26 April 2023

On April 21, in cooperation with the Reform team under the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine (MEU), the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) conducted the 2nd Workshop on Grant Writing Skills, in the framework of the information dialogue platform “Support for Business in Wartime: Relocation and Recovery.” Over 90 participants, who included representatives of business and chambers of commerce and industry, attended the online workshop, which was dedicated to seeking out grant opportunities and filling out grant applications. The goal of the event was to help businesses search for grants to support their recovery and development, and increase the capacity of entrepreneurs to prepare applications for specific grants, and motivate them to attract grant funding.

The workshop addressed the issues of attracting grant resources as an additional source of financing for business development.  ERA`s consultant Nadiia Yeremenko spoke about existing programs and grants available to businesses through using the Grant eCalendar. She noted that in addition to national and international grant programs, there are also regional business support programs, including vouchers for real estate rental, innovative activities, and the purchase of generators.

“Grants are an additional resource opportunity to use to develop or restore a business, and can be found via several resources. For the convenience of entrepreneurs, our team has created an eCalendar where we have collected information to access government and donor grants. The calendar is easy to use on a smartphone,” said Yeremenko.

An official representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mykhailo Dodurych introduced the participants to the support programs and conditions for receiving grants from IOM in 2023.

“I would recommend reading the application requirements carefully, preparing high-quality applications and presentations, keeping a business plan at hand at all times, communicating with the relevant program coordinator, and using the funds transparently and responsibly,” said Dodurych.

Participants asked questions such as whether it is possible to reapply for an IOM grant, to hire people abroad, whether an individual farmer can apply even when they have no employees, if the grant is open to NGOs or chambers of commerce, and if it is possible to employ relatives under the grant. 

ERA`s consultant Iryna Fishchuk spoke about the grant program which is supporting veterans and their families, and noted that applications can be submitted by both existing entrepreneurs and those who only have an idea to start a business.

“Under this grant, veterans or their family members can buy equipment, raw materials, animals, seedlings, purchase a franchise, pay rent, and procure other services to implement the grant. So, it is very convenient for both existing businesses and new entrepreneurs. For three years, the applicant will be monitored and will have to report on the jobs created, etc.”, said Fishchuk.

She advised them to prepare applications responsibly, “live through” each stage of the process, analyze the figures provided by the entrepreneur every time, and prepare for the interview.   In addition to receiving these practical tips on grant application, the workshop participants also took part in a workshop focused on using the Grantee’s Way tool, and analyzed the stages of filling out an application. The next session under the “Support for Business in Wartime: Relocation and Recovery” platform will take place on May 11 and will focus on how Ukrainian businesses can get free assistance from a consultant of the Senior Expert Service, a leading German organization that brings together experienced professionals and helps Ukrainian companies with technology, investment, and marketing, etc.