The turmoil of a massive invasion has reshaped Ukraine’s demographic landscape. Millions were compelled to evacuate their homes, with women and children being the most affected. Despite these challenges, the resilience and tenacity of Ukrainian women stand undeterred. As of 2023, every second new business in Ukraine is spearheaded by a woman, marking a promising shift in the country’s entrepreneurial landscape.
Amidst this backdrop, the “Dream and Achieve” program emerges as one of a pivotal initiative aimed at uplifting and empowering displaced Ukrainian women. By recognizing their innate entrepreneurial spirit and potential, the program seeks to provide a platform where these women can transform their dreams into reality. Through focused training, mentoring, and resources, “Dream and Achieve” ensures that the aspirations of these women find the right avenue to flourish.
“Dream and Achieve,” an initiative crafted by Impact Force and UN Women, has garnered significant attention. From 1,300 passionate applications, 80 remarkable women, epitomizing resilience and ambition, have been selected. These finalists, half of whom now reside in Poland while the remainder remain displaced within Ukraine, encompass varied age demographics with a mean age of 39. Their varied academic credentials, with 81% boasting tertiary degrees, showcase their diverse perspectives and enriched experiences.
A special launch event was recently held in the Diia.Business Warsaw space, where participants, mentors, and lecturers came together to mark the beginning of this empowering journey.
The event was held in a mixed format: online and offline. At the presentation of the programme, the participants had the opportunity to meet the organizing team, mentors and lecturers, as well as to learn more about the course and objectives of the training. In addition, much attention was paid to networking, getting to know each other and special training for women aimed at developing confidence and celebrating achievements in the workplace and beyond.
The participants were also greeted with inspirational words by: Nina Levchuk, co-founder of Impact Force; Andriy Remizov, Director of the State Agency “Office for Entrepreneurship and Export Development”; Olga Reblyan, Programme Analyst at UN Women; and Natalia Kushnir, Head of the “Dream and Achieve” programme.
Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for European Integration, Valeriia Ionan, emphasized, “In these turbulent times, it’s Ukrainian women who are laying the groundwork for our nation’s bright future. They’re not just helping rebuild; they’re driving our country’s sustainable rebirth and digital evolution. We stand firmly with projects that elevate Ukrainian women, and our partnership with UN Women and Impact Force truly reflects this dedication.”
The program is structured with 11 intensive online learning modules, set to commence in September. These modules will delve into areas such as digital marketing, business strategy, and the integration of sustainable, socially responsible business models. The objective is not merely imparting skills but creating avenues for these women to channel their new knowledge into concrete entrepreneurial endeavors.
Sabine Freizer Gunes, UN Women Representative in Ukraine highlights: “Harnessing the power of digital tools and entrepreneurial strategies is pivotal for Ukraine’s recovery. With this program, we’re empowering Ukrainian women to be pivotal players in this transformation, giving them the means to access new markets and drive inclusive gender-responsive recovery”.
Nina Levchuk, co-founder of Impact Force, emphasized the program’s broader impact: “Every statistic has a story. Behind our selected 80 displaced women lie tales of courage, hope, and unyielding determination. This initiative is not just about numbers; it’s about giving these stories the platform and resources they deserve. We are sowing seeds for a thriving Ukraine, steered by its empowered women.”
“Dream and Achieve” stands as a testament to the unyielding spirit of Ukrainian women and their pivotal role in charting Ukraine’s resurgent journey.
The application process might have concluded, but the real journey of growth and transformation is just beginning.
“Dream & Achieve” is implemented by Impact Force in partnership with UN Women with the support of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and with financial support from the Government of Japan and the Government of Austria. Communication partners are the Business and Export Development Office and the national project Diia.Business.