Diia.Business centers’ network and Visa determined the winners of the “Vidvazhna” business accelerator: the participants received 1.3 million hryvnias for the development of their businesses
KYIV, JUNE 14, 2023 – The Diia.Business centers’ network, with the support of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and the Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office, with the assistance of She's Next Empowered by Visa global initiative, held the finals of the acceleration program “Vidvazhna” (“The Brave One”) for Ukrainian women who founded a micro or small business or plan to start one.
The business accelerator was primarily aimed at helping women entrepreneurs create new or develop existing business projects, find partners and clients, improve competencies and devise a business capitalization plan, as well as get new skills and receive support from mentors and experts.
The event where finalists were determined took place in Kyiv in the Pitch Day format. The participants defended their business strategies before the project's expert jury and competed for the main cash prizes.
“Since its launch, about 5,000 participants have joined the “Vidvazhna” accelerator. Their stories are an example of resilience and prove that bravery always wins in business and technological fields. The Ministry of Digital Transformation team understands the importance of women in the reconstruction of the country and in the economy of the future, as well as the importance of using digital tools for the growth of their businesses. Such projects as “Vidvazhna” help develop the country of entrepreneurs, creating thousands of opportunities for every woman,” shared Valeriia Ionan, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for European Integration.
In the finals, two participants in the nominations “Debutant” – Valentyna Pavaliuk (VMway) and “Visionary” – Alina Khoma (Bavka) received UAH 350,000 each for the development of their businesses. Four other participants received UAH 150,000 each in the nomination “The Best Business Concept”:
- Iryna Karpenko (Mushroom Jerky)
- Yulia Semeniuk (One-eleven)
- Tetiana Klimuk (‘Shiemo vse’ and ‘Gora’)
- Yulia Nichvoloda (Jul’s Coffee and Peace)
“Entrepreneurial initiatives of Ukrainian women, like any other women around the world, need support and protection. That is why, for many years, Visa has been implementing campaigns that boost women's business development. The biggest of them is She's Next Empowered by Visa, under whose umbrella six ambitious participants today received grants for the dynamic development of their businesses. I am convinced that Ukraine will continue to develop a powerful female entrepreneurial community, uniting like-minded individuals dedicated to their work and inspiring them to new achievements,” commented Svitlana Chyrva, Visa Vice President, Country Manager for Ukraine and Moldova.
In addition, during the finals of the business accelerator, the She's Next digital community (https://shesnext.emergingeurope.org/) was presented for the first time in Ukraine. It unites female entrepreneurs from Ukraine and the entire region of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. The platform provides Ukrainian women with tools for networking, sharing experiences and international business expansion.
The “Vidvazhna” business accelerator started on March 1, 2023, and lasted for three months. The project program consisted of 12 educational modules. Serial workshops for participants were conducted by representatives of Visa, 1991 Accelerator, Board, the founder of the Ukrainian brand GASANOVA and others.
The main criteria for choosing the winners were:
- the ability to implement the project – the participants had to substantiate a step-by-step plan for its implementation;
- relevance and efficiency of the project – the idea had to meet the stated goals of the acceleration program and market requirements, creating a positive impact on Ukrainian business landscape and the culture of entrepreneurial activity;
- realistic idea – the project had to be aimed at meeting the needs of the target audience and correspond to the hypothesis regarding the market niche that the company plans to occupy;
- competitive advantages – the parameters distinguishing the company/product/service or business concept among competitors in the selected niche were evaluated;
- financial strategy – the participants had to present a description of the specific directions of development of the company/product/service or business concept, to which further investments will be directed, and a plan to increase the profitability of the project.
Ukrainian media outlets Epravda, Dev, SPEKA, Bit, and Vector acted as media partners of the “Vidvazhna” visionary accelerator. Projector Creative & Tech Foundation was an information partner.
Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating payments transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com.ua.
About She’s Next Empowered by Visa
The global initiative to support women entrepreneurs who manage, finance and develop their own businesses. Visa supports a range of programs around the world focused on small businesses and women business owners. Through this initiative, Visa aims not only to give women the basic knowledge to start their business, but also to inspire them to conquer new heights, strengthen confidence in their own abilities and develop leadership qualities that can be useful in any field.
Corporate Communications Director, Visa CISSEE
Phone number: +38 044 22 00 300