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EU4Business launches COVID-19 Business Clinics to help Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) respond to the strained economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is jointly financed by the EU and the German government and implemented by GIZ.

Due to the pandemic, most of the enterprises in Ukraine face enormous challenges and are forced to adapt to the new reality. According to the recent poll «Ukrainian Business Index», supported by GIZ, 13% of polled Ukrainian entrepreneurs did manage to adapt to the new conditions, while another 19% are currently re-profiling their enterprises. Special knowledge and skills are required to develop or start a business in such conditions. As for educational topics 37% of entrepreneurs are interested in market research, 28% in Internet resources as an instrument for export, 25% in financial issues and marketing, 24% would like to know more about export strategy. COVID-19 Business Clinics are aimed to satisfy the needs of Ukrainian SMEs to survive the crisis.

“Nowadays, many entrepreneurs face the challenge of maintaining their businesses in the quickly changing COVID-19 conditions. The EU strives to help Ukrainian SMEs overcome the current crisis; this is why we support Business Clinics to provide entrepreneurs with useful information, advice and expertise they may lack in these difficult times”, says Chloé Allio, Head of Operations Section - Economic Cooperation, Energy, Infrastructure and Environment, EU Delegation to Ukraine.

The Business Clinics will operate in the next six months offering a range of free of charge online services that include: short individual and group consultancy, webinars, trainings and forums, vouchers for in-depth business consultancy.

The consultancy will be focused on business strategy, marketing, innovation, digitalisation, export and available support instruments from the government and other organisations. In addition, selected applicants will be provided with a voucher amounting to UAH 30.000,00 for in-depth counselling. This means experts will work with a particular company to individually solve its specific tasks and increase productivity. The first COVID-19 Business Clinics in Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Chernihiv and Mykolaiv already offer support to Ukrainian entrepreneurs.

Each of the Business Clinics has a regional specialisation. However, participants from all parts of Ukraine can benefit from this support, regardless of their location or the location of a selected Business Clinic, as most of the services are provided online. SMEs from different sectors, including individual entrepreneurs, are welcomed to participate. Entrepreneurs will need to select a format of services they are interested in and contact the Clinic. To explore the opportunities of each COVID-19 Business Clinic please visit the website COVID-19 Бізнес-клініки відкриті для бізнесу or follow the events announcements on Facebook.

For additional information, please contact the GIZ Programme Director, Mr Benjamin Klinger, at the email address: Benjamin.Klinger@giz.de.

Background information

The COVID-19 Business Clinics are being created on the basis of Business Information Support Centres, which have been established in the framework of EU4Business since 2017. Clinics operate from February 2021 till September 2021 as part of the EU-funded project “EU4Business: SME competitiveness and internationalisation” implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Its objective is to create better conditions for the development of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises, support innovation and export promotion, resulting in sustainable and equitable economic growth. As part of the Team Europe approach, the initiative will also contribute to Ukraine’s COVID-19 recovery.

The Survey “Ukrainian Business Index” was conducted among the business community from October 2020 till December 2020 to identify the impact of the economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and business expectations. 1496 owners and managers of Ukrainian SMEs participated in the survey. The survey was executed by the SheExports platform in cooperation with Gradus Research and the Advanter Group in the framework of the project “Utilization and implementation of the Association Agreement EU-Ukraine in the sphere of trade”, which is implemented by GIZ.

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