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Support for small and medium-sized enterprises development in Youth Entrepreneurship Incubator in Lviv

Lviv’s current economic development is becoming progressively more service-sector-driven; a growing number of companies with foreign capital are locating their businesses there, driven by the relatively low cost of labour. There is a need, however, to develop local businesses and to demonstrate local models of success. This need can be met through the expansion of the Youth Entrepreneurship Incubator (YEI) created by the Institute of Urban Development (IUD) within the framework of a 2015 development project. The YEI is a place where creative young people can meet, exchange information, establish relations and implement their early business projects, including in the field of social economy. Such activities are conducive to activating young people and creating new jobs, while giving the city’s best-educated inhabitants a reason to stay.

Recognising the need to develop the YEI for new micro-enterprises, Lviv City Hall, through the City Institute, asked the IUD with taking part in the implementation of this project in 2016.

Support for small and medium-sized enterprises development in Youth Entrepreneurship Incubator in Lviv

The objective of the project was to provide support for the development of entrepreneurial activity among young university graduates in Lviv by using the capacity of the YEI, as well as to promote this experience throughout Ukraine with a view to stimulating innovation-driven approaches. The achievement of these project objectives was possible through three activities:

a) the introduction of business education to the university curriculum and stimulating the development of entrepreneurship among students during their university years;

b) the strengthening of the micro-enterprise sector and increasing the competitiveness of small businesses by co-financing the development of the six most promising YEI projects;

c) the promotion of the experience of supporting enterprise development in the YEI throughout Ukraine.

Support for small and medium-sized enterprises development in Youth Entrepreneurship Incubator in Lviv

The implementation of this project yielded several direct results:

  1. Entrepreneurship was promoted among the young Ukrainians who took part in a series of entrepreneurship workshops (referred to as the Start-up School). A positive perception of small and medium-sized enterprises was promoted among the younger generation. The 10 best business ideas prepared by students were provided with individualised mentoring. The idea of social economy was promoted among representatives of Ukrainian NGOs and small and medium-sized enterprises. A dozen individuals were provided with in-depth training in social economy through their participating in the School of Social Economy course and a study visit to Poland’s Lesser Poland Voivodeship.
  2. Six companies were able to develop their business through purchases of needed equipment, which were made possible through enterprise development micro-grants.
  3. Information about innovative instruments for enterprise support, i.e. enterprise incubators and accelerators, was disseminated among the local and central government administrations and the NGO sector through the publication and distribution of a book (700 copies).
  4. Entrepreneurship and in particular social enterprises were promoted in Ukrainian society in general through four telecasts of a specially prepared film on the New Channel television channel.