Coffee house, yoga club and photo studio for animals: IDPs women launched businesses in Ukraine
Since September 2014, NGO Human rights foundation (HRF) has been implementing projects in 14 regions of Ukraine, aimed at promoting integration, economic and socio-cultural adaptation of internally displaced persons (IDPs). HRF joined efforts with Lviv local partner organization - "Center for Enlightenment and Human Development" for the third year in a row and started a new project "Innovative Program for the Development of Entrepreneurship of Internally Displaced Women in Rural Areas".
The main activities of the project: education, mentorship and preparation of business plans by participants. The main topics of the project were the development of businesses on the Internet, promotion of them through social networks, explaining the basis of legal aspects, investing and cooperation with financial institutions. Mentorship is a powerful innovative mechanism supporting IDPs, which has already produced serious results. Mentors who are successful business people provide ongoing support and advice to their clients, helping to get the most desired results. The introduction of this tool has become a catalyst for real social change, where there are high ethical standards for entrepreneurship and a sense of mutual support. A culmination moment was the preparation of business plans by participants. More than 20 creative ideas were presented to the competition committee: tailoring of children's clothes, accessories, eco-products and others. However, the decision of the competition committee was to support three business ideas: the opening of a coffee shop in the region of Chervonograd, the opening of a yoga studio and the opening of the first photo studio for animals in Lviv.
In the first two months of our granter activity, we have already received an incredible amount of positive feedback. The Yoga Studio is already in intensive mode: classes are held every day and Olena - our grantee is a certified yoga trainer. After undergoing serious training with leading specialists the "Little Prince" coffee shop hosts regular photo exhibitions, contests of children's drawings, and master classes for young people. Anna is the owner of the coffee shop and intends to expand the idea of the project and introduce mentoring for youth. The real stir was caused by the first photo studio for animals. Its owner Natalia became a true star of local TV.
Participants of the project who got a grant are sincerely grateful for the support. They say that the project gave a lot, and mostly motivates and gave them the courage to start a business and implement their ideas.
The project is financed by the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania