24 June 2017

Over 100 micro-entrepreneurs representing a variety of business spheres from different regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv today for a BizFair Business Fair & Forum – an event organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – the UN Migration Agency, and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Forum marks the 10-year anniversary of the IOM Micro-Enterprise Development Programme, which seeks to empower migrants and people in need of support. “Over a decade, more than 5,500 people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), conflict-affected people and trafficking survivors, have benefited from the IOM Programme, establishing micro-enterprises or getting self-employed in the spheres of agriculture, production, construction, and services,” said Manfred Profazi, Chief of the IOM Mission in Ukraine. “We are extremely proud that these people not only became more self-reliant and economically independent with our support, but are now contributing to the life of their communities through the creation of additional work places and provision of services and goods their communities need and appreciate,” he added.

The donors, who have supported this IOM Programme over the past 10 years, include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Government of Canada, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the European Union, and the Government of Japan.

“Today’s event shows in very concrete ways that individuals who suffer unexpected and tragic consequences as they try to get ahead economically can and do find their way back, and even prosper” said U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch while opening the fair. 

The Business Fair and Forum included an open-air exhibition, where business owners presented their goods and services to guests and visitors – furniture, forged and woodwork products, sportswear, clothes, leather accessories and bags, hand-made souvenirs and decorations, jewelry and icons, party outfits, games and various master classes for children, as well as delicious food and drinks for everyone.

The highlight of the event was an open stage, featuring presentations and discussions by marketing and sales experts and successful local startups and international companies (Zlachno TM, Wellbags TM, Hubber Business Network, Robert Bosch Ukraine Ltd., OVB Holding), which provided an exclusive opportunity for its participants to strengthen their skills and knowledge on business-related issues.