The Baltic Sea Initiative for the Development of Business Activity of Refugee Women
BSI_4Women

Strategic Collaboration

24 January 2024
Technical details

Strategic Collaboration: Lithuanian Organizations Unite to Boost Ukrainian Entrepreneurship

Ukrainians are making a mark by establishing businesses and startups. The Lithuanian government’s strategic move to streamline employment procedures has opened doors to thousands of job opportunities for Ukrainian nationals. Despite this encouraging scenario, Ukrainian businesses navigating the Lithuanian market encounter notable challenges. A prevailing issue stems from a limited comprehension of the intricate nuances of the national business ecosystem.

Additionally, hurdles arise in the form of legal complexities associated with establishing a legal entity, coupled with a gap in entrepreneurial knowledge. As Ukrainians carve their niche in Lithuania’s business terrain, overcoming these challenges becomes paramount for sustained success and integration into the vibrant economic fabric of the country.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Refugee Council, Tech-Park Kaunas, Ukreate Hub, Women Go Tech, and Innovation Agency Lithuania have joined forces to present business support tools and initiatives for aspiring entrepreneurs. More than 100 startup founders, freelancers and creatives attended the event.

Živilė Paužaitė, one of the leading organizers and the Head of Quality at Tech-Park Kaunas and representative of Interreg BSR BSI 4Women business incubation program, addressed the gathering, emphasizing the significance of joint efforts. “In social and other projects and initiatives alike, it is essential to have a foundation of values, enthusiasm and the will to act. This is what brought different organisations together for joint activities, with the common goal of supporting the Ukrainian community in Lithuania, especially Ukrainian women entrepreneurs.”

Another leading organizer, Eugenija Kovaliova, Director of Ukreate Hub, highlighted the importance of bringing together like-minded individuals in an intellectually stimulating environment to foster meaningful conversations and connections. “The initiative started with just a few organisations and has grown into a beautiful and growing partnership of different organisations. We hope that it will help and benefit Ukrainian women as they integrate into the Lithuanian business ecosystem.”

 

At the event, Ukrainian businesswomen shared compelling tales of their entrepreneurial journeys, adding a practical aspect to the discussions. Aliona Lariuk, founder of “Tarta Ledi,” a renowned bakery specializing in cakes and pastries, emphasized the social aspect of her business. “The proceeds from my business go towards supporting fellow countrymen affected by conflict. It is my way of contributing to the triumphs of compatriots through this endeavour, showcasing the multifaceted impact of entrepreneurship beyond mere business success”, says Aliona.

The fair catered to diverse interests, and promises an engaging evening with insightful sessions and networking opportunities. Attendees showed their interest in opening a business in Lithuania, presentations on business grants, tools, and entrepreneurial skills development programs.

Ukreate Hub presented an educational program of 5 practical modules designed to build a solid entrepreneurial foundation for those starting a business in Ukraine and Lithuania.

“This opportunity is not only for those women who have a business, but also for those who have an idea and want to realize it. By the end of the course, women will be able to develop a business plan, or further develop or expand an existing business,” says Eugenija Kovaliova.

Innovation Agency Lithuanian has invited entrepreneurs to explore the tools to successfully kickstart business in Lithuania, followed by IOM, representing the key components of the Business Grants Program for Ukrainians, including opportunities for business expansion and mentorship.

Tech-Park Kaunas team uncovered the Interreg BSR BSI_4Women Incubation Program transforming business ideas into market-ready products. Another co-organizer, the Refugee Council of Lithuanian invited to delve into the initiatives addressing the Ukrainian situation, focusing on skill development, language courses, and cybersecurity training.

Women Go Tech also joined the Fair, revealing the most reset updates for entrepreneurial skills development and introducing the free Discovery course, a stepping stone for professional development.

The event attendees valued not only the tangible connections forged but also the wealth of shared knowledge and opportunities and willingness to boost their entrepreneurial skills. The collaborative forces behind this transformative gathering are poised to sustain the momentum, promising a continued series of impactful business networking events.