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EIT Food Empowering Women in Agrifood Ukrainian Edition with a Spectacular Pitch Event!

EIT Food and Institute of partnership and sustainable development have jointly launched EWA Ukraine Pitch Day, celebrating the final of the Empowering Women in Agrifood initiative, a programme dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs in Ukraine's agricultural and food sectors.

28 Nov 2023
EIT Food North & East

EWA Ukraine Pitch Day was more than just a regular pitching event. It turned into a lively gathering of enthusiastic and inspiring women entrepreneurs. Over the past six months, the mentees worked hard on their business ideas and presented them to the public and a judging panel. Everyone at the event was excited about the solutions these women brought forward. The progress made by the participants was impressive, showing that the mentoring program was really beneficial. The skills they gained are helping them take care of and improve their businesses. Undoubtedly, the EWA Programme made a significant impact in the region, showcasing the success of these bold women entrepreneurs.

The final event of the EWA Programme 2023 in Ukraine took place on Thursday, 2 November in Kyiv. Following the training, mentoring, and networking experiences provided, the ten entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to display the results of their efforts from the past six months.

Daria Mustafina, Director of the Institute of Partnership and Sustainable Development, and founder of WMN power ecosystem welcomed the event participants.

EWA Pitch Day is the destination of bold dreams and disruptive business ideas in the agri-food sector, an environment of inspiration, innovation, experience exchange and networking. EWA is a unique opportunity for Ukrainian women-entrepreneurs to join the global community of Agrifood innovators!

- Daria Mustafina, Director of the Institute of Partnership and Sustainable Development, and founder of WMN power ecosystem

Aleksandra Bara, the Coordinator of the EIT Food EWA Programme, opened the EWA Ukraine Pitch Day with a welcoming talk. She inspired the participants to stay committed to their projects and revealed the grand vision of EIT Food: imagining a world where everyone has easy access to sustainable, safe, and nutritious food. The aim is to establish confidence and fairness at every step of the food journey, from the farm to the dinner table, on a global scale.

"Each of you is a part of the global economy. EWA is an example of the fact that we are moving towards the European Union", - mentioned a keynote speaker Olga Trofimtseva, Ukrainian politician, businesswoman, PhD in Agriculture Policies.

The event created a platform for stakeholders invested in agrifood, agri-tech, and business sectors to connect. It provided a space for networking, experience-sharing, joint reflection on current challenges in the agri-food industry, and discussions on the development of a secure and sustainable agrifood system.

The full-scale war forced Ukrainian businesses to become more adaptive, and flexible as well as to follow ecosystem approach and decisions. The ecosystem approach was transforming into a new philosophy that helped not only to survive in new normality but also to develop and scale up existing business in Ukraine, along with entering new foreign markets and making disruptive innovative services and products.

- Andriy Zablovskiy, Head of the Secretariat of Council of Entrepreneurs under the Cabinet Ministers of Ukraine

EWA Ukraine Pitch Day 2023

Following this, the session moved to the pitching section, where the aspiring entrepreneurs presented their business ideas:

  1. Khrystyna Zakrevska, Kraft Cheese Factory "Budz Baran"
  2. Kateryna Oliinyk, Curly Farmer
  3. Yuliia Yutovets, "Green Farm", a center for receiving garden waste for further disposal and production of biohumus
  4. Nataliia Hasiuk, Flour "Batkivskyi Mlyn"
  5. Olena Samarska, Cooperation of success
  6. Neonila Bozhko, BeeThe
  7. Larysa Mykhalevska, Kids Catering Kyiv LLC
  8. Olena Demisheva, Desnashop
  9. Natalia Olshanska, Famberry LLC
  10. Mariia Bubnova, "Nova kukhnia" LLC

At the start, there was some uncertainty, but during the Pitching session, it was amazing to see every participant confidently sharing their ideas and plans for development, showcasing a clear potential for growth. The jury's role was instrumental in guiding the participants, asking relevant questions, and ensuring clarity in their presentations.

The results were a testament to the incredible talent displayed

🥇 1st place - Yuliia Yutovets, Green Farm (for their exceptional production of high-quality organic compost and waste processing).

🥈 2nd place - Kateryna Oliinyk, Curly Farmer (distinguished for cultivating organic bell peppers).

🥉 3rd place - Natalia Olszanska, Fanberry: organic dogwood processing, whose touching story captivated everyone's hearts. Despite her son's tragic death as a soldier in the war, they have not lost hope and continue the family business.

The event was an engaging showcase of dedication, creativity, and the potential for innovation within the Ukrainian agri-food industry. I was really impressed by the commitment and clever ideas shown by everyone involved.

We commend the participants, mentors, and organizers for creating such a successful event, and I'm excited to see these amazing projects continue to grow and succeed!

A huge appreciation goes out to dedicated mentors who have been instrumental in supporting our mentees over the past six months: Lidia Paschuk, Andriy Zablovskiy, Olga Trofimtseva, Yuliya Prokhoda, Anastasia Baklan, Nataliia Kalinkina, Oksana Chaban, Tetiana Samofal, Ivan Kulchytskyy, and Alla Dubrovyk-Rokhova. The invaluable role of mentorship has become increasingly central to entrepreneur support programs, and these individuals have truly excelled in their contributions!

We are thrilled with the EWA Programme and grateful for the opportunity it has provided. Thank you for this invaluable partnership!

- Daria Mustafina, Director of IPSD

About IPSD

IPSD's interventions focus on developing women's entrepreneurship, startup ecosystems, strengthening inclusive democracy in Ukraine, private sector participation in decision-making processes, and improving regional business climates. The NGO has been working for over 6 years on the close relationship between entrepreneurship and local development, and it has played a pioneering role in the issue of women’s entrepreneurship, and integration of a gender perspective into economic growth. IPSD is developing the first complex innovative ecosystem on women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, including women’s empowerment, entrepreneurial education, networking, mentoring, and raising awareness of the need to create the appropriate framework conditions, both at national and local levels. Learn more about AgriFood Ukraine on their web page (wmnpower.org/ewa).

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