The European Union provides Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses with affordable loans, grants for research and innovation, consultations on business development and partner search abroad. Go to “Small and Medium Business Map” to learn how to get this support.
The European Union provides financial assistance to not only the state of Ukraine, but supports also a range of programs for Ukrainian entrepreneurs.
The problem is that not all companies know that such programs exist, especially in regions. Only dynamic entrepreneurs, who can not just sit and wait – e.g. the characters of the special project “BusinEC together” – Nazar Romaniv, co-founder of the company producing juices “Sady Prykarpattya” (Subkarpathian Gardens), Alexey Mykytko – co-founder of Lviv-based printing company “Diz-Art”, or Illya Verkholyak – co-founder of gingerbread workshop “Yurashky” – are aware of those and have even used possibilities provided.
With the purpose of correcting the gap and inform entrepreneurs about all programs supported by the European Union, EU4Business initiative has launched ”The map of possibilities for the small and medium enterprises”. Information is provided there as to which banks offer loans on favourable terms, how a grant for an innovation of business-project can be received, how to invite a practicing consultant for a reasonable fee or how to visit a similar European company.
Where can you find money for business
Credits provided by EU4Business
The EU4Business initiative for supporting the small and medium enterprises is running for several years in Ukraine. It is co-financed by the European Union and implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the German Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank and other partners.
Initiative consists of several tools oriented at SME (small and medium enterprises) development, amongst which are the lending programs (Ukrainian banks are still often hesitate to credit small companies). They are connected to six banks and one leasing company.
For example, a loan at the rate of 14.8% can be received in the frameworks of one of programs.
And in Kyiv, the program is supported by Kyiv city state administration – it compensates the half of interest payments, therefore the loan is accessible at 7-10% rate. Soon, such possibility will be available in Ternopil oblast, in Kharkiv and in other regions.
Grants by Horizon 2020 for a technology-oriented business
Horizon 2020 is the European Union program, which provides grants for scientific investigations and innovations. One of its components is the special subprogram for technology companies and start-ups, in the frameworks of which a grant for the amount of up to EUR 2.5 could be made available.
Only an innovative company whose product “solves economic, industrial or social problems” and could be upscaled to the global market has chances to receive money.
This is a classic grant program: the European Union does not claim any company’s share or a percentage of income.
Detailed information on funding programs and their conditions is available on the portal “Opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises”.
How to gain experience and to avoid at least some business-related mistakes
Business-consultants and practicing consultants
As part of the EU4Business initiative, there are also consultants’ assistance programs – both Ukrainian and foreign. And the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will reimburse them from 50 to 90% of the cost of the consulting project upon its completion.
Consultants can be invited for different types of projects, for example to develop business strategies, deploy IT systems, develop communication strategies, market positioning, product branding, to conduct market research or prepare the product certification.
It is true that the amount of grant payment is limited: from EUR 10 to 60 thousand; it depends on the program chosen by the entrepreneur.
An experience exchange program for entrepreneurs
Ukraine has joined the European Union’s COSME program in 2017. One of subprograms available to Ukrainian companies is Erasmus, the purpose of which is to share experience amongst young entrepreneurs.
Ukrainian businessmen who have just registered an enterprise (for businesses existing less than three years) can visit under the exchange program a successful company in Europe and learn how to properly conduct business.
The program covers travel and accommodation expenses for a Ukrainian businessman.
Detailed information on consulting programs and experience exchange programs is available on the portal “Opportunity Map for Small and Medium Enterprises”.
How to be sure that the business is entirely legal
The Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) has started its operation in Ukraine three years ago with the support of the European Union. This is an advisory non-governmental organization working in tandem with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, helping the authority to simplify the business regulation rules in Ukraine.
Thanks to the Office, an integrated online portal and the businesses audit database was launched. Any company or FLP (self-employed individual) can enter the portal and see if they are included in the state agencies’ inspection plans for 2019, as well as see a comprehensive list of questions, which might be asked by inspectors.
Another important initiative simplifying entrepreneurs’ existence is the step-by-step instructions on how to open a business in Ukraine in a certain sector.
Over 100 cases are already available on the Office portal. For example, here is a list of documents required to register a coffee house, a yoga studio, a family doctor’s office, a taxi service or tire service shop. Entrepreneur entering the portal will immediately find all the necessary phases, procedures and requirements to start his own business.
By Iryna Gudz
Source – delo.ua