The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with the support of ICC Ukraine, has announced the launch of an ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship for Ukraine to strengthen the resilience of Ukrainian SMEs and support refugees.
President of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Gennadiy Chyzhykov visited ICC Global Headquarters in Paris last week, meeting virtually with Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO and in person with a team of ICC staff. During the meetings, Mr Chyzhykov expressed his endorsement of ICC plans to strengthen resilience of Ukrainian SMEs and support refugees via the establishment of a dedicated Centre of Entrepreneurship for the country.
Leveraging the strength of ICC’s global network of businesses, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, and intergovernmental and governmental agencies, the Centre aims to support the survival of Ukrainian SMEs affected by the conflict, building durable opportunities and hope through entrepreneurship.
Drawing from existing programmes in Accra, Beirut, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Casablanca, Istanbul, Jakarta, Lagos and Nairobi, the Centre of Entrepreneurship for Ukraine aims to empower displaced people and business owners – with particular emphasis on women and youth.
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “With the war set to have long-lasting consequences on the business and trade environment in Ukraine and beyond, the Centre will provide crucial support to Ukrainian businesses still reeling from two years of the COVID pandemic and now grappling with the devastation and disruption as a result of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Our goal is to create durable opportunities through capacity building, partnerships, programmes and tools.”
With the situation set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century, the Centre will also support the millions of displaced Ukrainians in Europe through access to tools and training aimed at enabling reintegration into the economy and rebuilding meaningful livelihoods.
The launch of the Centre of Entrepreneurship for Ukraine builds on ICC’s commitment since the conflict’s onset, to mobilise private sector action, in line with ICC’s purpose to enable business worldwide to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.
ICC’s leadership and strong advocacy for business action in response to the crisis was officialised last week by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who appointed John W.H. Denton AO to represent the global private sector on a new Steering Committee of the Global Crisis Response Group, to address the triple crisis of food, energy and finance triggered by the war in Ukraine.
Serving as a platform to scale globally the most successful local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives, the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship pairs entrepreneurs with experts from around the world to provide global trainings, virtual mentoring and coaching, with the aim of inspiring future entrepreneurs, digitising SMEs, scaling start-ups and fostering inclusive entrepreneurship. The first Centre of Entrepreneurship hub was launched in Istanbul with ICC Turkey and the Union of Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges in 2020.