EBRD and EU support digitalisation of Ukrainian SMEs

By Anton Usov

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A new digital platform to support thousands of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been launched in order to boost businesses’ development opportunities through access to vital information.

  • Business Services Online Platform for small businesses launched in Ukraine
  • New tool to increase transparency of market for business services
  • Merezha.com.ua will attract thousands of SMEs and business service providers

A new digital platform to support thousands of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been launched in order to boost businesses’ development opportunities through access to vital information.

The digital initiative supported by the EBRD and the EU under the EU4Business initiative will provide information on trainings, events, advisory opportunities, knowledge tools and other relevant data.

The platform will also bring together the providers and the seekers of development opportunities and will make the market of business services more transparent.

Merezha.com.ua will streamline the existing SME development activities of the EBRD and EU and help bring them to a new level in terms of relevance and efficiency.

Ukrainian SMEs will be able to register online and have instant access to registered experts, case studies, business solutions library and useful data necessary for their planning and development activity. It is expected that Merezha, which means 'chain' in English, will attract up to 30,000 visitors monthly. 

Experts and business support organisations (BSOs) planning to provide services to SMEs via the platform will  have to submit case studies of successfully implemented projects, the description of their services and other relevant information. Ukrainian businesses will be able to select the right experts for their purposes applying necessary filters and browsing through the database of registered consultants.

The platform will offer an “Ask the Expert” section, which will streamline the communication between experts and SMEs seeking support and advice. There will be a special analytical tool open to all users designed to monitor typical business problems and their solutions patterns, which among other things, will help develop new SME support products.

The new Business Services Online Platform takes on board the experience accumulated through previous support mechanisms, including the existing online resources and is implemented in coordination with the government of Ukraine.

It is expected that during the next development stage, due in the second quarter of 2020, the registration will be open for other market players, such as business associations, accelerators, grants providers and others.

The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. Since the start of its operations in the country in 1993, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €14.6 billion through 445 projects in the country.

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