Ukraine: How to help your business recover after COVID

September 9, 2021

  • COVID hit my business badly. Where can I get some financing to recover?
  • How do I apply for a bank loan? What are the requirements?
  • I’ve heard about loans, but are grants also available to small companies?
  • The pandemic showed that there is sustainable demand for my business. How can I get knowledge, advice and skills needed to scale up my business?
  • I think exporting to the EU could help my business recover. Where do I start?
  • Are there SMEs like me that got help?
Card %1 of %2

COVID hit my business badly. Where can I get some financing to recover?

The EU offers financing and guarantees to local financial institutions to unlock lending. This makes it possible for the local lender to provide more affordable financing to SMEs. For instance, you could benefit from lower-interest loans, longer repayment terms, lower collateral requirements, and loans based in hryvnia instead of foreign currencies. Check what these banks in Ukraine have to offer: Bank Lviv, KredoBank, OTP Leasing, ProCredit Bank, Raiffeisen, Agroprosperis Bank, Credit West, Ukrgazbank, Oschadbank, Ukreximbank. Click here to browse consolidated information about access to finance opportunities under the EU4Busines Initiative.

Ukraine: How to help your business recover after COVID

Here are some examples of SME owners who benefited:

Ivan Semenyuk and Andriy Pavlikovsky from Vinnytsia, co-founders of GPS PRO, leased a commercial car under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line through OTP Leasing and also received a grant worth 10% of the cost of the car, or about €1,670 on a 2-year lease.

Oleksiy Dashyvets from Donetsk leased a modern tractor worth some UAH 2 million through the FinancEast Programme implemented by the Entrepreneurship Development Fund under the EU4Business Initiative. He bought the tractor through OTP Leasing using a 3-year loan at 16% interest—plus, half that loan was covered by the Fund.

How do I apply for a bank loan? What are the requirements?

The EU offers a wide range of options for different types of SMEs. Whether your enterprise is micro, with fewer than 10 employees, small meaning 10-50 employees, or medium with 51-250 employees, you may be eligible for support. The EU also provides concessionary loans to SMEs in the agri-food sector, manufacturing, services, real estate, tourism, and IT. And it has special terms for rural SMEs and low-income households.

You can check the conditions for each partner bank on the EU4Business website and just call the bank directly. Remember to mention the programme. Very simple!

I’ve heard about loans, but are grants also available to small companies?

Yes, there are!

If you are an SME with an innovative idea, check the opportunities available under the Horizon Europe programme. This is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation, and has a budget of €95.5 billion. Maybe your idea will change the world!

If you are an entrepreneur from the Eastern Ukraine, both programmes with the grant component – EU Support to the East of Ukraine: Recovery, Peacebuilding and Governance programme implemented by the UNDP and EU Support to the East of Ukraine implemented by KfW – may help you receive the much-needed assistance to grow your business in the conflict-affected community.

The “EU4Business: SME Competitiveness and Internationalization” programme will also offer grants to support the further development of SMEs in Ukraine amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic showed that there is sustainable demand for my business. How can I get knowledge, advice and skills needed to scale up my business?

To support SMEs like yours, the EU considers training and consultancy a key priority. For this reason, it provides considerable funding for business development services in Ukraine. The EU assists local business associations and agencies, leading to SME growth. Just check all the available business development opportunities, pick the one that suits your needs, and get in touch directly with the organisation!

For example, COVID-19 Business Clinics have recently opened to help businesses to cope with the impact of the pandemic. They provide online services and consultancy on business strategy, marketing, innovation, digitalisation, and exporting, and information about the kind of support available from the government and other organisations. To participate, just contact the COVID-19 Business Clinic nearest you under the link.

Through the Merezha online platform, you can read about case studies, participate in online events, get answers and advice from leading experts in marketing and communications, exports, certification, lean manufacturing, finance, HR, systemising business processes, franchising, and much more! Pick your topic and go for it!

If you are an entrepreneur from the Eastern Ukraine, both programmes – EU Support to the East of Ukraine: Recovery, Peacebuilding and Governance programme implemented by the UNDP and EU Support to the East of Ukraine implemented by KfW – may help you receive the much-needed assistance to grow your business in the conflict-affected community.

The “EU4Business: SME Competitiveness and Internationalization” programme will also offer training to support the further development of SMEs’ ecosystem of Ukraine amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women-led businesses may benefit from the EU4Business Women in Business Advisory Programme implemented by the EBRD to access know-how to transform their businesses. This covers a wide range of topics, from the technical knowledge to build a website, for example, or to introduce a quality management system that meets ISO standards, improve energy efficiency or improve Human Resources management. These usually involve working with qualified local consultants with a portion of the net costs reimbursed.

You can even make sure your voice is heard in the national reform process and help your government to better understand issues affecting SMEs like yours! Just check the business enabling environment activities supported by the EU.

I think exporting to the EU could help my business recover. Where do I start?

Indeed, that’s a great way to scale up your business! And we have something interesting to offer.

The EU4Business: Connecting Companies project supports SMEs with exports going to EU countries. You can apply for training, coaching and even matchmaking with businesses in the EU.

The EU4Business Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk will facilitate you in identifying trade obstacles and better understanding regulatory and procedural issues in trading goods and services. Soon, this one-stop-shop online platform will be available that will offer access to trade information (tariffs, non-tariff measures, taxes, trade statistics and procedures).

Are there SMEs like me that got help?

There are more than you can imagine! Over 2019-2020, 12,123 SMEs in Ukraine received support through the EU4Business Initiative. A total of 1,757 entrepreneurs received loans for a total value of €223.59 million under EU programmes that support SMEs. Over 5,663 consultancy services were delivered to SMEs. The income of these supported SMEs rose by 28.6% in 2020 or almost €883 million, and 20,380 new jobs were generated as a result of this support in 2020 alone.

Here are some success stories from SMEs like yours:

Lidia Khyla from Melitopol won a business grant from the UNDP under the EU4Business Initiative to open her own Shveikamlt Tailor Shop. She also won third place in the Big Stories about Small Businesses competition and received financial assistance to promote her business.

Yevhen Erik and his SolarGaps company received a grant of €50,000 as a part of the Climate Innovation Vouchers project, organised by the NGO Greencubator with support from the EBRD and the European Union. This climate voucher helped to develop a B2C version of the blinds and to get them certified for the EU market.

The Ukrainian blueberry growers went co-op with the support of ITC and EU4Business, together with the Ukrainian Berry Association. Today, the co-op covers a total of ​​250 hectares, and this year member companies exported 38.4 tonnes of berries to the United Arab Emirates.

Click here for more success stories to learn about Ukrainian SMEs that are doing business in many different areas and have benefitted from EU support.

Embed

Interested in the latest news and opportunities?

This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.

The information on this site is subject to a Disclaimer and Protection of personal data.
© European Union,