MIM-Kyiv Hosted EU4Business Week in Ukraine

14 July 2016

MIM-Kyiv Business School together with Handicraft Chamber of Ukraine and Business Development Group held EU4Business Week on July 11 – 15, 2016. The week was aimed at encouraging Ukrainian business associations and entrepreneurship supporting organizations to participate in the private – public dialogue (PPD) and to present new advocacy tools. The event started with the presentation of the «SME Policy Index» by OECD.

Prof. Iryna Tykhomyrova welcomed the participants. “We are privileged to work together with the influential European organizations which care about Ukraine’s development. SME Index has special importance for our entrepreneurs, SMEs associations and the state. We hope that this week will result in improvement of the SME sector and bettering of understanding between the sector and government and legislators,” said she. Mr. Volodymyr Semenikhin from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine joined her welcome and stressed that Eastern Partnership countries’ experience reflected on the SME index was of special importance for Ukraine. “The Index is a good instrument to measure our competitiveness against our neighbors,” said he.

Ms. Michaela Hauf and Ms. Simone Rave from the European Commission explained how important the SME index was. Ms. Meryem Torun and Mr.Daniel Quadbeck from OECD presented the methodology and results of the research. It was mentioned that Ukraine was implementing wide scale deregulation program, e-government services and promoting entrepreneurship. On the other hand lack of access to funding restricted entrepreneurial development. Thus, the recommendations as to encouraging the competitiveness of Ukrainian economy and its sustainable development, and creation of the “even ground” for all businesses and investors as well were developed. Ms. Anastasia Baklan, Public Private Dialogue Network informed about CIPE open tender to transfer SME National Platform web resource which could be a good PPD vehicle. Mr. Lubomyr Chorniy, USAID, LEV program shared his experience of PPD in Ukraine. He paid special attention to the urgent need of targeted assistance. He also presented the research of business support organizations (BSOs) and working list of such organizations. Mr. Christian Gessl, East Invest II moderated the day. He also discussed PPD for the Eastern Partnership countries, and cooperation between the countries participants.

On the next day of the EU4Business week SMEs’ Donors Forum was held. Such organizations as UNDP, EBRD, USAID (Leadership in Economic Governance program), CIPE, Horizon 2020 told about European SME support organizations presented their entrepreneurs’ support programs and discussed how Ukrainian entrepreneurs can benefit from such programs.

Mr. Andriy Zaika, UNDP presented the joint project of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and Swiss Confederation Government aimed at reinforcement of the SMEs sector development with the help of business organizations thus providing for more efficacy and sustainability of the sector. Mr. Boris Filipov, Delegation of the European Commission analyzed Ukrainian SMEs capacity and challenges they are facing. He also mentioned that Ukraine was one of the EU priorities and it was high time to get the opportunities.

Ms. Catherine Rigg, EBRD focused on the consulting activities. She explained who could answer many questions, how to bring financial reporting in line with the IFRS or find funding or hire a good expert or put quality management in place. She also explained the requirements to the potential EBRD projects participants.

Mr. Eric Hontz, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) presented the organization and its role in the enhancement of the business associations. Mr. Lubomyr Chorniy, presented the LEV program aimed at the establishment of the Private Public Dialogue and fostering institutional capacities of the SMEs associations. The program is active on the national and local levels, and work closely to reform the SME legal framework.

Dr. Volodymyr Matyushko talked about the opportunities with the Horizon 2020, the EU largest program worth of € 80 billion and a powerful catalyzer of the private investments. He explained how Calls for Papers work and consulted participants on SMEs participation in the Horizon 2020 as well.

The afternoon was devoted to the SME Policy Index Round table. Ms. Michaela Hauf, European Commission and Mr.Daniel Quadbeck, OECD commented on each suggestion of the discussion participants. In particular, they mentioned that the Index may become a good tool to find the ways to develop the SMEs sector and promote the PPD. Mr. Giorgi Bezitashvili shared Georgian experience where the coalition of the SMEs association got its voice which is heard by the public sector.

The discussions were followed by the 3 day seminars and workshops aimed at training, coaching and motivating the BSOs and raising awareness on the importance of good analytics in advocacy and Public Private Dialogue among all stakeholders as well .