On November 27, 2017, a regional Forum on "Economic Opportunities for People Affected by Conflict” was held in Dnipro, during which the interim annual results of the USAID project with a similar name were presented.
The main theme of the Forum was the results of the project implementation for the year. During the Forum, the winners of the grant competition were presented, which not only created or developed their businesses, but also created jobs for those who were affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Also, during the Forum, a second grant competition was announced for businesses planning for expansion and employment of IDPs, demobilized ATO participants and other persons who have been significantly affected by the conflict.
Today, the region is urgently facing the issue of creating new jobs, launching new entrepreneurial initiatives that would contribute to solving problems related to employment of the population.
It is for this purpose that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched in August 2016 the project "Economic Opportunities for the victims of conflict", which aims to help people affected by conflict to establish or move small businesses and increase the capacity of participants from business / private sector that provides support to people affected by conflict - internally displaced persons, demobilized servicemen and members of host communities, including women and people with disabilities.
The project works in two directions: helping to create new jobs and developing skills of people affected by the conflict, as well as creating or moving a small business.
Project Director Natalia Karbovska, opening the Forum, noted that Dnipropetrovsk region has always been a unique region that showed brilliant business skills. Therefore, the Project Director expressed confidence that the Project will continue to be successful in Dnipro and soon the city will be enriched with a number of new business initiatives that will help expand the opportunities for both internally displaced people and local communities.
Project Coordinator in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Oksana Miroshnychenko presented the results of the Project implementation in the region for the year, noting that Dnipropetrovs'k region is the most active region in terms of the number of applications submitted from the current business for the grant competition. Also, Ms. Miroshnychenko expressed the hope that the small and medium region business will continue to actively develop, employ IDPs and demobilized ATO participants and other people affected by the conflict.
Advisor of the Ministry of Social Policy in Dnipropetrovsk region Georgiy Bibik presented the results of cooperation between the state authorities of Dnipropetrovsk region and the Project on issues of information support and employment of IDPs. He also presented the results of the working visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, during which representatives of state authorities, local authorities and other government agencies learned about the country's experience in resolving the problems of internally displaced persons during and after the end of the armed conflict. It was especially emphasized that Ukraine is solving the problems of IDPs much faster and more actively than it was done in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, there are existing practices that will be useful in Ukraine. In particular, this concerns the support of IDPs’ businesses and initiatives to integrate them into local communities.
Their success stories were presented by the winners of grant competitions within the framework of the project Vardan Sukiassian (System Group LLC, production of steel flanges), Nadia Linienko (2х2 Mathematical Studio), Irina Miroshnik (Miss Iriska Confectionery Workshop), Olga Varakuta (coffee shop with own baking "Kofeolia") and Ivan Kazaev (Physical Therapy, Craniosacral and Yoga Therapy "Elements").
Yanna Matviychuk, the national partner of the project, LLC "Business Arena" told about the program of support for the winners of the contest for the current business and emphasized the importance of mentoring and coaching support that is provided to the grantors within the project.
Project Coordination Milena Goryachkovska has announced a grant component of component 1 "Promoting job creation and skills development for for people affected by conflict " and encouraged business in Dnipropetrovsk region to participate actively in the grant competition.
Summing up the Forum, the team of consultants-trainers of the Center for Support of Micro-business and Self-Employment of the Dnipropetrovsk region, created on the basis of the NGO "Women's Information Coordination Center", thanked all participants of the Forum and expressed hope that the next year of the project implementation will be no less fruitful and interesting, than the previous one.