How to Boost Startups Culture in Ukraine

(opinion article)

Creating a startup or building career from the ground up is not a piece of cake in Ukraine. Willy-nilly, every business newbie will face corruption schemes, economic crisis and obsolescence of business national culture. I consider that similar facts cannot be a reason for going back down. Chin up, we can boost the startup culture in Ukraine and turn our brainchildren into unicorns. I want to share you some ideas and considerations about it. Okay, where do we start?

You can create a business idea in the garage or in a one-room apartment. But for getting our business to speed, we need a wide space of creative like-minded people. Ukrainian entrepreneurs require a platform where they could share their experiences, find angel investors and allies for a common purpose. It can be just a place where startup owners will create a warm atmosphere of communication and change the worldview of colleagues. Today in Ukraine we do not have such a unified approach, so entrepreneurs unite for coworking locally. An example of such a creative space can be ‘Promprylad. Renovation’ in Ivano-Frankivsk.

The second step to improving the business model is education. By laying the foundations of business thinking in children, we invest in our future. Our young people must be ready to adapt to the pace of the fast-paced business world. Youth needs to know how to attract investors, look for mentors and turn a business into a cash cow. How can we teach them? Easy-peasy, we can do it by including business lessons in a curriculum or by creation of practical courses for teens. The paradigm of university education, in general, provides great opportunities for business integration, for example, the creation of specialized courses in business planning, marketing or management.

Also, it’s worth talking about practice. We can read a lot about the experience of foreign startups, but that’s not enough. To enhance the business culture, Ukrainian startups should be able to see the practical experience of Germany, Israel or Silicon Valley. For example, a Ukrainian can go to Germany for an internship, analyze effective business cases, then return and create a successful startup in the homeland. Despite the different economic approaches in the states, practical experience will help the entrepreneur to avoid pitfalls on the business path. This approach is pivotal in the world and can destroy the frameworks for national startups.

On the whole, we can still talk a lot about the changes in Ukrainian legislation, the state support for small business or the creation of a national investment market… But let’s just remember a Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Ukraine has the potential to create a fresh startup culture with the network of investors and unicorns; you just need to choose the right direction. And the right direction it’s not afraid to be changed!

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