News Tag: SHEforSHE
What to do if your business is temporarily paused because of COVID-19 – webinar

The CUTIS project, in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, held a webinar with the participation of Maria Terekhova, X-Tend Group co-owner.

Maria Terekhova has over 16 years of experience as a top manager and a co-owner of a range of businesses, including tourism and beauty businesses, which have temporarily paused their operations through COVID-19. Besides, Maria is a mentor in the CUTIS SheForShe mentorship program for women entrepreneurs.

Topic: What to do if your business is temporarily paused because of COVID-19

From the webinar video you will learn:

1.How to establish effective business processes in a challenging time of quarantine with:

  • employees
  • contractors
  • customers
  • competitors

2. How to build proper communication with stakeholders

3. How to develop an “alternative plan” while the main business activity is paused

You can download Maria’s presentation (in Ukrainian) via the link.

 

 

Ukrainian women entrepreneurs in Paris – a new chapter of the SHEforSHE mentorship program

With the support of the CUTIS project, three Ukrainian women entrepreneurs Olesya Timoshyk (TimiTex), Eugenia Lukash (Evgakids) and Kateryna Volkova (Sasha) participated in the largest French textile and apparel exhibition, which took place in Paris from February 10 to 13. That was part of the CUTIS SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to support the development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets.

One other Ukrainian company, Jenadin, a knitwear manufacturer, participated in the exhibition catwalk.

The mentor of the SHEforSHE program is Maria Terekhova from Trade House New Fashion Zone, who already has successful experience in promoting Ukrainian apparel in foreign markets.

“For us, as a company that is just planning to enter international markets, participating in such exhibitions is a necessary and very important step. It is an opportunity, at the least, to feel the needs of the market and the requirements for manufacturers, and, at the most, to find new customers”, Olesya Tymoshyk from Chernihiv said.

For Eugenia Lukash (Kherson), founder of Evgakids online children’s clothing store, a trip to Paris also became the first experience of participating in an international apparel exhibition.

‘We are very grateful to the CUTIS project for this opportunity. The Apparel Sourcing Paris is so impressive. We are proud that our first international exhibition is the biggest garment sourcing show in Europe with more than 600 exhibitors from all over the world,’ Eugenia Lukash noted.

According to Kateryna Volkova from Slavutych, who produces children dresses under Sasha trademark, participation in the Apparel Sourcing Paris was a great opportunity to expand to new markets, establish contacts with new partners and present new products.

Jenadin’s participation in the catwalk has become a real highlight of the event. The Ukrainian knitwear producer was highly appreciated by the Parisian public. This success is significant for the producer given the fact that it was the first time for Jenadin to demonstrate its models at such a top international fashion show.

‘I’m very happy that we could present our collection, and also represent Ukrainian manufacturers at the Apparel Sourcing Paris. I want to thank the CUTIS project for giving us this opportunity and unbelievable experience,’ Jenadin CEO Nadiia Koziarivska said.

Maria Terekhova gave a presentation at the Apparel Sourcing Paris regarding benefits that international partners may have working with Ukrainian apparel companies. Maria made a brief overview of the Ukrainian apparel market and spoke about the specifics of searching a business partner in Ukraine.

“Events such as the Apparel Sourcing Paris exhibition are a great opportunity to present Ukraine as an interesting partner for private label production and fruitful cooperation with international retailers. During the event, we got acquainted with African and Latin American buyers. It’s a whole new negotiation experience for us”, Maria mentioned.

According to Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator, the participation of four Ukrainian companies in the international exhibition in Paris once again confirmed the opinion that Ukrainian companies are fabulous.

‘Businesses are usually established by intuitively searching for potentially profitable market niches and creating products suitable for their founders, but in a very short time, they may grow to the level of a national manufacturer, or even higher. They start planning strategic export activities, creating new jobs and conquering international podiums. Therefore, it is a pleasure to be part of the CUTIS project and the SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to help grow such businesses and support their efforts to enter the global arena, ‘Olga Shtepa summarized.

SHEforSHE Mentorship Program: CUTIS Project brings women’s businesses to a new level

In 2019, the CUTIS project presented a gender-based analysis report on the export challenges of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The main objective of the study was to identify gender-based challenges of women-owned or -led enterprises in exporting and provide recommendations on reducing these barriers.

The report confirmed that traditional gender stereotypes hinder women’s advancement in business. The survey participants indicated that permanent access to mentoring and professional development is an important element of success in building their own business.

This is how the idea of CUTIS introducing a SHEforSHE Mentorship Program came about with the aim to support development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets, primarily, in Canada.

TM SASHA (children’s dresses) production

Two mentors, who already have successful experience in promoting products in foreign markets, were selected. They are Maria Terekhova (Kyiv, New Fashion Zone platform) and Ruslana Rymarska (Lviv, Smakuli cookies), participants of our U CAN Export Support Program for Ukrainian SMEs.

In partnership with the Regional Chambers of Commerce, two teams of participants were formed. The following factors were taken into account during the selection: business development dynamics, availability of an interesting product (or prospects for its creation), export potential, and most importantly, readiness for change and implementation of ideas developed during their participation in the program.

The first team headed by Maria Terekhova as mentor included the following mentees: Olesya Tymoshyk (Chernihiv, children’s clothing TM “TimTex”), Kateryna Volkova (Slavutych, TM SHUBA (home and baby textiles) and TM SASHA (children’s dresses) and Yevhenia Lukash (Kherson, EvgaKids children’s clothing Internet store).

Maria Terekhova and Kateryna Volkova

 

The second team consisting of mentees Halyna Ishchak (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, cakes and biscuits) and Iryna Fishchuk (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, confectionery) is headed by Ruslana Rymarska.

Meeting of Ruslana Rymarska and potential participants of the program

 

As Kateryna Volkova shared, the mentor visited the enterprise in Slavutych as part of the cooperation. During the meeting, the main challenges facing the company and complexity of entering new markets were discussed and a plan for further cooperation was developed. Every week, the mentor and the mentee discuss implementation of the developed plan of changes via Skype.

Children’s dresses TM SASHA

 

“There were a lot of issues that I have been trying to solve over the years. I found some of the answers to these questions myself, and of some with the help of Maria Terekhova, my mentor. It became clear to me that in order to work effectively in foreign markets, the company needs an export specialist. Finding one requires additional time and financial resources. Then the idea came up: why wouldn’t I master a new profession myself? This is exactly what I am focusing on now”, – Kateryna shares her experience.

According to Olesya Tymoshyk (TM “TimiTex”), while working with her mentor, she was able to modernize the design of clothes for the nursling to find a new client (B2B) and a new supplier of fabrics that she is currently negotiating with.

New product

 

“When you have been working for a long time, you get used to the technological process, your models, and you do not always understand the need for change. It is difficult to stop, figuratively speaking, step aside and watch the company without sentiment. This is where you need external experts with new, different, broader experience and knowledge, who immediately see what needs to be changed, improved, removed or added. Maria Terekhova is an expert with whom I was fortunate to work in one team. Her excellent experience, contacts and resources enhance our business and drive us to grow”, – says Olesya.

We wish our mentors and mentees further success in the development of Ukrainian women’s businesses. We will keep you informed of further achievements of these dynamic women entrepreneurs!