Women in Ukraine who have lost their income due to the war are receiving support from Garage48 and Estonian Refugee Council to launch a number of new businesses

Estonian Refugee Council, Garage48 and Unity for the Future Charitable Fund in Zaporizhzhia are collaborating for the third time in organizing an entrepreneurship program that supports the creation of family and micro businesses by women who have lost their income due to war and wish to regain their livelihood through entrepreneurship. Women with more than 100 business ideas are participating in this year’s program and at least 30 micro companies will receive startup grants.
Ukraine needs versatile help: humanitarian aid to relieve suffering and long-term support in rebuilding the country and restoring people's livelihoods. The goal of our entrepreneurship program is to support women currently in Ukraine who are both internally displaced and those who have decided to stay in their homes, by giving them the opportunity to support their families through entrepreneurship - in a time of crisis and also when peace comes. It is the third time to be doing this program together with Garage48, but now is the time when this program is needed
more than ever before,
says Estonian Refugee Council Director Eero Janson.

The participants of this year's program are women from Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kyiv (Kyiv city excluded), Kirovohrad and Cherkasy oblasts. Last Monday we started the 2-week intensive entrepreneurship program for women with new business ideas. The next program will start at the beginning of October, for existing business owners who need relocation support.

The program is happening entirely virtually and enables us to include participants from a wider area, offer entrepreneurial knowledge workshops to a wider audience and build a strong mentors’ network of mostly Estonian and Ukrainian mentors, no matter where they are currently located, explains Garage48 Board Member and project manager Kadri Tiisvelt.

25 new business ideas and 6 already working businesses that have successfully completed the intensive entrepreneurship program, will be selected by the jury of experts to receive grants, that will be implemented to provide equipment and materials needed to start the business activities, and move forward to a 6-month long mentoring program led by Unity for the Future team in Zaporizhzhia.

The measurable impact of this program is the rise in household income of the women who have received startup grants. As a result of last year’s program, the household income of the women who participated, increased by 86%.


Estonian entrepreneurs have the opportunity to support women in Ukraine in starting their businesses. Every additional startup grant enables us to help more women: https://www.pagulasabi.ee/eesti-ettevote-toeta-ukraina-naisi.

Our experience in Ukraine has led us to open the Empowering Women entrepreneurship program in Estonia with the goal to support women in Estonia who have left Ukraine due to the ongoing war. The program starts on the 30th of October and is open for participation for Ukrainian women across Estonia, in a hybrid format. More info coming and registration opens soon on Garage48 and Estonian Refugee Council web pages.

Read more info about the program: https://entrepreneur.pagulasabi.ee/ukraine/empowering-women-2022.


The Empowering Women Entrepreneurship Program in Ukraine is funded by Estonian Centre for International Development.

About the author

kadri tiisvelt

Kadri is the COO of Garage48 with years of experience as a hackathon organizer and community builder. She loves to create and bring together supportive environments for starting entrepreneurs who wish to make their ideas into valuable services and products. 🌸

You may also like

24 women led businesses are setting their foot down in eastern Ukraine
For the second time, the Estonian Refugee Council, Garage48 and Unity for the Future Charitab...
Read more →
How we met the future female founders of Estonia, Latvia and Sweden
Over the weekend of 22-24th of October, 85 girls in the age of 15 to 18 across Estonia἞...
Read more →
Empowering women in the digital technology sector of Kenya
The #euafricathejourney Design Hackathon Kenya tour continued in Kisumu, the capital and busi...
Read more →