5.2 million hryvnias for the development of female entrepreneurship: the new season of the visionary accelerator "Vidvazhna 2. Scaling and Digitalization", supported by Visa, has started

The new season of the “Vidvazhna” visionary female accelerator involves women improving their business skills online and studying in bootcamps hosted by regional Diia.Business centers. This year's project will focus on the digitalization of businesses provided by Visa and other partners. The total prize pool is UAH 5.2 million.

Kyiv, March 26, 2024 – The presentation of the new season of the visionary female accelerator "Vidvazhna 2. Scaling and Digitalization" was held. Its goal is to help Ukrainian women start a business or develop an existing one. The new season of the "Vidvazhna" accelerator is a logical continuation of the first iteration of the project and is aimed at businesses’ digitizing and scaling.

"The development of entrepreneurship in Ukraine is one of the Ministry of Digital Transformation’s main priorities. That is why we launched the Diia.Business project and implemented services that speed up and simplify the launch and scaling of businesses in Diia. We also continue to carry out programs and initiatives that help entrepreneurs develop businesses. One of them is the "Vidvazhna" visionary accelerator, which has formed a community of 5,000 female entrepreneurs. In the first season, the winners of the project received 1.3 million hryvnias for the development of their businesses. The new season will make it possible to launch and scale even more businesses since SMEs are the basis of our economy," commented Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister for Innovation and Development of Education, Science and Technology and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine.

"Vidvazhna" offers future and active female entrepreneurs to study business planning and management, marketing and sales, business digitalization, taxation, accounting, and tools for expansion into foreign markets for 4 months.

"Supporting Ukrainian women on the way to entrepreneurship has always been one of our priorities. Especially now, when 60% of those registering as individual entrepreneurs are women. Last year, together with our partners, we launched the "Vidvazhna" accelerator. It united thousands of female entrepreneurs in a large community. Each participant gained the necessary knowledge and support on the way to creating or scaling her business. Their stories inspired us to continue the program. Today, we are launching the second season of the accelerator to provide even more entrepreneurial opportunities to Ukrainian women," said Valeriia Ionan, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for European Integration.

Based on the training results, 40 participants will attract 100,000 hryvnias each for the implementation of their business ideas. At the final Grand Pitch Day event, 12 finalists will compete for the main project prizes in the categories Debutante, Visionary, and Inclusive Business Project. The three business projects with the highest jury points will attract an additional 400,000 hryvnias each for the development of their businesses.

"The successful launch of the "Vidvazhna 2" project is an appropriate and timely occasion to emphasize the need to digitize even more Ukrainian SMEs, which is one of Visa’s main priorities. The goal of this year's accelerator is to scale and bring the enterprises of brave Ukrainian women to a new level. Owning a successful business gives women access to shaping the economic agenda in the country, gaining financial independence and mobility, creating new jobs, increasing the volume of production or services provided, replenishing the state budget with taxes, and, as a result, strengthening the role of Ukraine in the global business ecosystem. Visa is ready to support female entrepreneurs every step of the way, thereby expanding their access to the digital economy," said Svitlana Chyrva, Visa Vice President and Country Manager for Ukraine and Moldova.

The accelerator will combine two training formats:

  • Online training, where participants will undergo a general educational program that is practical, interactive, based on best practices in business education, and led by top speakers. Online training modules will be conducted by representatives of Visa, USAID, monobank, Checkbox, Shop-Express, Ukrposhta and others.

  • Offline and virtual bootcamps hosted by 10 Diia.Business entrepreneur support centers, where participants will receive in-depth business training, sessions with a psychologist, and mentor support. Preference for participating in bootcamps will be given to inclusive business projects and those who are ready to implement the principles of inclusivity in their company's activities.

Accelerator participants will also be provided with additional offers from monobank, Ukrposhta, Checkbox and Shop-Express that will accelerate business digitalization.

"According to the research on the needs and problems of Ukrainian female entrepreneurs, more than a third of the interviewed pointed out the lack of access to free training programs as one of the most common obstacles they face, noting financial literacy as one of the most sought-after competencies. Other important growth points for women entrepreneurs are the digitalization of businesses and the systematization of information. All these data prove that future and active female entrepreneurs strive to improve their skills, develop their businesses, scale, and innovate. The "Vidvazhna 2" accelerator will catalyze meeting these needs by providing the necessary knowledge and resources for successful business operations," commented Andrii Remizov, Head of the Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office.

To find out more information about the project and apply for participation, please visit the program's landing page. The application deadline is April 28, 2024 (11:59 p.m.).

The project will last from April to September 2024.

Previously, the 2023 edition of "Vidvazhna" united more than 5,000 Ukrainian women who underwent online and offline training hosted by 10 Diia.Business entrepreneur support centers for entrepreneurs. Based on the program results, 6 Ukrainian women attracted 1.3 million hryvnias for starting or developing their own businesses.

*The new season of the visionary female accelerator "Vidvazhna 2. Scaling and Digitalization" is implemented by the Diia.Business network of entrepreneur support centers with the assistance of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and the Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office, and with the support of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) project "Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI)" and the global She's Next Empowered by Visa initiative.

About Visa

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.