boost business development programme

Boost – Developing Ukrainian-founded businesses in Estonia

In collaboration with the Baltic Innovation Agency, the Estonian Refugee Council invites war refugees from Ukraine who possess prior entrepreneurial experience to participate in the impactful “Boost” business development programme. The programme is designed to either further enhance existing businesses or support the reestablishment of participants enterprise here in Estonia.

This programme is designed to offer participants comprehensive training and insights in business development, along with strategies to enhance the competitiveness of their businesses. The programme is set to occur at two locations: Tartu and Jõhvi. Alongside the training workshops, participants will have the opportunity to engage in study and cultural visits, enriching their experience.

A maximum of 30 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) founded by individuals from Ukraine or those with prior entrepreneurial experience will be selected to take part in the program. Upon the program’s conclusion, an expert jury will award grants of 1000 euros to three teams chosen for their exceptional progress and dedication during the program’s duration.

Key dates

  • Online information session: 22 August 2023, 18:00 – 19:30
  • Deadline for applications: 29 August 2023
  • Announcement of participants: 8 September 2023
  • Programme kick-off event (in Tartu): 16 September 2023
  • Bi-weekly trainings: 16 September – 10 December 2023
  • Four study visits: October and November 2023
  • Cultural events: October and December 2023
  • Demo Day: First half of December 2023

Who can participate?

The programme is available to war refugees from Ukraine who are currently residing in Estonia and have established a small or medium-sized enterprise within Estonia or possess prior entrepreneurial experience. Applications can be submitted either individually or as a team. All training sessions will be conducted in the Russian language.

How does the programme work?

The business development programme spans over a duration of 4 months (equivalent to 14 weeks) and comprises bi-weekly in-person training sessions. Each session, conducted as a 1-day workshop, encompasses presentations on specific subjects by experienced trainers, personalized 1-on-1 mentoring, as well as allocated time for both individual and peer learning sessions. The program encompasses a total of 8 sessions. The initial proposed focal points of the sessions (subject to possible adjustments) include:

  1. Kick-off
  2. Management and strategic thinking
  3. Social impact and social business models
  4. Branding and marketing
  5. Digitalisation and IT tools
  6. Access to finance
  7. Pitching training and presentation skills
  8. Demo day

Concurrently, two business development programs will be conducted—one in Tartu and the other in Jõhvi. While the kick-off and demo days will be held jointly, the other workshops will take place in their respective primary locations. The program is enriched by study visits and cultural events.

To learn more about the programme, please register for the online information session held on 22nd of August.

Throughout the program’s duration, participants will gain the opportunity to acquire fresh skills and knowledge pertinent to implementing and further advancing their businesses in Estonia, thereby augmenting their resilience, competitiveness, and growth potential. The acquired knowledge will serve as a long-term asset, beneficial for progressing in one’s entrepreneurial journey as well as adapting to life in Estonia.

Upon approval of your program application, you will receive comprehensive guidelines. A kick-off event for the programme will take place on 16th of September and the programme will be concluded with a demo day in December.

How to apply?

If you’re interested in applying to take part in this programme, please submit your application through this platform by 29th of August . Please note that you will need to create a user account.

Applications are evaluated on the basis of their business potential as well as social and economic vulnerability, by a jury of entrepreneurship and labor market experts.

If you have any questions, please contact Maria Khrapunenko

The Developing Ukrainian-founded businesses in Estonia is a part of the Estonian EU external border programme and is co-funded by the European Union.