Zagoriy Family Foundation and Kyiv School of Economics graduate 26 entrepreneurs – ATO veterans

Zagoriy Family Foundation and Kyiv School of Economics graduate 26 entrepreneurs – ATO veterans

Foundation jointly with KSE celebrated graduation of veterans who completed their training on social Program for support of entrepreneurial activity.

Students have successfully defended their graduation projects, and following the results of assessment by independent jury six of the veterans obtained grants of UAH 25,000.00 each from Zagoriy Family Foundation to develop their own business.

Projects offered by grant recipients fall within various areas, including growing garlic, organizing a hostel, recycling, overalls sewing.

Zagoriy Family Foundation will be providing free education for 100 ATO veterans under entrepreneurship program. The course was developed by Ukrainian School of Economics to help Ukrainian warriors to start up or develop their own business and move towards new opportunities available in a peaceful civil life.

Glib Zagoriy addressed his congratulation speech to the graduates.

I am glad to have an opportunity to speak to you, who were pioneering this very important program by Kyiv School of Economics. Once we learned about this program, our Foundation undoubtedly decided to support it. Why? Because we believe entrepreneurs are the driver of the civilization.

Who are the entrepreneurs? It is small, but extremely active, mobile and creative part of our society, the catalyzer of its development. It is them who change the world and relations between people in the whole world.

Entrepreneurship means seeing and using opportunities which the majority of people does not see and does not use. Entrepreneurship existed long before this very term immerged. Primitive man who made a necklace and exchanged it for a quarter of mammoth with a neighboring tribe was an entrepreneur who manufactured the product with high added value and changed the nature of social relations, resulting in one tribe learning of existence of adornments and the other tribe understanding that food can be obtained otherwise rather than by hunting.

It is a mistake to think that the entrepreneur is a dealer who is engaged in implementing different income-generating schemes. While sticking to this approach one will never become a good and far less a prominent businessman. Unfortunately, today it is much easier to make money while being a politician or a civil servant rather than establish something new.

Did Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin invent any income-generating schemes? No, they invented a scheme to change the world. They changed people’s lives around the entire world.

They made this life simpler; they gave their clients an opportunity to save their time, they gave them opportunities they never had before. This is a universal formula of any successful project: simplifying, accelerating, giving new opportunities and new meanings.

So, entrepreneur is always an inventor. Even if you do not invent a data transfer technology, and just open a bakery you are an inventor as well, because you will be offering a product that has demand. Anything may be a competitive advantage – location, cooking technologies, interior design, but it is a must have and you have to figure it out. Otherwise you will fail. Otherwise entrepreneurship might be a wrong path for you, and there is nothing tragic in it as well.

In most developed countries, small and medium-sized enterprises are the baseline of the system. In most cases it is family business. For example in USA 90 % of small and medium-sized enterprises are family owned business. In Finland 90 % of companies employing 20 or less persons are also family owned companies. 80 % of all industrial enterprises in Germany are family business. Italy is a country of family customs and traditions, 94 % of registered enterprises are family companies. Sometimes small business transforms into a large family business. Such well-known names as Morgan, Rothschild, Krupp, brand names Sony, Samsung, Prada, Volkswagen – all of them represent family business.

And transformation of small-sized enterprise into a large company is an example of how it is important to set correct goals. When you teach your child riding a bicycle you tell him or her to look straight ahead rather than on the wheels. When you drive a car you know that it shall move where the driver looks. If you put a task to earn UAH 100,000.00 you will earn UAH 100,000.00 if you are lucky. Your goal limits you, and it is unlikely that you will rise higher.

Small local business and large global one are yin and yang of an integral whole. Any large business has a large number of small-sized contractors, partners and subcontractors. In order to make use of a large business services, one needs a small business, and vice versa. For instance, to repair a product manufactured by large business, let’s say smartphone, you purchase services offered by a small business – a private workshop. To purchase a product offered by small business, pizza, you use services of a large business, Google. If there are no pizza restaurants in your district or city, you will not use Google to find them.

Mimicry of large business taking over features of a small one is current tendency. Why? The main competitive advantage of a small business is that they are extremely client-oriented. In the USA there is a network of small supermarkets, Trader Joe’s, selling organic and fresh food. They consciously refused from the strategy of large retailers (goods on consignment, mass-market, you do not like it – well, it is your business) and started using the approach of small shops. Independent purchasing of goods (and not proving the same on consignment) subject to the needs of buyers of the area, only fresh products, “manual” monitoring of demand. Up to small details, their personnel do not wear any work cloths, on order to resemble local residents. As a result – the network’s turnover made up approximately USD 10 billion. Their net income is exceeding half a billion.

Naturally, startups in trade and services sector are much more successful. However, they also have risks and must be responsible. One of the main reasons for failure is conflicts within the team. I.e. the project is abandoned prior it is placed into orbit. And many of those abandoned projects could have become successful. However the business, as is the history, can not exist in a conditional manner.

Risk and responsibility is an integral part of entrepreneur’s life. Even the most reliable project can fail. At the same time, a dark horse can win a prize. Accelerators of high-tech start-ups from Silicon Valley are proud if 50 out of 2000 chosen and supported projects for the last four years succeed. The one who figures out the algorithm of success will be given a Nobel Prize.

So, keep inventing, take risks, set ambitious goals, and change the world and people’s lives. I do wish you a good luck!