The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development opened its new regional office in Ukraine’s second largest municipality Kharkiv with EU financial support under the EU4Business initiative. It will serve as the Bank’s regional hub in the east of the country, known as Ukraine’s industrial powerhouse. The new office will add depth and strength to the EBRD business in Ukraine and will ease access to expert advice for small and medium-sized businesses (SME) located in the area.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €12 billion through 369 projects since the start of its operations in the country in 1993.
In the context of the opening the Bank’s second regional office in Ukraine, the EBRD and the EU announced partners, which will manage business support centres across Ukraine under the EU4Business Initiative. They will become operational in the first half of 2017 in 15 locations around the country, including Kharkiv. The centres will increase SMEs’ awareness of opportunities available under the Initiative and will serve as main contact points for small businesses throughout Ukraine. The EBRD will help the selected partners develop capacity necessary for them to process business requests and provide SMEs with adequate information support.
The selected partners are:
- Chernigiv city – Chernigiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Dnipro city – Dnipro Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Kramatorsk city – Donetsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Ivano-Frankivsk city – Business Community Club NGO
- Kharkiv city – Kharkiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Khmelnytsky city – Civil Movement New Economic Policy NGO
- Kropyvnytsky city – Kirovograd Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Kyiv city – Kyiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Lviv city – PPV Knowledge Networks
- Mykolaiv city – Mykolaiv Regional Business Support Centre
- Odesa city – Odesa Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Rivne city – Smart People (PE Komarenko)
- Vinnytsya city – Vinnytsya Business People Club
- Zaporizhzhya city – Zaporizhzhya Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Poltava city –partner to be announced
EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and Caucasus, Francis Malige said: “Since the opening of its first office in Kiev in 1993, the Bank has always remained committed to Ukraine. We expanded our presence in the west of the country in 2014 and now we are opening a regional office in Kharkiv. Eastern Ukraine is important for the economy and for us in terms of SME potential. The proximity of this office to businesses in the region will help unlock it. I’m confident that the EBRD team on the ground will fly the Bank’s flag in the region high and will deliver services of the highest quality known to businesses across Ukraine for a quarter of a century”.
Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli said, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine: "The EU strongly supports the efforts of the Ukrainian government to improve the business environment. In particular, we introduce new initiatives to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who create jobs across Ukraine, offer exciting new products for local and the EU customers and are important tax payers. Our EU4Business initiative (www.eu4business.eu) is focused on the development of such companies by increasing their entrepreneurial skills and financial literacy, their ability to adjust to market inside and outside Ukraine and use opportunities for innovation and energy efficiency.
The opening of the regional office of the EBRD and selection of partners who will manage the Business Support Centres across Ukraine will further contribute to transfer of industry-specific know-how to SMEs and will improve their access to finance. I invite all small and medium companies to take advantage of a dedicated web-site www.eu4business.eu, which from now on will serve as single entry point for everyone wishing to learn about the EU-funded support for SMEs."
The EU4Business initiative aims to support the private sector development in Ukraine by equipping small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with new skills and supporting their ambitions to export to the largest neighbouring market, as well as providing financing for SMEs. In parallel to that the EU funded initiative supports the Government in deregulation process in order to improve the business climate.
On 20 May, 2016 an EUR 40 million worth agreement was signed by the EU and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development under the EU4Business Initiative to provide up to €28 million for business advice, information, training and other support to SMEs in Ukraine. The assistance includes the creation of a network of business support centres across Ukraine and also envisages that up to €12 million of EU4Business funds will be used to support the EBRD’s direct financing of smaller enterprises.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Ukraine. The private sector development is a strategic priority for the Bank in its engagement with Ukraine, including strong support to SMEs through the EBRD’s Small Business Initiative. In addition to finance, the Bank has provided expert advice to more than 650 local SMEs since 2010, thanks to funding from the EU and other donors, increasing competitiveness, stimulating growth, and supporting the creation of over 2,500 jobs countrywide.