Press releases

ITC joins Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Resilience Alliance for Ukraine

13 June 2024
ITC News

(Berlin) – At the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024, the International Trade Centre (ITC) joined 13 countries, and 16 development finance institutions and international organizations to launch the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Resilience Alliance for Ukraine.

The Alliance aims to build the resilience of Ukraine’s small businesses and prepare for reconstruction and recovery. The overall commitments to the aims of the Alliance sum up to more than 7 billion euros for ongoing and new small business programmes.

Ukraine’s small businesses play a crucial role in the economic stability and recovery of the country. To continue operating, adapt to the challenging new business environment and contribute to the recovery and reconstruction of the country, they need special instruments, sound institutions and improved access to finance.

The Alliance will coordinate existing efforts and mobilize new ones to support small businesses in the country, including by fostering the small business ecosystem. Members of the Alliance commit to complementing the Ukrainian government's efforts in small business promotion, establish synergies among members’ contributions and make political and/or financial commitments in at least one of three pillars:

  1. Framework conditions: supporting implementation of the SME strategy 2027 and the reform process, including technical advice on the regulatory basis, policies and the government’s support programmes for small businesses.
  2. Strong and sustainable institutions: supporting small business support institutions that mobilize funding and providing small businesses with tailor-made instruments as well as specific knowledge.
  3. Access to finance: providing Ukrainian financial institutions with financing to enable them to support small businesses. These instruments include risk-sharing instruments, mini and investment grants, loans and interest subsidies, among others.

ITC’s role in the Alliance

Ashish Shah, ITC Director of the Division of Country Programmes, said: “Supporting small businesses in Ukraine is essential not only for economic recovery, but also for Ukraine's accession to the EU. We’ll continue to support Ukrainian businesses, including resettled and war-affected businesses and internally displaced persons, by building their export potential and linking them to global markets.”

As a part of the Alliance, ITC will align its work in Ukraine with the SME Strategy, supporting rural and relocated businesses. This includes providing trade intelligence tailored to the specific needs of small businesses, including through the Ukrainian language-enabled platform “EaP Trade Helpdesk”, supporting Ukrainian businesses in their digital and green transitions and market access efforts, and fostering the development of more business-oriented hromadas.

ITC has been active in Ukraine since 2016. In addition to working with Ukrainian small businesses and business support organizations in sectors such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, berries, wine and apparel, as well as providing trade intelligence, since 2023 ITC has also supported the employability of relocated Ukrainians through entrepreneurship and skill development initiatives.

Looking ahead

After the conference, the SME Resilience Alliance will establish a coordination mechanism under the lead of Ukraine and Germany with the aim to support the implementation of the SME Strategy of the Ukrainian government, mobilize support and coordinate among donors, and discuss reforms in the small business sector.

The members of the SME Resilience Alliance are: Austria, Council of Europe Development Bank,  European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB) / European Investment Fund (EIF), Estonian, the European Union, Germany, International Finance Cooperation (IFC), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), International Trade Centre (ITC), Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Lithuania, Luxembourg Development Agency (LuxDev), Netherlands, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO), USAID, the World Bank.

Notes to the Editor

About the International Trade Centre - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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Media contact

Susanna Pak
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
International Trade Centre
E: pak [at]
T: +41 22 730 0651