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Women focused at creating a more sustainable agrifood sector in Ukraine have started an EIT Food EWA programme

EIT Food and the Institute of Partnership and Sustainable Development launched the Empowering Women in Agrifood programme for Ukrainian women who want to develop their business ideas in the agri-food industry.

27 Jun 2023
EIT Food North & East

On Monday, June 12, 2022, the Empowering Women in Agrifood programme officially began in Ukraine with a Matchmaking event, where 10 selected participants and 10 mentors gathered. The program began with networking, a tour of the biggest innovation park in Eastern Europe and an introductory lecture by Daria Mustafina, director of the NGO "Institute of Partnership and sustainable development" about the EWA programme and the role of female entrepreneurs in the agri-food industry, followed by an introduction of mentees and mentors, presentation on Ukrainian agrifood innovation ecosystem.

After the introductory part 10 selected participants pitched their business ideas

  1. Kateryna Oliinyk, "Curly Farmer" creates a community of healthy lifestyles. The pepper in it acts as a tool, a kind of binding element that connects people. Cultivation and sale of fresh pepper is combined with the processing and canning of the pepper.
  2. Khrystyna Zakrevska, Kraft Cheese Factory "Budz Baran", 25 types of natural kraft cheese are produced daily at the cheese factory Budz Baran from the milk of cows of 70 families of the Hutsul Region (Carpathian Mountains). The goal of the project is to scale cheese production and involve 160 households in the high-mountain Territorial community of Shepit and neighbouring villages.
  3. Larysa Mykhalevska, Kids Catering Kyiv, the production of healthy children's food with a long shelf life. The goal of the project is to scale the company, increase the capacity of industrial production of healthy food with a long shelf life, establish a network of children's catering establishments and open branches in every regional center of Ukraine, entering the European market.
  4. Mariia Bubnova, production of ready-made first dishes in retort packaging with a long shelf life without special storage conditions. The product has the familiar taste of home cooking and is 100% natural. It takes 1.5 minutes to heat up and a delicious and healthy soup for lunch is ready.
  5. Nataliia Hasiuk, the enterprise "Batkivskyi Mlyn". The production of natural flour from an excellent grain grown by local farmers who practice the natural cultivation of wheat and other grains will enable to provide the bakery segment and end consumers with high-quality natural flour for the production of the best flour products, bread, and pastries. Flour also has high export potential.
  6. Natalia Olshanska, "FAMBERRY" LLP specializes in the production of various natural products: jams, pastilles, tea, sauces from ecologically clean raw materials - dogwood, grown using organic farming methods in accordance with all the requirements of the Organic Standard. The company uses raw materials from the largest dogwood garden in Europe, which is located in the Zaporizhzhia region. With the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the garden was occupied by Russians. If the dogwood garden is not to be de-occupied in the near future, the company will change its business model.
  7. Neonila Bozhko, BeeThe, a social enterprise supporting retired beekeepers, processing honey and selling products preserving ancient beekeeping recipes. Among the products are honey, honey in sticks, nut-honey mix, bioprotector, candies made of natural Belgian chocolate and filled with bioprotector.
  8. Olena Demisheva, craft production of cold-pressed oils and meals from seeds of gourd, amaranth, walnut, thistle, black cumin, sesame, grape seeds, wheat germ, poppy, sea buckthorn, peanut, coconut.
  9. Olena Samarska, "Cooperation of success", establishing cooperation, deepening social and cultural ties between capable farmers and increasing everyone's income thanks to the association. The innovative service "Cooperation of success" is selling larger joint volumes of grain at a favourable time at a higher price, which will increase the income of all participants of the service, regardless of the invested volume of grain from an individual client.
  10. Yuliia Yutovets, "Green Farm", the collection and further processing of garden waste, including fallen leaves with the help of a Californian worm, resulting in the formation of an ecological fertilizer, biohumus.

During their 6-month entrepreneurial journey, 10 mentors will Mentees with support, knowledge and experience:

  1. Olga Trofimtseva, Business development in Agrifood and export
  2. Andriy Zablovskiy, Innovations, artificial intelligence and digital transformation
  3. Yuliya Prokhoda, Intellectual property for agrifood startups
  4. Anastasia Baklan, Business Development and fundraising
  5. Lidia Paschuk, Business modelling and market research
  6. Nataliia Kalinkina, Business Planning and business development
  7. Ivan Kulchytskyy, Business development in Agrifood, social impact business models
  8. Oksana Chaban, Human capital management
  9. Alla Dubrovyk-Rokhova, Strategic Communications and export
  10. Tetiana Samofal, Finance and scaling

The interactive part of the event was the workshop by Yuliya Prokhoda, a Patent attorney of Ukraine focused on Intellectual property for agrifood startups with Mentees brainstorming ideas for potential actions to protect their ideas. After the workshop, the matchmaking of mentees and mentors and 1:1 mentoring happened. In conclusion, participants got the opportunity to further discuss their startup ideas during the networking evening.

What's next?

During the six-month programme, participants of the EIT Food EWA in Ukraine will:

  • Devote countless hours to the development of their ideas.
  • Spend at least 6 hours a month consulting with their mentors.
  • Deepen their knowledge by watching virtual trainings and reading tips and research about building a business.
  • Participate in live events.
  • Communicate with the media.
  • Present the progress made during the program during the final event in November. The prize fund of the program is 15,000 EUR!

More about Institute of Partnership and Sustainable Development

Institute of Partnership and Sustainable Development 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 IPSD on their web page.

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