About a thousand people have improved their business skills; 112 of them have received grant support in the form of equipment needed to start a business and have created 71 new jobs. Another 43 existing businesses have been granted free equipment that enabled them to create 207 new jobs. These are the key results of the two-year USAID Project “Economic Opportunities for People Affected by Conflict” that was implemented by the Ukrainian Women's Fund. The activity was implemented in Vinnytsya, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts.
“The Project helped create economic opportunities for people affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine by developing entrepreneurial skills for small business. And I believe that we have achieved the goal”, said Susan Fritz, USAID Mission Director to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, in her welcoming speech.
The Project helped create economic opportunities for people affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine and focused on two objectives –job creation in partnership with existing businesses and business skills development for people affected by conflict, including internally displaced persons, ATO veterans, people with disabilities, etc. The training program was developed in partnership with Business Arena; the latter also prepared a team of regional trainers.
Natalia Karbovska, the Project Director of Economic Opportunities for People Affected by Conflict, assured that even though the Project was completed, the Ukrainian Women's Fund and 8 partner organizations, that operated micro-business support centres within the Project, would continue their work and support the development of small business in the regions. Natalia pointed out that 4 000 legal consultations were provided to entrepreneurs during the Project.
USAID Mission Director to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova Susan Fritz said that two new USAID projects totalling $120 million would be launched soon in eastern Ukraine. The activities will aim at improving economic opportunities and governance, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, and strengthening public trust in government.
The Forum was attended by honourable guests, including Heorhiy Tuka, Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine; Ella Slepian, First Deputy Head of Zaporizhzhia Regional State Administration; Valeriy Edeliev, Zaporizhzhia Deputy Mayor on Activity of Executive Authorities; and Tetyana Koshechko, Deputy Director of Zaporizhzhia Regional Employment Office.
The project website (www.eopac.org.ua) will also continue to work. Besides the stories of project participants, it also offers some helpful business success tips.
You can watch stories of the Project participants on the YouTube channel of the Ukrainian Women's Fund at https://ukr.wf/eopac