Photo credit: Artem Getman / UNDP Ukraine

Call for expression of interest to participate in the programme

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine is launching the second phase of the Strengthening MSMEs Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) in Ukraine Project and invites MSME business associations to express their interest in receiving technical assistance within the Project.


1.   Project description

The project "Strengthening SME Business Membership Organizations" was implemented during the period 2015-2018 by the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and with the support of Switzerland.

7 partner business associations selected as a result of the national call for expression of interest in Project phase I, have achieved significant results during the Project implementation: number of members increased on average by 29.3%, members actively engaged in organizational development and management, new tailored services delivered to BMOs members, tangible results achieved in public-private dialogue in terms of enhancing business environment for BMOs members.

The best Project practices will be proliferated in the second phase of the Project which will be implemented during 2020-2023 through expansion of partner organizations up to 20 selected BMOs, representing in particular industry-specific MSMEs BMOs, regional CCIs, universal (inter-sectoral) BMOs, women’s business associations.

The objective of the Project Phase II is to scale-up the support to MSME sector in Ukraine and improve its competitiveness through more professional, demand-driven and client-oriented Business Membership Organizations, which will break the ground for delivering new tailored services for private sector development and support.

The Project will focus on three interconnected components:

(1) assistance to BMOs in strengthening their organizational development: building a professional governance structure, developing an attractive multi-level membership model for small businesses, active engagement of members in new regions, building branch networks, etc;

(2) improving and creating new business-unique services that will ensure financial sustainability of the organization and in general will improve access to and use of business development services by MSMEs;

(3) facilitating active and professional policy-oriented dialogue between public and private sectors aimed at improving business environment and Project participants and partners will represent MSMEs consolidated interests. The Project will serve as a platform for establishing a public-private dialogue.

The project will have a positive impact on the organizational and financial sustainability of business associations, their ability to actively engage new members, to be the hubs of reliable information for thousands of entrepreneurs, provide members with the most requested services, develop constructive cooperation with government institutions, and participate in public policy-making aimed at developing the MSME sector.

2.   Technical assistance to be provided by the Project  

Technical assistance to selected organizations will include the following blocks:

  • In-depth assessment of BMO organizational capacity (organizational diagnostics) to identify the main capacity gaps as well as needs for development and effective operational activity. In the process of diagnostics, the organizational structure, business services to BMOs members, as well as advocacy/PPD activity will be assessed. Assessment will help to identify major barriers to the organization's development and provide recommendations for their overcoming.
  • Designing individualized BMO capacity development plans based on the recommendations made in the process of organizational capacity diagnostics.
  • Support to implementation of comprehensive capacity development programme for each of selected BMOs, in particular through:

·       Training leaders and staff of business associations which will cover (but not limited to) areas such as governance and management of business associations, building an effective organizational structure, personnel management, financial management and accountability, internal and external communication, working with BMO members, retaining and engagement of new members, providing business development for BMO members, policy analysis and advocacy, etc. The training programme will be customized and will focus only on the implementation of identified and agreed organizational changes in partner business associations.

·       Individualized advisory support for selected organizations in three key areas: organizational development, improved service delivery to BMO members, advocacy and public-private dialogue facilitation. Individualized advisory support will focus on completing organizational transformation through development and implementation of mechanisms of sound governance and organizational policies, improving and introducing new services for MSMEs and, ultimately, enhancing MSME representation in public-private dialogue to address the barriers and improve the business climate.

·       Support for other forms and modalities of capacity development including, sharing experience and best practices with other business associations, coaching, mentoring, etc.

·       Support for public-private dialogue activities.


3.   Organizations eligible to receive technical assistance within the Project

The Project expects to select business associations with which it will cooperate on a partnership basis during 2020-2023 for the active development of MSMEs sector in Ukraine.

Organizations eligible to receive technical assistance within the Project: micro, small and medium-sized enterprises business membership organizations, in particular, business associations, chambers of commerce, business unions, business clubs and other small and medium-sized business associations.

The Project envisages to engage:

  • 8 industry-specific BMOs, among which preference may be given to BMOs from organic agriculture, dairy, energy efficiency, wood processing, house management sectors and associations of producers promoting regional food products under local trademarks;
  • 5 regional chambers of commerce and industry;
  • 6 universal (inter-sectoral) BMOs, including:
    • 2 women’s BMOs
    • 2 newly created BMOs (created within 12-24 months before the start of competition selection)
    • At least 1 BMO officially registered and operating in Donetsk or Luhansk oblasts (Government controlled area)

Organizations should meet the basic selection criteria for receiving technical assistance under the project:

  • Officially registered, valid public organization, public association, union (association) of legal entities, chamber of commerce and industry.
  • According to the charter, the main activity of the organization is aimed at the development of business and entrepreneurship.
  • Has non-profit status
  • Number of proved members not less than 20.
  • MSMEs membership representation not less than 70%. Organizations which include only MSME development experts and do not have real, active members shall not be considered.

Organizations will be also evaluated on a competitive basis against the following criteria for the level of organizational capacity and motivation to participate in the Project (a weighted estimate is applied to different categories of business organizations):

1.     Governance structure

2.     Membership and target audience outreach

3.     Leadership

4.     Communication

5.     Advocacy experience

6.     Resources

There will be no costs for the selected BMOs participating in the Project.

4.   Procedure to express the interest to participate in the capacity development programme

To express the interest to participate in the programme the organization should fill in the online-form via the link:

We recommend you prepare the following documents for download before filling out the online-form:

•       a copy of the Charter (one file in PDF format);

•       approved strategic plan in a convenient document format (if available);

•       approved calendar plan in a document format convenient for you (if available);

•       the latest approved annual report in a document format convenient for you (if available).

Closing date for submission: 24 July 2020 inclusive.

Questions about participation in the programme should be sent to

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