Photography: Sergei Gapon for UNDP in Belarus

Minsk, March 24, 2021 – 32 initiatives, of which there are 11 cluster initiatives and 21 socially important initiatives, became the winners of the second Call for Initiatives on Entrepreneurship Development. As part of their implementation, about 150 jobs, including those for people with disabilities, will be created.

The implementation of cluster initiatives will be aimed at developing cooperative relationships in the SME sector, and creating sustainable cluster growth points in the furniture industry, berry growing, printing services, tourism, handicraft business and IT. Innovative types of entrepreneurial activity, including online marketplaces, product innovation laboratories, and the use of quadcopters in agriculture, will be introduced and implemented in the pilot districts of the project.

Socially important initiatives will focus on business development whilst simultaneously addressing social problems. They will establish healthy food production and also introduce innovative solutions for environment challenges – biohumus production, recycling of used clothing, paper tableware production, and the production of 3D printed products from recycled waste and plastic – in the pilot districts of the project. The winners also include initiatives for the development of social entrepreneurship in tourism. An important element of socially-oriented initiatives is to expand the availability of social services and medical care by creating specialized platforms and support centers, as well as opportunities for employment and social adaptation of vulnerable groups of the population.

The winners of the first Call for Initiatives on Entrepreneurship Development, the results of which were announced in November 2020, included 8 cluster initiatives and 25 socially important initiatives. Overall, following the two Calls for Initiatives on Entrepreneurship Development, 19 cluster initiatives and 46 socially important initiatives will be implemented in 12 pilot districts of the project.

“Regional development, taking into account unique local competitive advantages and fostering entrepreneurial potential of the population, is the focus of the national socio-economic policy for the next five years. The initiatives implemented within the framework of the project will contribute to reaching this target, showcase new models of entrepreneurship, create new jobs, and enable socially vulnerable groups to participate in the country’s economy and generate income,” commented Irina Babachenok, National Project Coordinator (Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus).

“Sustainable economic development is impossible to achieve without a strong private sector. Established SMEs and startups drive private sector development, and thus sustainable economic growth in the regions,” pointed out Dirk Schuebel, Head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus.

“The implementation of the winning initiatives will help increase the number of small and medium-sized enterprises and their contribution to GDP, and provide economic opportunities for socially vulnerable groups, including women and youth, in the regions, which is in line with the priorities for economic development in the Republic of Belarus,” said Alexandra Solovieva, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus.

The complete list of winners with a brief description of the initiatives is available at https://bit.ly/3f8eax8.

The second Call for Initiatives on Entrepreneurship Development was held as part of the Project “Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus” funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.

For more information, please contact Nadzeya Sinelnik, Project Communications Specialist, by email at nadzeya.sinelnik@undp.org

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