The project “Strengthening Small and Medium-Sized Businesses” in Ukraine, implemented with financial support by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), succeeded in turning its participants into true agents of change.
Today, we are ready to implement new ideas and programs not only within organizations, but also in the country as a whole.
The uniqueness of the project lies in the fact that it does not provide direct financial assistance, but provides the highest level of Ukrainian and international expertise on organizational development specifically for business associations.
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Our organization, which at that time was called “Chernihiv City League (club) of business and professional women,” was lucky to be among the seven business associations that were chosen among 102 candidates in 2015.
Since the League is the only women’s organization that participates in the project, we represent the interests of all business women of Ukraine.
Its activities within the framework of the project were developed in three main directions:
- strengthening organizational capacity – how to make membership in an organization attractive;
- strengthening financial capacity – how to develop new services and services so that the organization is financially independent and independent;
- advocacy – how to make a small business voice loud so that it can be heard at all levels of government and in society.
Worked in several parallel planes.
I. Strengthening statutory and organizational capacity.
At first we had to work hard on improving the organization’s capacity of the League.
As a result, a new version of the Charter was drafted and adopted, and a completely new document for us – the Code of Ethics. The code defines the basic principles and values of the organization, which must be respected by its members.
Namely: democracy, transparency (we give full access to our website for information on income and expense), ethics, professionalism, reliability, emotional intelligence and mentoring as one of our peculiarities.
Important documents for the implementation of the changes were the Financial Policy, the Membership Regulations, the Regulations on Contributions, the Regulations on Committees, which were given to us rather easily, but gave an understanding of how the laws and rules should work:
The Kyiv-Mohyla Business School (kmbs) educational management development program was specially designed and developed for the leaders of business associations.
During the training, the mission, vision, principles and values of the organization was worked out, a strategy for its development was developed
Active members of the organization during the project received professional training in marketing, PR, internal and external communications.
In the training format, members of the League studied fundraising, business association management and internal policies, financial management, advocacy and non-profit lobbying, work with external data, mediation, principles of effective recruitment for business associations, principles of public policy analysis, etc.
III. Zooming and changing the format
During the project, the format and scope of the organization changed significantly.
Our mission is to make business in Ukraine effective, and women – competent and successful.
We seek to debunk the gender myths and embody a policy of equal opportunities. This is exactly what the first comprehensive statistical survey “Women and Men in Managing Positions in Ukraine” conducted in Ukraine.
The survey was conducted within the framework of the UNDP project in cooperation with the Ukrainian Center for Public Data.
Indicators obtained during this survey are of paramount importance. They will help to overcome gender stereotypes, create entrepreneurial culture, and make business more effective.
Thankfully to the support of the UNDP project in Ukraine, the advocacy campaign on business standards creation and the introduction of a self-regulation system, initiated and coordinated by our organization, has started and is gaining momentum. Coordination council meetings were held in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Vinnytsia, Kharkiv and Lviv. For the first time, the dialogue managed to attract representatives of authorities, partner organizations and, of course, entrepreneurs themselves.
Business itself initiates the creation of standards on the base of understanding that state intervention in regulation does not justify expectations that it is necessary to independently influence the market, that the improvement of the quality of products and services is the basis of competitive advantages and the way to scaling.
The league has changed the scale and format of the events. Thanks to the project, new contacts, the involvement of the best experts IV and V-th business and professional women’s forum has become a national and united business lady from different regions of the country.
“League of Women’s Success. Positive Impact through Leadership and Action “- these were the slogans of the First All-Ukrainian Business Fest, which took place in Chernihiv within two days (19-20 May 2017).
These events have become the venue for presenting and discussing the most pressing issues in women’s entrepreneurship and women’s professional development.
We are confident that their conduct will contribute to the formation of a modern vision of the role of women in business, raising awareness among officials and decision makers, women’s SMEs, civil society, media representatives.
Three years of the project radically changed our organization. Hundreds of new acquaintances, dozens of inspirational projects, powerful partners, and – most importantly – experience, expertise and an entirely new vision.
Are there easy transformations? Of course, it was not easy.
But our efforts are already producing results, and the experience gained is extremely useful.
JOIN US! LETS GO TOGETHER TO SUCCESS!