03 February 2023

Ivankiv village community will raise money to restore Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum, which was destroyed by Russia’s shelling during the invasion of Kyiv Oblast in March 2022. 

The museum, which held paintings by Mariia Prymachenko and rushnyky (traditional embroidered towels) by Hanna Veres, burned down. Fourteen of the artist’s paintings were saved by local residents, but the embroidered pieces were destroyed. However, many other rushnyky have been preserved in the collections of local craftswomen, Vyshhorod Local History Museum, the personal collection of Yurii Veres (Hanna Veres’ grandson) and in other museums and private collections in Ukraine and around the world. 

In Ivankiv, guests will have a chance to attend weaving workshops, try sculpting the amazing animals depicted in Mariia Prymachenko’s paintings, and enjoy local cheese pancakes. In addition, visitors will be invited to help rebuild the museum complex, and donors to restore the community’s infrastructure damaged due to Russia’s shelling.  

“Right now we don’t have premises to welcome guests and teach them how to weave, but in the spring we can hold such events in the open air. Culture is also important during war,” said Nadiia Biriuk, Culture Department Head at Ivankiv Raion State Administration.Craft workshops will help locals who were under occupation last March to recover psychologically. And having cultural solidarity routes in our community will provide local craftswomen with work, which is very much needed now.” 

The village of Ivankiv in Kyiv Oblast, with its historical and local history museum, weaving traditions, folk painting and cuisine, will become one of the stops on the cultural solidarity routes currently being developed by the Network to Protect the Cultural Heritage of Ukraine through a Solidarity Economy, created with ERA’s assistance last November. The network was established to promote local craft producers, draw attention to restoring cultural monuments, and engage the international community in rebuilding Ukraine. 



25 January 2023

Pavlo and Nataliia Chemerysky from Chernihiv Oblast have been developing their apiary for six years. They don’t sell honey in large batches, but rather create gift boxes with honey and nuts for corporate clients. The family united local beekeepers and created BILAR service cooperative. The Chemeryskys are planning to plant a hazelnut orchard in Chernihiv Oblast.

Two years ago, the Chemeryskys purchased a production facility in Trysviatska Sloboda, Chernihiv Oblast, and began renovating it. However, due to Russia’s shelling in February and March 2022, the workshop was partially damaged, as well as the car and trailer next to it. Restoration work began after Russian troops retreated from Chernihiv.

“Russian troops shelled Trysviatska Sloboda. There were 15 shell remnants near the production facility, and a car, some windows, and the roof were partially damaged, but we will restore it all,” says Pavlo Chemerysky.

Now the couple are establishing cooperation with Vytvirnia farm in Vinnytsia Oblast. Soon they plan to launch and export a new product for children, juice with honey. To meet all export requirements, certificates confirming product quality and safety are required. That’s why Nataliia Chemeryska participated in a consulting program for small and medium-sized enterprises organized with USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) assistance. ERA’s consultant audited the BILAR cooperative and recommended implementing Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards in food production.

“Since we plan to export our joint product, we need to prepare. HACCP is one of the steps towards it. The consultant told us about the requirements for food production, production areas, and compliance with sanitary requirements, which we are going to implement in our premises. We have 35 square meters where we will have a workshop for pumping, packaging and storing honey. In the spring, we will carry out internal work to equip the workshop in accordance with the recommendations,” says Chemeryska.

Growing nuts for their production needs is one more area of development. The Chemeryskys have already planted a walnut orchard in Vinnytsia Oblast, and plan to plant a hazelnut orchard in Chernihiv Oblast.

They are confident that they will make their plans come true. They also believe that Ukraine will win, but in the meantime, businesses should make efforts to support the economic front


11 January 2023

Areal IT company from Kramatorsk, a member of the Eastern Ukrainian IT cluster, created with USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA), offers Ukrainian businesses the opportunity to replace 1C Russian software with its own product, Areal-accounting.

The company has already attracted a new client from Lviv, a representative of the retail and wholesale trade.

“We offer businesses the opportunity to stop using Russian 1C accounting software. Our company has created an alternative, and now we need to convince business to use our IT product. We have already signed an agreement with the owner of a clothing chain that has its own production. This is a new case for us, but we have managed it, so we can continue to cooperate with retailers; we know how to program and set up accounting of goods and warehouse balances,” says Pavlo Zaitsev, Areal director.

Online meetings held by Areal specialists in social networks help to find new customers. The company is currently negotiating with a business from Dnipro and a higher education institution from Poltava which were attracted through such meetings.

Areal moved from Kramatorsk to Lviv last year, and recently hired three IDPs from Kramatorsk and Pokrovsk, Donetsk Oblast, expanding the staff to 10 employees.

“Over the past year, we have not lost any clients from the state, municipal or private sector. We support about a hundred companies with software maintenance. This is very important for us because it helps us get back on track in Lviv, where there is strong competition among local IT specialists. We believe that we will grow significantly this year,” says Zaitsev.


24 December 2022

On December 22, in cooperation with the Reform team under the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine (MEU), Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) held the eighth online dialogue platform “Support for Business in Wartime: Relocation and Recovery”.

About 60 representatives of businesses, Oschadbank, Lviv City Council, and energy efficiency consultants took part. They talked about alternative energy supply for businesses and support programs for small and medium-sized enterprises during war and emergency power outages.

Participants learned about energy equipment import companies.

“Since October, we have supplied the Ukrainian market with more than 19,000 charging stations for lighting homes and supporting small businesses: salons, coffee shops, doctors, garages. We live in conditions when energy is an opportunity to work and be in touch. Now people need small charging stations. We provide an example of how our equipment can be used at home. These stations will make a significant contribution to energy accumulation. The market has increased tenfold; we continue to supply a huge number of generators and predict the growth of energy security for families, as part of forming an energy-independent country. At the same time, we need to invest time and money in educating people how to use electrical appliances,” said Valerii Yakovenko, DroneUA co-founder and representative of EcoFlow.

A delivery company representative described the options for ordering generators and Starlinks in the USA and EU countries.

“We faced enormous challenges with importing power equipment. Later the government lifted the duty on importing such goods. There is a major shortage in the Ukrainian market, so we need imports. We have a program, Shopping, where people can buy goods in the USA and EU at manufacturer’s prices, and we will deliver these goods to Ukraine. Since autumn 2022, stores selling uninterruptible power stations, generators, and Starlinks are the most popular. We use airlines and trucks to deliver this equipment to Ukraine. Orders are increasing, people need communication and electricity. Now in Poland we are accepting rechargeable batteries for shipment, but they must be new,” said Olena Tverdovska, Customer Support Director at Nova Poshta Global.

Businesses can purchase a generator and other equipment for alternative energy supply with a loan from Oschadbank. Such a loan is calculated for a period of 6 to 60 months, and entrepreneurs should contribute at least 30%.

“You can buy equipment abroad and get a deferred payment of up to several months for the period of its delivery. Such loans are taken out by legal entities and entrepreneurs who trade, produce, and provide services. A positive credit history is required. Entrepreneurs from government-controlled and newly liberated territories (except Kherson) can apply for loans. Currently, more than 20 applications worth UAH 18 million have been processed. The average time from submitting a loan application to money disbursement is 7–10 days,” said Andrii Popyk, Head of the Department of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Business at JSC Oschadbank.

Regional programs to assist businesses with electricity supply are currently being implemented in Ukraine. Lviv City Council has introduced relocation vouchers up to UAH 100,000. Entrepreneurs who have re-registered their business in Lviv Oblast can receive this money to reimburse rent for premises. There are also compensation vouchers for partial reimbursement of property damaged by shelling. Lviv City Council offers energy supply vouchers covering up to 50% of the cost of generators, batteries and power banks for small businesses such as coffee shops, bakeries, health centers, hairdressers and other socially important institutions. The business should also perform a social function and become a so-called invincibility point, allowing people to recharge their phones, warm up, and drink hot tea. To reduce the burden, businesses have been exempted from paying advertising tax. Another support program operates in Zakarpattia Oblast. Oschadbank signed a memorandum with Zakarpattia Oblast Administration, which pays 30% of loans for the client.

Anton Shapkovskyi, Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Consultant of  USAID Municipal Energy Reform Project in Ukraine, spoke about compliance with requirements for installing generators in industrial premises and on the street.

“Now people are starting to return equipment for repair due to non-compliance with operating requirements. Generators are placed near pharmacies or shops on the street, under the windows of neighboring houses. This can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as the risk of electric shocks due to damaged cables; often such installations are not earthed, and pedestrians can be injured. It is necessary to ensure that fumes are properly ventilated away from people and apartments,” said Shapkovskyi.

Participants also learned why homemade equipment should not be used instead of  bought equipment. For safety reasons, it is advisable to use certified equipment for charging speed, especially for powering expensive devices. It is possible to import energy equipment from the USA and EU, and resumption of  supplies from China is planned in February. Participants also discussed inevitable changes in energy supply that are necessary to restore a sustainable new economy of Ukraine.



20 December 2022

Roman Burdzhanadze had to leave his apiary behind under temporary occupation in Luhansk Oblast. He and his family moved to a village in  Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and decided to create an apiary from scratch. Now he is preparing new hives, where he plans to settle bee colonies in spring.

Burdzhanadze had been developing an industrial apiary of 200 hives for five years, which brought him a stable income. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine forced the family to leave their home and business in early March. On the second day of the war, Russia’s forces occupied the area and the apiary, blocking Burdzhanadze’s access, so he was unable to take anything with him.

Once in the village of Bulakhivka, Pavlohrad Raion, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Burdzhanadze started thinking about restoring his apiary. USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) assisted him in preparing a business plan and winning a grant of UAH 250,000 from the state ERobota program. The beekeeper used it to purchase wood for hives, frames, bee packages and other equipment. He also hired two IDPs who had worked at his apiary at home.

“A beekeeper is busy even in winter. Now we are preparing hives in the workshop, and painting them for the new season so we can bring bees in the spring. Here in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast there are good honey plants, herbs, acacia trees, forests and rivers, so I hope to get delicious honey,” says Burdzhanadze.

Burdzhanadze started to get to know local beekeepers, asking them where he could buy high-quality beeswax. When he could not find any wax locally, he applied for and received a grant from the Danish Refugee Council for 15,000 euros to purchase beeswax production equipment. The equipment is produced by a manufacturer from Kharkiv Oblast whose plant was damaged by shelling, but the order from Burdzhanadze was accepted, and now a line for wax production is being prepared.

“I think not only I need this wax, but many beekeepers in the region too.  Once I have my own production, I will be able to meet their needs. I expect to receive the equipment soon, and will launch the line next year. I will be able to produce up to 5,000 kg of wax per month,” Burdzhanadze says.

The beekeeper has applied to Mezheritska community in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to purchase premises (a workshop) at auction, where he plans to set up wax production. Burdzhanadze believes he will succeed because he has his favorite business, bees, and faith in victory. He is looking forward to spring to create a new powerful apiary, with 120 already prepared hives.


06 December 2022

Olena Briukhovets, an entrepreneur from Myrnohrad (Donetsk Oblast), together with other members of an eastern Ukraine food cluster moved their facilities to Ivano-Frankivsk. Now several businesses from the east are already operating in a new location.

Until February, Olena Briukhovets was developing her business in Myrnohrad. Her company produced frozen semi-finished products – varenyky (dumplings), pancakes, stuffed cabbage rolls and cutlets. These were sold in shops in several cities of the region. She also had a hot food selling point in the local hospital.

Briukhovets made the decision to relocate her business after participating in online dialogue platforms for small and medium-sized businesses held since April by USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA). Several entrepreneurs agreed to relocate their production along with her.

“Under the relocation program, I was offered a railway carriage with a lot of space, so I invited other entrepreneurs. They are all members of Donetsk Oblast Food Cluster, which was created in 2019. I took everything I needed to make semi-finished products; entrepreneurs from Sloviansk moved their coffee shop and confectionery production, and a cheese producer moved from Kramatorsk.”

The three businesses from Donetsk Oblast moved to Ivano-Frankivsk in early June. Briukhovets looked for a place in other regions, traveling around Ukraine checking premises, conditions, and prices. Finally she decided on Ivano-Frankivsk as it is a long way from active fighting, and there is potential for business development.

For several months, the entrepreneurs repaired the rented premises to meet food production conditions: water, tiles, and stainless surfaces for cooking.

Recently, one of the relocated businesses – a coffee and confectionery shop – started working. Briukhovets is completing preparatory work and plans to start manufacturing her products in December. She will sell both frozen semi-finished products and ready meals such as hot sandwiches and pitas. She also plans to produce dried soups and borshch, which just need hot water for a finished dish to be ready in minutes. She believes that during long power and water cuts, such a fast food product can be very popular.

“During these few months that I have been here, I have been studying local demand. I see that there is a higher culture of food consumption. People do not need just a quick meal at an affordable price, they also want it to be tasty and beautiful,” says the entrepreneur.

Briukhovets is not afraid of competition. She does not know when she will return home, but she believes that both Myrnohrad and Donetsk, which she left in 2014, will be free and live under the Ukrainian flag