PMCG, in the course of the EU4Business Program “SME Competitiveness and Internationalisation,” enhanced the capacities of 50 Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a focus on exporting to the EU markets, and strengthened the capacity of 36 local export consultants. The program is co-financed by the European Union and the German government, and is being implemented by GIZ.
Pertinently, PMCG’s team of international export consultants trained and mentored 36 local export consultants, who in turn provided export consultancy to the targeted SMEs. Of note, the inclusion of Ukrainian export consultants aimed to boost Ukrainian exports in a holistic and sustainable manner. Indeed, the SMEs receiving support from the Ukrainian export consultants cover various areas, ranging from the manufacture of food products to the provision of large-scale printing services.
The project aimed to foster the development of Ukrainian SMEs, with an emphasis on innovation and export promotion to ensure sustainable and equitable economic growth. Moreover, priority was given to strengthening the capacities of Ukrainian SMEs to comply with the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).
3-Stage Consulting Methodology
To assist organizations seeking to enter EU markets, PMCG helped local consultants to develop a three-stage consulting methodology. This methodology, executed over the course of 2-3 months, involved assessing the export readiness of the SMEs, conducting export market research, and formulating an export strategy. In addition to this general methodology, individual cases were given tailored attention and corresponding recommendations.
“Exporting is a long-term, complex process that begins long before the first shipment of goods passes through customs. Indeed, it is often said that export is the “highest league of business” because it requires specific skills and significant resources: time, human, and financial. At the same time, it also has advantages: it allows you to diversify sales markets, distribute risks, and upscale. Meanwhile, cooperation with an export consultant helps to simplify the path to foreign expansion. That is how the idea arose to combine in one project the provision of support to Ukrainian companies seeking to enter foreign markets on one hand, and the coaching and mentoring of Ukrainian consultants on the other,”explained Maryna Kovtun, Head of the Support Component for Business Organizations and SMEs in the EU4Business Program in Ukraine (GIZ).
Importantly, cooperating with export consultants allowed business owners and managers to view their company and products (goods or services) from a new perspective. Moreover, they benefited from a high-quality independent assessment of the export readiness of their company and products, and were thus able to approach and select export markets confidently.
Helping 450.in.ua to Navigate Through Uncertainties
450.in.ua, a company specializing in tactical clothing and equipment for the military, has faced soaring demand since Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022. In this time, PMCG has helped the company to expand its client base and navigate through various uncertainties.
“The project improved planning in our team. It helped us to focus on the most important aspects in relation to development and success, and increased our organization’s resilience to wartime challenges and changes in the market. And, most importantly, the project gave us a chance to clearly map out the future of the enterprise. We are sincerely grateful to the EU4Business Program and its experts for their professional assistance and vision for the future. Today, we continue to apply their recommendations and look for new opportunities for development,”stated Vasyl Mikula, owner of 450.in.ua.
Through a comprehensive three-stage consultation process, 450.in.ua was equipped with a strategic export plan designed to maximize its strengths and achieve its goals. Relatedly, PMCG’s insightful analysis of sales markets led to the identification of three countries bearing high export potential, which informed the final strategy for market entry. Meanwhile, the collaborative efforts here entailed essential support as well as valuable suggestions, contributing to the professional growth of 450.in.ua. Courtesy of the EU4Business Program and PMCG’s assistance therein, the company now thrives on account of its improved planning, heightened resilience to challenges, and its clear vision for future penetration in the EU markets.
Supporting GEOTHERM.PRO to Secure First Export Contract
GEOTHERM.PRO, a Ukrainian enterprise specializing in energy-efficient heat pumps, successfully expanded its market reach by signing its first export contract after consultations in the course of our project.
Recognizing the potential of foreign markets amidst domestic challenges, the company sought assistance from the EU4Business Program. Through a three-stage collaboration with PMCG, in the first stage it underwent a comprehensive audit, which identified strengths and weaknesses, and measured the company’s export readiness to be 70%. The second stage involved market analysis and recommendations for optimal export options, with valuable insights provided on how best to attract new audiences. In the crucial third stage, consultants assisted GEOTHERM.PRO in developing a tailored export strategy in line with the company’s budget, successfully resulting in the signing of their first export contract. The Program not only addressed internal challenges but also provided global market insights, boosting morale and instilling a commitment to export initiatives.
Pitaya’s Export Market Success
Pitaya, a Ukrainian sun-protective clothing brand, successfully crafted an export market strategy with the guidance of PMCG consultants. Established in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges, Pitaya focuses on innovative clothing and swimwear made from unique fabric, offering a blend of safety and style.
Seeking expansion beyond Ukraine’s national borders, Pitaya joined the EU4Business Program to acquire pivotal knowledge. After being selected in a competitive selection process, the brand, whose mission is to redefine beach experiences, engaged in three key consulting stages.
The ensuing three-stage collaboration proved instrumental for Pitaya, saving its time and resources, enhancing its marketing strategies, and optimizing its exhibition plans. Brand owner Taisia Pidmurnyak emphasized the project’s valuable contribution in setting out a clear roadmap for international brand promotion, while contributing to Ukraine’s economic growth as a whole.
“The analytical work carried out by experts is extremely voluminous. We would have spent much more time and resources on just that alone. Meanwhile, the stage of building an export strategy was extremely important for us, because the consultants made sure this was clearly structured, and now we use the knowledge obtained in this experience in our work. Also, thanks to our participation in the project, we reviewed our list of exhibitions, made changes, and devised a plan for the year. This made it possible to use the budget and our time more efficiently. Now, we attend exhibitions both as visitors and participants, actively promoting the Pitaya brand,”company owner Taisia Pidmurnyak.