SME Forum

Business Development Roadmap: The SME Forum “Reboot 2020” was held at UNIT.City

On September 4, 2020, a forum for small and medium-sized businesses was held for the second time. With the participation of more than 50 speakers from all over Ukraine at 12 panels of the event in the innovation park UNIT.City presented practical content for business owners who want to develop their business, managers and managers of key areas of companies, as well as ideological beginners.

The forum opened with a welcoming speech by the organizer of the event — Yurii Pyvovarov, Chairman of the Kyiv International Economic Forum Organizing Committee on the first panel “Crisis Management. Version 2020”. The speakers noted that the main strategy during the crisis was improvisation, enhanced communication with customers and the team, careful selection of employees and professionals, full involvement of the head in the direct processes of the company.

The program of the forum was formed in the form of a roadmap for business development, where the owners of companies, managers and leaders of the country’s top companies shared their knowledge, who have been developing successful brands for years and have experienced many economic shocks. In total, more than 1,000 participants wanted to attend the event, but the organizers of the event halved the number of visitors due to the pandemic.

The forum was also attended by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal. He noted that despite the problems related to the pandemic and the global economic crisis, Ukraine and Ukrainian business now have a number of opportunities, and highlighted the main directions of the government’s financial strategy and talked about programs to support small and medium-sized businesses.

“The crisis that swept the world along with the pandemic has certainly affected us. But in addition to a lot of problems, there are opportunities — and business is the first to see them. From the production of the vaccine from COVID-10 by our pharmaceutical companies to the beginning of deep processing of agricultural products and food production. The breakthrough in IT technology is also our potential because we have a good scientific and educational base. Today we have to educate young people who can work in the field of IT and the development of new technologies — this is also the future,” Denys Shmyhal noted.

One of the headliners of the forum was the founder of the holding company UFuture Vasyl Khmelnytsky, who shared with the participants the principles of success in business. He called for partnerships and real leaders, who will be speakers at the next SME Forum and will be able to talk about their own successful business cases.

“You have to build a strong team and invest in people. Don’t be afraid to make the best employees partners — people should feel that this is not only yours but also their business. Create partnerships. The more partners, the more opportunities, the easier it is to find funding. The partnership makes it easier to scale the business,” Vasyl Khmelnytsky advised.

Panels on partnership development, sales growth, cash capital and business growth and brand building were important discussion platforms for the SME Forum. In particular, Serhii Komberianov, President of Lean Institute Ukraine, provided applied advice for small and medium-sized businesses and highlighted the processes, the elimination of which will help accelerate the development of the enterprise.

“90% of everything you do when interacting with a client is a loss. Excessive transportation, stocks, movements, expectations, production, processing, defects and unrealized potential of employees. You can reduce losses and increase profitability tomorrow. This is literally “money underfoot,” Serhii Komberianov explained.

In turn, Natalia Kalinkina, CEO of the production accelerator INDAX, said that every entrepreneur should look for new opportunities, scale with investments and not be afraid of mistakes, but avoid “spontaneous” entrepreneurship, lack of strategy and tactics of the company and neglect of financial aspects.

Panel speakers also called Life Long Learning a key approach to learning and self-development today. In particular, the leaders of domestic business education shared what knowledge entrepreneurs need in the short and long term and suggested indicative ways to find them in an information-saturated world. Artem Makeev, CEO of UNIT School of Business, noted that modern school programs offer conditions for lifelong learning, and only the leader himself chooses whether he should develop and transform a business capable of coping with crises.

At the panel discussion on building star teams, Olena Dobrorodneva, Director of Organizational Development of UFuture and Project Manager of UFuture Talents, noted the importance of team effectiveness, which directly affects the company’s success. According to her, only a strong personality can gather a strong team. And a leader who progresses himself gives opportunities to his team.

“A star team is when you listen to people’s opinions. If you have already collected it, work on motivating and giving new meanings to each employee of the company,” Olena Dobrorodneva said.

Constantine Yevtushenko, Managing partner of the UNIT.City innovation park moderated the panel “Conditions for development are created here”, which united the residents of the innovation park. The top manager is confident that the future of the business lies in strong collaborations and environmental interactions. He advises when looking for a partner to clearly understand what you want from him and pay attention to your weaknesses, trying to fill the gaps due to the strong skills of the partner.

“Partnership is the key to the development of a successful business project. We at UNIT.City are confident that the future lies in the collaboration of powerful projects and brands that can strengthen each other. An ecosystem is about opportunities. The more organically it develops in the innovation park, the better the interaction between all its elements: educational projects, accelerators, venture funds, startups and big business,” Constantine Yevtushenko explained.

A special guest of the forum was the flagship of the creative economy of Ukraine Ivan Dorn, who shared the achievements of his own teams as part of the record label of the free music format “Masterskaya”, his values ​​and the importance of creating communities and partnerships in a win-win style.

“You have to be active and need to be socially responsible. At the same time, it is important not to forget that texture, form, meanings, meanings and wow-effect are read by the community and distinguish you from others, allowing you to work with those with whom you really want to create something great,” Ivan Dorn said.