Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are of great importance for the development and economic growth of Ukraine’s regions. These enterprises create employment opportunities for many segments of the population and contribute to economic diversification.
The low level of modern business education and the lack of sufficient motivation to open an own business for Ukrainian citizens creates barriers to development. Another obstacle is the presence of gender stereotypes in the society.
According to the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, the average wage gap between men and women is 28% in favour of men.1 Some of these women are single mothers on whom depends the wellbeing of their children and at times even own parents. Women are also recognized by most international organizations as one of the most vulnerable groups of people who suffer the most due to the ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation) in the Eastern Ukraine. These women are forced to leave their homes and look for better living elsewhere. The job search often becomes quite challenging for them.
The project aims to stimulate specific segments of the population to start new businesses and develop existing ones; Provide qualitative knowledge and effective, practical business skills, taking into account the experience gaps between participants, which can be immediately used by participants when writing business plans; Consulting with industry professionals; Creating a communication platform in the form of a virtual Women’s Business Club.
The project is being implemented by GOLOCAL, a partner of the USAID Leadership in Economic Governance Partnership Network, executed by the Eastern Europe Foundation and its partners. Within the framework of the project, it is planned to conduct training for 30 participants, during which they will acquire knowledge and skills for establishing and developing their own business.
The selection of participants will take place in two stages:
- Collection of completed Application forms;
- Conduction of interviews to identify potential participants.
The preliminary training program at the School of SME provides a 6-day course (6 hours per day). It will include such main areas of business and business organization, as:
- Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship;
- Leadership and motivation for entrepreneurial activity;
- Marketing support of the enterprise;
- Financial management of small and medium business;
- Operational management – organization of production and process management in the production and service sectors;
- Social entrepreneurship in small and medium business;
- Project management, ways of attracting investors, creation of business plans;
- State and donor support programs for Internally displaced persons (IDP);
- The Legal Aspects of Gender Equality.
The trainings will result in the development of individual business plans within 2 weeks using the acquired knowledge, methodological materials as well as the support of the mentors from School. The Business plans will be presented before a special commission.
The project will also create online Women’s Business Club to provide opportunities for business information and ideas exchange. The Club will be made in Facebook, where participants will be able to invite their friends and acquaintances for further dissemination of the information and increase in the number of potential entrepreneurs.
- 30 people trained at the School of SMEs;
- 30 prepared business plans ready for implementation;
- Increase in the business activity of certain groups of population;
- Creation of new enterprises;
- Creation of work places;
- Attraction of investments.
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