News Tag: capacity building
How to systemize your business. Practical advice for SMEs – webinar

The CUTIS project, in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, held a  webinar with Colleen Krebs, Manager of Business Services, Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (Canada).

Colleen Krebs completed her bachelor’s degree in marketing and immediately launched her entrepreneurial pursuits in the coffee, construction, and renovation industries. She operated a successful café for over eight years managing all aspects of the business including product/service development, H/R, sales, operations planning, and inventory management.

In 2008 Colleen joined the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba where she is currently Manager of Business Services. She continues to inspire and motivate women to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams by drawing upon her expertise as a skilled facilitator, business advisor, and passionate interpersonal connector.

You can download Colleen’s presentation via the link 

During the webinar participants:

  • Understood what systems are and why they are critical to your business success
  • Understood the benefits of having a systemized business
  • Understood how integrating systems affect business outcomes
  • Learnt more about the mindset and approach entrepreneurs should adopt when apply change to their business
  • Walked though the “how to” implement systems that stick.

The CUTIS project improves government officials’ knowledge of international investment law

The CUTIS project held a 2-day webinar for government officials on international investment law.

The speaker – J. Anthony VanDuzer, Hyman Soloway Professor of Business and Trade Law, University of Ottawa.

The webinar provided an overview of the international investment regime, including bilateral investment treaties and investment chapters in free trade agreements, and current reform discussions. The emphasis was on policy implications rather than the technical detail of investment treaty provisions.

The first day was devoted to the substantive investor protection standards and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arrangements in existing investment treaties along with a discussion of treaty practise and the issues that have arisen in practice.

Canada’s treaty practice and ISDS experience were used as a case study.

The second day was addressed possible reforms to investor protection standards and ISDS. The speaker canvassed treaty drafting strategies that are designed to better balance investor protection with the host state’s right to regulate compared to traditional treaty protections as well as alternatives to investment treaty protection. He also covered proposals for ISDS reform focussing on the reforms currently being discussed in UNCITRAL Working Group III, including the EU proposal for a multilateral investment court.

CUTIS develops training skills of Ukrainian regional business associations representatives

The CUTIS project conducted a two-day online training on May 26-27 for Ukrainian regional chambers of commerce and industry (CCI).

The event was attended by 29 participants from 10 regions of Ukraine – trainers, assistant trainers and other CCI specialists who plan to transform professional consultations into a training format, as well as external specialists who work closely with the CCI.

The trainer – Iryna Kirkina, a business coach with 20 years’ experience in corporate and open training, director of the consulting agency “Personnel”.

During the event, participants were introduced to the basics of conducting an effective training process, including:

  • features of adult learning
  • methodology of how to design a training program and its structure
  • methods of involving participants in the learning process

Networking was a significant part of online training: participants shared their own experiences, compared their background with the expertise of colleagues, and expanded the “coaching horizons”, based on acquired knowledge and new experience.

Participants noted that thanks to the training, they came up with ideas for new business trainings and learned many coaching life hacks. For many participants, the event became a trigger for increasing motivation and improving self-confidence.

CUTIS promotes the competitiveness of Ukrainian chambers of commerce and industry

COVID-19 has an impact on our everyday activities but doesn’t change our attention to build the competitiveness of our partners – chambers of commerce and industry. In April, we held a webinar dedicated to the sustainability development of regional business organizations in a changing world.

On April 3, regional chambers of commerce and industry (RCCI) had the opportunity to communicate with leading Canadian expert Steve H. Van Houten. The main goal is to help RCCI to be more productive and sustainable, so they can support members to grow.

The webinar covered such issues as management, marketing, working with members of the chambers (organizations), optimization of finances and improvement of interaction with public authorities, etc. Minimum theory and maximum practice.

Steve van Houten, President of Accord International Management Services Inc, Canada, has many years of legal practice. He has worked in a range of business and professional associations. In particular, Steve was Industry Executive in General Motors and held the position of CEO of 4 associations (Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Toronto Real Estate Board and Purchasing Management Association) where he has strengthened customer service, developed marketing strategies and improved communications with media.

The main areas of his consulting include strategic and operational planning, management, marketing, promotion and trade expansion, organization change, financial analysis, and supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

The collaboration between the Canadian expert and the chambers is not over. Further individual consultations with RCCIs’ representatives are planned aiming to improve the sustainable development of regional business organizations.

The Ukrainian negotiators learned about the best practices of international trade in services

In April 2018, CUTIS project initiated a series of events devoted to international trade in services negotiations for Ukrainian government officials.

On April 12 and 13, representatives of Ukrainian ministries, chambers of commerce and other organizations involved in international negotiations took part in the basic trade in services training session.

Canadian experts told Ukrainian reformers about the basics of trade in services and the peculiarities of the trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization.

Particular attention was also paid to the Ukrainian and Canadian commitments in the WTO. This is especially important, as within a few years it will be possible to review the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, which currently covers only trade in goods.

The participants also reviewed the Canadian strategy of conducting international trade in services negotiations and familiarized themselves with Ukrainian cases of economic diplomacy.

On April 16 and 17, with the support of UNCTAD experts representatives of Ukrainian state institutions participated in the simulation of the trade in services negotiation process on the international arena. The participants of the training were able to personally plunge into the negotiation process and felt how strategic one needed to act on international markets.

Women entrepreneurs from Kropyvnytskyi learned about entering foreign markets

On March 2, 2018, as part of the World Business Cafe “Women’s Entrepreneurship: Access to Foreign Markets” the issue of Ukrainian women-led businesses entering foreign markets was discussed at the Kirovograd Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KRCCI).

About 20 female entrepreneurs from Kirovograd region (representatives of small and medium businesses of the region) took part in the event organized by the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Promotion (CUTIS) project. The co-organizer of the event was the Export Promotion Office under the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine and KRCCI.

The President of the KRCCI Iryna Sayenko addressed the participants of the event with welcoming remarks, emphasizing the Chamber’s full support of women entrepreneurship.

The CUTIS Project Manager Konstantin Ryzhkov familiarized the participants with the work of the project and invited them to engage in all the possible activities aimed at the development of female entrepreneurship.

The issue of exporting Ukrainian goods to Canada in the context of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, as well as the prospects and challenges for women entrepreneurs was highlighted by Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS project Senior Trade and Investment Policy expert.

The work of the World Business Cafe was divided into so-called rounds. The first round focused on discussing specific barriers to export development for women-owned companies. The second round covered the export support services needed to overcome these obstacles. The third one was devoted to the best ways of providing export support services, as well as service providers or interested parties who can provide those services. During the fourth round, the discussion reports were prepared. At the end of the event, the participants presented the results of the discussion and, together with the experts, summarized the main findings.

Source: Kirovograd Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KRCCI)

Women-entrepreneurs in Lutsk discussed the trade barriers for entering international markets

On February 12, an interactive world business-cafe “Women’s Entrepreneurship: Access to Foreign Markets” was held in Lutsk, organized by the Canadian-Ukrainian Trade and Investment Support Project, Export Promotion Office and the Volyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry within the #SheExports platform.

Active representatives of the export-oriented women’s business from the Volyn region joined the event. Within the business cafe CUTIS project expert Oleksandra Brovko presented them with useful information about the potential of the Canadian market for Ukrainian producers. Participants also learned about the She Exports platform and its benefits for business women aiming to enter international markets.

In addition, while working in small groups, participants were looking for the answers to important questions for female exporters:

  • what are the barriers to the export development of their companies;
  • what export support services are needed to overcome these obstacles;
  • which export support format is the best;
  • who can provide those services.

In the process of brainstorm and presentation of the group work results, the exporter exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving the export strategies of their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine, so keep an eye on the updates.

Press club and media workshop “Women in Business and Export” held in Kyiv

On July 11, as a part of the SheExports platform the first press club and media workshop within the “Women in Business and Exports” series was held. The event was initiated by the Export Promotion Office under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support project.

The event was attended by the media and non-governmental sector representatives interested in the objective media coverage of the women’s role in business development and international trade.

Within the press club Mariana Kahaniak, the Head of the Export Promotion Office in Ukraine, noted that Ukraine is actively promoting women in exports, as they are the driving force behind the economic development in the 21st century.

Galina Meshcheryakova, Ukrainian gender expert at the Canadian-Ukrainian Trade and Investment Promotion Project (CUTIS), presented the latest State Statistics Service’s information  on gender gaps in the Ukrainian economy and the involvement of women in export activities. In addition, gender-based monitoring of mass media in Ukraine were presented,  indicating the stereotypical coverage of women in the Ukrainian mass media.

The presentation of Galina Meshcheryakova can be downloaded here.

As a part of media workshop “Inclusive Women’s Coverage in Business” Olga Vesnyanka, a journalist of Hromadsky radio, media expert and human rights defender of the Coalition for Combating Discrimination and the Campaign Against Sexism “Povaha”, conducted a moderated discussion on the social roles of women and men and their stereotypical depiction in the modern media discourse . Olga provided participants and participants with advice on gender-sensitive coverage of the role of women in the media, in particular, the gender balance in the selection of topics and experts, as well as the use of a gender sensitive language.

During the practical part of the event, the participants conducted a gender analysis of contemporary Ukrainian media content (video/newspapers/online media) and shared their own observations on the coverage of women.

“Women in Business and Exports” is a series of media events that will include media workshops and press clubs on new statistics and information on women’s participation in business and exports, as well as the dissemination of the best journalistic practices on women’s professional representation in the media. The target audience of these events is representatives of the Ukrainian media and public organizations who will be able to create a pool of professionals to highlight women as agents of Ukrainian business and international trade. Follow the updates on our social media.

Export support program U CAN Export

Updated! Deadline extended until July, 23, 2017.

We are glad to announce a call for Ukrainian small and medium businesses to enter the Canada-Ukraine export support program U CAN Export in the priority sectors:

  1. IT Services
  2. clothing
  3. shoes
  4. furniture
  5. chocolate and confectionery

Priorities were identified as a result of a thorough analysis of the Canadian and Ukrainian markets – more at:

Export Support Program will be implemented by CUTIS project in partnership with the Ministry of economic development and trade Export Promotion Office. It is designed for three years and has several levels:

  • comprehensive – for a limited number of small and medium businesses, most promising and ready for export;
  • educational/consultational – for other companies in priority sectors, interested in entering the Canadian market;
  • іnformational – for a wide range of companies interested in the Canadian market;

Сomprehensive level will include the following activities:

  • Co-financing participating in specialized exhibitions and other marketing activities in Canada and the US
  • Individual consulting and support from experienced industry consultants from Canada and Ukraine on accessing and promoting your goods/services on the Canadian market
  • Organization of business meetings with potential customers in Canada
  • Organizing trade missions to Canada and co-financing businesses’ participation in those
  • Access to educational programs and materials

To enter the selection companies must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be registered in Ukraine, and not be in a state of bankruptcy or liquidation
  2. Be a manufacturer of clothing, shoes, furniture, chocolate and confectionery or provider of IT services
  3. To have up to 500 officially registered workers
  4. Have experience in exporting/supplying products to retailers (no minimum volume limits) OR domestic sales of over 5 million hryvnias a year
  5. The share of Ukraine ultimate beneficial owners of the enterprise must be more than 50%
  6. Be prepared to co-finance the costs of participation in exhibitions, trade missions and other marketing activities in Canada or the US
  7. Fluent in English to communicate with customers, partners, consultants in Canada or the US

Women-owned or managed enterprises are encouraged to participate. Applications of such companies will be prioritized as CUTIS project aims to achieve gender balance among owners and managers participating in the export support program.

Companies that meet the above criteria and wish to enter the U CAN Export export support program must complete an application form at: Applications will be accepted until July 23rd.

We will continue to cooperate with all the proactive companies that are willing to work systematically on accessing the Canadian market. To reach us e-mail:

Training in quantitative tools of trade data analysis for export promoters was held

On February 15-17, 2017 the Ministry of economic development and trade of Ukraine together with Export promotion office in partnership with the CUTIS project held a three-day intensive training in quantitative analysis of international trade data for governmental analysts and market analysis experts.

During the event, participants mastered the skills of the cluster and benchmarking analysis to identify priority markets for Ukrainian exports. Special attention was paid to gender and environmental analysis of international trade.

Canadian project Director Paul Darby CUTIS joined the discussion and shared best Canadian practices in export promotion and demand side market analysis.

Early February a training on analyzing international trade data using TradeSift software was held.