EU4Youth: veterans in Vinnytsia taught to write business proposals for funding

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On 29 November, the Vinnytsia Veteran Hub hosted a fundraising training, ‘Social enterprise – together towards the goal’. Olha Shevchuk, the head of the EU4Youth project laboratory in the Vinnytsia Region, taught veterans how to attract the funds and resources needed to implement a particular project or activity.

The EU4Youth representative explained there was a very strong veteran community in Vinnytsia, which is actively involved in entrepreneurship: “The first stage of the grant competition for social start-ups within the EU4Youth project (for young people aged 18 to 35) was recently completed. Vinnytsia veteran Volodymyr Skosohorenko moved on to the second round with his project ‘Black Garlic’. He has a great chance to receive up to €10,000 for the development of his own business.”

The goal of the project is achieved through coaching, mentoring and practical training, as well as providing start-up funding for young people in Moldova and Ukraine to launch social and entrepreneurial innovation projects that help create additional employment opportunities for vulnerable youth, reduce inequality and promote environmental sustainability.

During the first stage of this competition, organisers found that grant applicants were making numerous mistakes when drawing up business plans. There are good ideas, but there is a lack of skills to submit projects in the format needed to win.

Olha Shevchuk singled out three main mistakes. First of all, contestants do not read the project regulations and the requirements for the proposal.

“If it says in the requirements that the text of the business project must be no longer than three pages in Ariel font, size 16, then it should be that way. One applicant prepared a three-page plan and one paragraph and was disqualified. The first stage of verification is to look at the font, spacing, paragraphs, and so on. Moreover, it is very unfortunate when a person gets disqualified at the very first stage due to one extra paragraph or something like that,” said Olha Shevchuk.

The second common mistake is providing too much irrelevant information.

“Nobody needs sentimentality. It becomes especially inappropriate when the text is translated into English. In such cases, I recommend running a business plan through Google translator from Ukrainian to English and vice versa, and then see how it reads. It will be a rough version of the text that the donor considering the project will see. It often looks little like a business plan,” said the EU4Youth representative.

The third mistake is the lack of substantiation of the essence of the problem the entrepreneurs aim to solve with their activity.

The “EU4Youth – Unlocking the potential of young social entrepreneurs in Moldova and Ukraine” project is aimed at developing the social entrepreneurial potential of youth in Moldova and Ukraine, as well as stimulating and supporting young social entrepreneurs in the development and implementation of innovative solutions on the promotion of social integration.

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