Estonian Refugee Council and Garage48 together with "Unity for the Future" Charitable Fund have been co-organising a women's entrepreneurship program in eastern Ukraine since 2019. The Empowering Women Entrepreneurship Program supports women who are in a vulnerable condition as a result of the Donbass conflict, in becoming entrepreneurs. This program is one of a kind in Ukraine and has provided a 100% success in creating family and micro businesses led by women, that are providing a livelihood for their families.
Our third program is re-opened for registration since May 24th and welcoming women who have lost their livelihood due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and who are located in Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kyiv (excluding Kyiv city), Kirovohrad and Cherkasy oblasts.
Through a series of open workshops, two interactive entrepreneurship programmes, submission of business plans and a mentoring programme lasting 6 months, we want to support new and existing businesses in becoming sustainable and crisis-resilient.
The program is open for registration and the open workshops start on July 2nd: see the programme and registration information here!
We're looking for partnerships to support more women in Ukraine as they rebuild their future. We have stretched the current program budget to accommodate 160 business teams led by women. We can give out 31 start-up grants. With partner's contribution we wish to give out more start-up grants and support more women in Ukraine in starting their business.
Our experiences in eastern Ukraine
Empowering Women entrepreneurship programme in eastern Ukraine has been 100% succesful in the first two years. Within two years, 380 women took part in the program. 29 businesses were created and they were operating succesfully across eastern Ukraine, most of them in Donetsk oblast. Several businesses were hiring additional people and supporting the development of the local community. As a result of the program, most families' income increased two times. The first program was an on-site event with 70 participants in Zaporizhzhia. Due to covid-19, the second program was fully virtual, with 180 participants.
This January we met with the women leading and growing their businesses in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. You can read more from Garage48 blog and Eesti Päevaleht article, written by Tuuli Jõesaar. After the escalation of war on 24 February 2022, many women who took part in previous programmes have found ways to continue with their businesses despite everything. You can read their stories from Estonian Refugee Council's website.
Our goal is to support as many Ukrainian superwomen as we can!
Empowering Women entrepreneurship program is open for women in Ukraine with new business ideas and already existing businesses that need further support for moving forward. Program participants can apply for three start-up grants.
- 1000 EUR – average start-up grant for a new individual business led by a woman in Ukraine
- 2500 EUR – average start-up grant for a new business led by a team of women in Ukraine
- 3500 EUR – average start-up grant for an existing business led by a woman in Ukraine
The grants are given out in the form of equipment and tools necessary to start or develop their businesses.
We're looking at increasing the start-up grants monetary pool for at least 30 more teams, this means 30-60 000 €. We will be bringing this grants fund together through various partnerships and we are glad to have your contribution!
We are also expanding our mentor's pool and welcoming mentors who are ready to contribute to women entrepreneurship in Ukraine - to join us at the entrepreneurship trainings and 6-months mentoring programme, on a pro-bono basis
Please use the online form on this page to let us know about your interest.
Want to discuss first? You may book a time through Kadri Kõivik's Calendly or contact us directly via e-mail or phone:
- Kadri Kõivik, email@example.com, +372 5669 8471
- Eero Janson, firstname.lastname@example.org, +372 517 4334