • Representativeness – BMO should clearly define which business community (sector, industry, region, etc.) it represents and be able to confirm this with the appropriate structure and number of members;
  • Clearly defined mission focused on supporting entrepreneurship, as well as a strategy aimed at implementing this mission;
  • A well-built team composed of members experienced in representing the interests of entrepreneurs and an impeccable reputation;
  • Adherence to the principles of good governance in the formation and functioning of the BMO governing bodies;
  • Financial independence, transparency, and accountability;
  • Functional and operational capacity, expressed in the relevant policies, expertise, and resources; and
  • Willingness to form coalitions and conduct advocacy campaigns.

Andreas Huber, Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine, said by uniting entrepreneurs for advocacy, cooperation, and partnerships, Business Membership Organizations contribute to the recovery of the MSME sector in many ways – “from providing relevant services to representing the collective interests of their MSMEs members and facilitating constructive and policy-oriented public-private dialogue to improve regulations and the overall business environment.”

Christophoros Politis, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, stated that micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine are the backbone of local economies in Ukraine and are stronger together than they are apart. “The advice of the ancient Greek philosopher Aesop could very much be applied to small businesses in wartime,” he said.  “United they stand, divided they fall.”   

Politis added that UNDP has a solid commitment to supporting BMOs and the private sector overall in these critical times. “It’s essential to raise awareness about BMO’s activities, the value they bring to businesses, their role in recovery, and stronger positioning of services for MSMEs where BMOs have a unique competitive advantage,” he said.


The Declaration is open to all interested BMOs seeking to join the established work group in the development, implementation, and promotion of the Unified Voluntary Standard for MSME Membership Business Associations and to declare their intention to comply with the jointly defined criteria and principles.  Signing of the Declaration for Joining the Unified Voluntary Standard of the MSME Business Membership Organization was initiated and supported by the “Strengthening Business Membership Organizations of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ukraine” project, implemented by UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine and with the support of Switzerland.


Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail:

2022.11.14-16 Second Final Module at kmbs