Polska pomoc


Rural microenterprise in Ukraine. Creating new sources of financing

The issue that the project responded to was the deepening of social exclusion in Ukrainian villages and the disappearance of their tradition of small business. The situation there is unlike what prevailed in the 1990s in the areas of Poland’s West Pomeranian voivodship right after the dissolution of collective state-owned farms. Those circumstances were successfully turned around through the employment in that part of Poland of certain unorthodox measures, e.g. supporting microenterprises through the launch of local brands (e.g. Drahim Honey) or the creation of thematic villages (Hobbit Village, World’s End Village, Maze Village). The purpose of the project was to communicate these examples of positive experience to Ukrainian counterparts.

The project relied in part on relationships developed in earlier projects of the Foundation in Support of Local Democracy, including "Support for rural microenterprises in Ukraine” (Polish Aid 2014). The nine rural enterprises developed as part of those earlier projects served as the internship locations for representatives of additional villages.

Rural microenterprise in Ukraine. Creating new sources of financing

The project was aimed at developing rural microenterprises in Ukraine through the development of new forms of tourism and recreation that are emotion- and experience-based. It sought to transfer to Ukraine Polish experience in village rejuvenation (thematic villages, local and regional products, diversification into non-agricultural business activities). The project plan provided for the creation in central Ukraine of microenterprises that would offer opportunities to experience the emotions associated with historic village life in Ukraine. The planned activities included:

  • the training of experts who would continue the activities initiated under the project and invigorate rural entrepreneurship;
  • the selection and training of local rural leaders (through workshops and a study tour of Poland);
  • the development of pilot projects in Ukrainian villages;
  • consultancy services for entrepreneurs and the development of a website;
  • the promotion of projects for teachers and tour operators, among others;
  • the drafting and submission of a publication presenting the network of microenterprises and thematic villages; and
  • the organisation of a conference to sum up the project work and of a trade fair to promote new tourist offers.

Rural microenterprise in Ukraine. Creating new sources of financing

The following results were achieved through implementation of the project:

1.           Fourteen new experts and practitioners were prepared for the task of supporting the development of rural microenterprises. In the course of project implementation, they supported the implementation of projects in villages, took part in the design of joint offers (flyers) and organised a trade fair to complete the project.

2.           The creation of a network prepared for cooperation in the development of new tourism products and the promotion of a new form of entrepreneurship and a rural renewal movement through a new educational platform and a Facebook fan page. The platform focuses primarily on education, team integration and advisory services while the Facebook page concentrates on promotion and the ongoing exchange of experience and information.

3.           The establishment of 14 microenterprises prepared for operation and offering a new type of emotional and participatory experience-based tourism product; all these offers were reviewed and recorded in the folder published through the project.

4.           The development of four tourist routes (in the vicinity of Chyhyryn and Kamianka, Kaniv, Uman and Zhashkiv). These allow for the organised use of the offers prepared by the microenterprises and support the promotion and marketing of the new entities.

5.           The establishment of a group of 30 teachers and tour operators prepared for cooperation in the implementation of new forms of tourism offered by the new microenterprises; the teachers organise school trips to the respective villages, while the tour operators have included these villages in their offers, which their customers can now take advantage of.

6.           The publication and distribution of a guidebook for teachers and tour operators describing the new method for organising tourism based on village resources and a folder for tourists.

7.           The increase in the number of inhabitants of Ukraine who are aware of the new forms of tourism and recreation based on local identity and an experiential offer. Evidence of this can be seen in the statements of journalists and announcements on provincial administration websites.