Digital entrepreneurship tools and support for women entrepreneurs

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Digital entrepreneurship tools and support for women entrepreneurs | Tools für digitales Unternehmertum und Unterstützung für Unternehmerinnen | Инструменти за цифрово предприемачество и подкрепа за жени предприемачи | Alati za digitalno poduzetništvo i podrška poduzetnicama | Ψηφιακά εργαλεία επιχειρηματικότητας και υποστήριξη για γυναίκες επιχειρηματίες | Strumenti di imprenditorialità digitale e sostegno alle donne imprenditrici | Digitālās uzņēmējdarbības rīki un atbalsts sievietēm uzņēmējām | Інструменти цифрового підприємництва та підтримка жінок-підприємців

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Ukraine

National Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Women Entrepreneurs

Impact Measurement – Results of the online survey with digitalization experts

Conclusions from the Local Roundtables with Stakeholders


National Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Women Entrepreneurs

General overview

According to the State Statistics Service in January-December 2021, employment among women in Ukraine was 42.9%, and among men - 56.9%. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the average salary of women in Ukraine was 81.6% of that of men[1]. Gender Inequality Index for Ukraine in 2021 reached 0.2 (49th among 191 countries of the world), the share of seats in parliament (% held by women) in the same year reached 20.8%[2]. The share of women among managers of legal entities in 2020 was 30.45%[3].

Based on the data from January 1, 2021, there were 863,455 female individual entrepreneurs in Ukraine, making up 46.6% of the total number of individual entrepreneurs in the country. In recent years the proportion of women individual entrepreneurs has increased in Ukraine. Comparatively, according to data as of 1 January 2016, women individual entrepreneurs in Ukraine amounted to 44.8%[4].

State support for women's entrepreneurship in Ukraine

Gender government policy / government policy on ensuring equal rights and opportunities is a system of state-level actions aimed at establishing true equality of women and men in all spheres of society. In Ukraine it has been implemented since 01.01.2006 - the moment when the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities of Women and Men" came into force[5]. Legislation is regularly updated.

Examples of promoting women's entrepreneurship in Ukraine

The Center for Small and Medium Business Development operates in Kharkiv. Here women can be trained, given advice on how to start or develop their own business, become a member of a women's business network. The center provides services to all women - whether you are starting a company or want to expand it[6].

The promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment in Ukraine is provided by UNDP - United Nations Development Program, a branch of the United Nations specializing in development[7]. Advice on business organization in the eastern regions of Ukraine is provided by the UNDP program within the project EU Support to Eastern Ukraine. The project provides business development services and advanced training courses.

The Mayor's program for economic growth together with local authorities develops the economy of the regions and creates jobs. Dozens of local administrations in Ukraine participate in this program. And in six of them pilot projects have already been launched. Infrastructure will be developed in Slavutych and the Hlyboka community to support local companies and private entrepreneurs. The purpose of the projects in Baranivka and Dolyna is to help develop agricultural enterprises. In the communities of Severinovka and Novy Mist special attention is paid to the development of tourism.

As part of the EU4Business initiative, a network of 15 Business Information Centers was organized in all regions of Ukraine. In the centers you can get free consultation, take part in training or a workshop. More information can be found at www.bisc.org.ua. There you can also find a complete list of business support centers and their contacts.

Professional communities are being created in Ukraine where women find support[8]. There are professional women's associations:

Ø  Women Who Code Kyiv is a local platform of an international initiative for women programmers. The platform aims to unite women programmers and encourage them to learn and share experiences.

Ø  WTECH is a private club for women leaders in IT, investments and venture business. The aim of the club is to provide a platform for ambitious women to find business partners and investors.

Ø  JurFem is an association of women lawyers of Ukraine. The organization exists to celebrate women's success in the legal profession and to address the challenges that lawyers still face.

Ø  Women's Energy Club of Ukraine is an independent professional association of women working in the energy sector in Ukraine. They seek to create a platform for communication and exchange of experiences between women working in this field.

Ø  The Ukrainian Association of Law Enforcement Representatives is an organization that can be joined by both women and men in order to implement a gender-sensitive policy in law enforcement agencies.

Ø  The public organization "Ukrainian Business Women" is an organization that unites business women and aims to promote the spiritual and economic development of Ukraine, help women to discover their creative potential, as well as support children and youth.

Women's Entrepreneurship Support Projects

Digital Women 2020 - a project to support women's entrepreneurship under the slogan "Digitalize women's businesses around the world" aims to promote women entrepreneurs in three aspects:

1) give them quality business management tools,

2) provide quality educational materials,

3) create a community where they can find support and useful advice.

The EBRD's Women in Business Program. The EBRD program, which will run until 2022, works with small and medium-sized enterprises headed by women and helps them succeed. The program provides access to finance, advises on doing business, conducts training and mentoring programs.

Small and Medium Business Development Center of the Gender Culture Center. The center works with women who already have entrepreneurial experience and are looking to improving their skills, as well as with those who are just about to start a business. The center offers seminars, trainings, business consultations, study visits. You can follow the updates on the page of the partner public organization «Modern Woman».

Support for entrepreneurship during the war

Six projects of the government program "єRobota" started on July 1, 2022, in Ukraine. The projects involve grants for the development of entrepreneurship and training in the field of information technology. As of 29 August 2022, there are already 906 winners in the program. There are 884 projects in the direction of "Own Business", 15 projects to create gardens and greenhouses, and seven projects aimed at the creation of processing enterprises are among the successes[9].

During the martial law, under the State program "Affordable credits 5-7-9%", 11,739 soft loans for 43.45 billion UAH were granted[10]. The purpose of the program: to simplify the access of micro and small businesses to bank lending.

 

[1] State Statistics Service of Ukraine https://ukrstat.gov.ua

[2] https://hdr.undp.org/data-center/documentation-and-downloads

[3] Women and Men in Leadership Positions in Ukraine: 2017-2020. UNDP. 2021.
[4] Foponomika. URLhttps://opendatabot.ua/open/foponomics 26.01.2021
[5] https://www.ua.undp.org/content/ukraine/uk/home/library/ democratic governance / gender-audit-for-NGOs-handbook.html
[8] https://genderindetail.org.ua/community/organizations/profesiyni-zhinochi-asotsiatsii-ta-pidtrimka-zhinochogo-pidpriemnitstva-1341361.html
[9] https://www.facebook.com/mineconomdev/posts/431717025656265
[10]https://mof.gov.ua/uk/news/minfin_za_chas_dii_voiennogo_stanu_v_mezhakh_derzhavnoi_programi_dostupni_krediti_5-7-9_vidano_11_739_pilgovikh_kreditiv_na_4345_mlrd_grn-3579
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Impact Measurement – Results of the online survey with digitalization experts

No.

Name

Position

Email

1.

Ann Shvedova

Entrepreneur

anyuta.shvedova94@gmail.com

2.

Anton Rohovyi

Entrepreneur

npk.asystems@gmail.com

3.

Hlib Sushko

IT Project Manager

sushko.gleb@gmail.com

4.

Helena Lobach

Associate Professor at Strategic Management Department, National Technical University “KhPI”

lmoon0977@gmail.com

5.

Anastasiia Tkachenko

Entrepreneur

anastasiia.tkachenko@nure.ua

 

1. In your opinion, would the implementation of such a training of a digital expert, based on the Curriculum Prototype that has been developed, be effective for women in developing of new digitalization skills and up scaling their businesses?

Five experts answered "Yes", one of them added “Of course, because today any line of business requires certain skills and knowledge of digitalization.”

2. How important is, according to your opinion, such a training on digitalization designed specifically for women entrepreneurs?

One expert answered "Don’t know", one - "Important", one - "Very important", two - "Extremely important". One of the latter added: “Digitalization of business not only provides an opportunity to optimize the company's processes. Today, this is the most important prerequisite for finding customers and building a network for selling products or services. That is why training is the extremely important.”

3. Have you participated, as a trainee, in such training focused on how to support specifically women-led businesses?

Five experts answered “never”, one of them added “unfortunately”.

4. Have you offered, as a trainer/digital expert, training on digitalization specifically designed for female entrepreneurs?

Three experts answered "Once", two answered "More than once".

5. Based on your previous experience, in terms of reduction in time related to certain business tasks, at what rate do you believe that the introduction of digital technology and the adoption of digital tools will benefit women's businesses, on an annual basis?

One expert answered 1% -25%, one - 26% -50%, three - 51% -75%.

6. Based on your previous experience, in terms of cost reduction, at what rate do you believe that the introduction of digital technology and the adoption of digital tools will benefit women's businesses, on an annual basis?

One expert answered 1%-25%, three answered 26%-50%, one answered 76%-100%.

7. Based on your previous experience, in terms of increasing revenues, at what rate do you believe that the introduction of digital technology and the adoption of digital tools will benefit women's businesses, on an annual basis?

Four experts answered 26%-50%, one answered 51%-75%.

8. To what extent, based on your experience, the investment that women will need to make to participate in such a training and to purchase the digitizing equipment and tools they will need for their business is profitable in terms of the benefit they will gain both in time and money through the digitalization of business tasks?

This question was answered by four experts:

“Digitization of business tasks will be beneficial by reducing the time to complete various tasks, such as processing information, orders, and, accordingly, this will lead to an increase in the client base and income.”

“It depends very much on the business, the region, and the preparedness of the client base. The business may not be able to withstand the abrupt transition, or the age group of customers will not accept innovations.”

“Such investments will be quite profitable in terms of remuneration, provided that the knowledge and the skills gained as a result of the training will be applied in the required direction to practice.”

“I believe that certain digital equipment and software are essential for business development in today's world. Starting with the fact that your business customers must be able to pay for services through online banking and ending with the need to advertise their own services. I can't even imagine how long a business can live without such tools.”

 

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Conclusions from the Local Roundtables with Stakeholders

On 20 January 2022 in NTU "KhPI" there was a round table devoted to presentation and discussion of ways of implementation of training program “DIGI Women - ToolKit for Trainers”, aimed at training business-trainers who will teach women - small business entrepreneurs to implement digital technologies. The program was created within the project "DIGI-WOMEN, digital entrepreneurship tools and support for women entrepreneurs" of the European Union program Erasmus+.

Project coordinator - University of National and World Economy, Bulgaria.

Co-executors of the project:

Consulenza Direzionale di Paolo Zaramella, Italy; Greek Association of Women Entrepreneurs - SEGE, Greece; CEBSR - Cluster Experts Baltic Sea Region, Latvia; CEPOR - SMEs and Entrepreneurship Policy Center, Croatia; bit management Beratung GesmbH, Austria; the University of National and World Economy, Bulgaria - the project coordinator.

The event was opened by Khripunov Gennady, vice-rector for scientific and pedagogical work, doctor of technical sciences, professor.

In the presentation of the program Prof. Igor Kononenko showed that as a result of joint work IT technologies were found that allow to bring information about the products of the companies to many consumers, to increase the number of customers, company revenues, to increase labor efficiency. And all this can be implemented in small business.

The curriculum consists of 4 obligatory modules, 4 elective modules that can be chosen from a list of 10 thematic modules and 3 modules of pedagogical skills development.

As a result of active discussion, the participants of the round table suggested a number of directions for the implementation of the program in Kharkiv region.

1. Participants of the roundtable supported the training program and proposed its dissemination and distribution among entrepreneurs using the websites of various foundations and unions.

2. Pyotr Lashyn, director of the Department of Economy and International Relations, Kharkiv Oblast State Administration, suggested adapting the training program for territorial communities in order to prevent migration of able-bodied population.

3. He also suggested that the aspects of the state program "Affordable credits 5-7-9%" to support small and medium business in quarantine be taken into account in the training program.

4. Moiseenko Viktoriya - Head of Digital Skills Development Office of the Department of Digital Transformation of the Kharkiv City Council, drew attention to the relevance of this program and offered informational support to disseminate this program in Kharkiv.

5. The participants of the round table proposed to create a cluster or a club of trainers, training entrepreneurs in business development.

6. Participants of the round table proposed to create certificates for experts and women-entrepreneurs who studied the program.

7. Vadim Kubica, Vice President of the Kharkiv Region Union of Entrepreneurs, supported the training program and suggested that the program be adapted to entrepreneurs of medium and large businesses.

8. Participants of the round table proposed to supplement the program with legal aspects of Ukrainian legislation.

The event was attended by: Director of the Department of Economics and International Relations of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Petro Lashin, Chief Specialist of the Office of Entrepreneurship Development of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Regulatory Policy of the Department of Administrative Services and Consumer Market of the Kharkiv City Council Ksenia Spiridonova, Head of Digital Skills Development Office of the Department of Digital Transformation of the Kharkiv City Council Viktoriia Moiseienko, Head of the sector for work with partners of the Department of Digital Transformation of the Kharkiv City Council Maryna Holovinova, Director of the Kharkiv Regional Fund for Entrepreneurship Support Hryhoriy Panayetov, Vice President of the Kharkiv Region Union of Entrepreneurs Vadym Kubitsa,, Director of the Inter-Business Forum Consulting Company Iryna Davydova,, Professor of Banking and Financial Services Department of S. Kuznets KhNUE Natalia Vnukova, Professor of Software Engineering and Intelligent Technologies Management Department of NTU "KhPI", Executive Director of the Public Association "Ukrainian Scientific and Educational IT Society" Olga Cherednichenko, entrepreneur Yuliya Vykhodets.

 

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Last change: 12/29/22.