Over 80 small businesses get UNDP support to grow in Donetsk regionDec 9, 2016
The winners of UN Development Programme’s Business Startup Grants Contest have received up to UAH 200,000 (USD 8,000) to launch, recover or develop their small and medium businesses. They signed their grant contracts during the XII International Economic Forum “Discover Donbas” in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, on 9 December 2016.
In 2016, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine launched a Business Startup Grants Contest for internally displaced people (IDPs) and local residents in eight regions of Ukraine. The grant programme was designed to support the launch, recovery or development of entrepreneurship activity, small and medium businesses. Applications were to demonstrate a high level of quality, to have long-term perspective for income flow, to show realistic market indicators and to foresee creation of new employment opportunities and job places.
The variety of fields and locations covered by the winners is unprecedented: IDPs moving to small towns and villages from bigger cities have brought with them a new demand and new ideas for goods and services which were not provided earlier. Some of the new services to be supported by the UNDP grants are landscape design firms, child development centres, language schools, and green tourism services. At the same time, important local businesses such as Slovyansk’ art ceramics manufacturers are using this opportunity to take a step forward with new technologies and more employees.
“Our enterprise’s main sales market was CIS countries. Now, with the support of UNDP, we plan to enter the EU market as we work on increasing the quality of our production as well as introducing new technologies in the production process. The grant also helps us recruit four new ceramics masters thus increasing the total staff to 6 employees,” noted Yuriy Nochkin, art ceramics manufacturer, Slovyansk.
Almost 2,000 people submitted applications for the contest in eight regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kyiv, Zaporizhia, Poltava, Dnipro, Donetsk and Luhansk. Over 660 out of them applied in Donetsk region. As of today, UNDP has supported more than 80 businesses in Donetsk region which created nearly 270 jobs. The overall amount of grant support in Donetsk region totalled to over UAH 10,500,000 (more than USD 400,000).
“Support to small and medium businesses development in conflict affected regions is crucially important, as it not only generates new income opportunities for people despite the adverse conditions they are currently facing, but also gives them inspiration and hope. We, in UNDP, are pleased to see that the quality of grant applications gradually increases. It indicates that people learn, develop themselves and obtain new knowledge and skills. And this is another key to the region’s development and future prosperity,” said Mr Mustafa Sait-Ametov, UNDP Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme Coordinator.
The Business Startup Grants Contest is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme with the financial support of the Governments of Japan, Great Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic and in partnership with the Government of Ukraine.