MPs, experts: Support for social entrepreneurship in Ukraine will create a class of people who are independent of state

MPs, experts: Support for social entrepreneurship in Ukraine will create a class of people who are independent of state
June 15, 2016.

Financial aid for the local communities determined to unite should be targeted at encouraging business development as state budget is mostly spent to support the vulnerable groups.

Kyiv, June 15, 2016. It is necessary to help local communities who decided to unite. It is important that donor support be directed to the practical things rather than to the theory. This idea was voiced by Hanna Hopko, MP (independent), chairman of the Verkhovna Rada’s Foreign Affairs Committee, at a roundtable at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “It is necessary that the money is spent on specific purposes, such as the creation of jobs and social infrastructure […] We also asked international donors to give us low-interest loans. It is essential that small and medium businesses should develop by modernizing their equipment and involving new technologies. It is a retreat from paternalism and a transition to the responsible society that has a strategy of its development,” she noted.

Zinoviy Svereda, president of Ukrainian Cooperative Alliance, stressed that it is important to educate the population. “The main problem for people is not lack of investment or capital, but impossibility of self-realization,” he believes. Mr. Svereda noted that communities should learn to unite to solve common problems. Cooperatives are created just for solving these problems. In addition to capital, education should be related to the territory and communities to plan their development. Kateryna Smagliy, director of the Kiev office of the Kennan Institute, noted that today there are many sources of information on social entrepreneurship. “All people who want to be engaged in it will not be left alone. There are many funds and experts in Ukraine who will back them,” she added.

Victor Romaniuk, MP (“Narodnyi Front” faction) noted that more than 50% of the current budget of Ukraine allocated to support socially disadvantaged groups. This contributes to the formation of a class of people dependent on the state; and these people then influence the formation of the political elite of the state. “We should create a class of people who are independent of the state, who would like to work, take their own initiatives, to be responsible for their lives, would unite with the similar people and take responsibility for the life of the community,” believes Mr. Romaniuk. Vasyl Nazaruk, social investment program director, Western NIS Enterprise Fund, stressed the need to create programs to support entrepreneurship. Because the mechanism of bank loans is designed so that the banks require earnest money. But the novice entrepreneurs have no money. Thus, it is a vicious circle. They cannot find the way out it all by themselves. He also stressed that in addition to products/services social entrepreneurship markets also history. That is why it has a huge advantage.

Tetyana Kaminska, rector of Kyiv Cooperative Institute of Business and Law, PhD in economics, professor, added that it is necessary to foster understanding that entrepreneurship can and should go along with spirituality, that “one can be rich and honest at the same time.”

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