How Ukrainian entrepreneurs create new jobs despite the ongoing war

How Ukrainian entrepreneurs create new jobs despite the ongoing war

Ukrainian entrepreneurs keep working to support their customers & teams and strengthen the country's economy amidst the war. In fact, since February 24, almost 150,000 new businesses have been created in Ukraine, and the number of registrations is growing every month. 

The highest figure was recorded in the first week of August — 5,306 private entrepreneurs. This is even slightly more than there was in the last week before the invasion of the Russian Federation — 5,231.

Opening a new bookstore 

The first bookstore of the Vivat publishing house was opened in Kyiv on October 2. 1,200 visitors came to support local publishers. The demand for books in Ukrainian has increased since Ukrainians began to abandon Russian-language copies massively. “I am optimistic about the future. I think the publishing business will soon continue to work steadily, if not thrive,” says Yulia Orlova, General Director of the publishing house. 

The publishing house has about 100 employees who work remotely, although some team members remain in Kharkiv. Vivat believes the war’s psychological consequences affect the team’s creative work. “Creating a book is a special process. We have to look for additional strength because we are constantly worried whether our relatives are safe and whether our children will be able to go to school,” says the CEO. 

Starting a business in a new city as IDP

In July 2022, a small coffee shop Pershyi (First), was opened in Lviv, founded by internally displaced persons from Kharkiv – Mykhailo Rudnev, Vladyslav Liubchenko and Yevhen Vlasiuk. The men say that Pershyi allows guests to feel the atmosphere of Kharkiv in Lviv. The name means this is the founders’ first business experience in the service sector.

The idea succeeded – the coffee shop has become popular among internally displaced persons and Lviv residents. While preparing for the opening, the founders felt the support of the locals. “We always received help, and it gave us a feeling that we were on the right track,” says Vladyslav Liubchenko.

Relocating business to save the team and idea

The coffee shop-bakery Prosto kava (Simply coffee) was opened in Sloviansk, the Donetsk region, in 2016. The manager Alla Minina says that with the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, their employees remained in Sloviansk, adding volunteering to the usual working tasks. In April, it became dangerous to stay in the city, so the team decided to evacuate their employees with their families to Kropyvnytskyi, the Kirovohrad region.

Later, the team relocated the coffee shop under the state business support program and reopened in Ivano-Frankivsk. “For us, this is not about business or profit, but self-realisation and conveying our worldview,” says Minina. The team expects that they will return to Sloviansk after a Ukrainian victory, where they will continue to work.

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Photo: Pershyi and @prostokava | Instagram