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women lead

A grant programme of UFU aiming at empowering female entrepreneurs and female-led initiatives contributing to sustainable recovery of Ukraine. Women Lead has been created by UFU in cooperation with the Nobel Women Initiative as an actionable outcome of our journey to Ukraine and Poland in June 2022.

Why support women lead initiatives and businesses amidst ongoing war?

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the region is facing the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Some 6.5 million people have been displaced within Ukraine, and some 7.8 million Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children, are now in Europe. Despite these hardships, women are showing incredible strength by caring for their families and standing up for themselves, even after losing their homes and loved ones.

Supporting Ukrainian women-owned initiatives and businesses is crucial to the country's recovery. Small businesses and entrepreneurs make up more than 60% of the Ukrainian economy. In 2020-2021, women started 51% of new businesses, but the invasion has reduced that number to 29%.

Our Women Lead initiative aims to support women entrepreneurs and contribute to important global goals for sustainable development.

timing & Scope

The Women Lead programme is scheduled to span two years, from 2023 to 2025, offering grants ranging from EUR 5,000 to 30,000 for durations of six to twelve months. Recipients of these grants will be connected to a digital platform that will facilitate efficient, timely and transparent reporting of the impact achieved.

Potential applicants should be registered women-led organisations or women entrepreneurs based in Ukraine. In addition, these organisations should be managed by Ukrainian individuals, work for the benefit of Ukrainians, and be predominantly owned, led and/or managed by Ukrainian women. A commitment to promoting women's rights, gender equality and feminist values is essential. Applicants must also demonstrate their ability to receive and manage funds safely and without undue risk.

The application period for the 2023 cycle is open until August, 25.

about Women lead

Inspired by the resilience of women in Ukraine, United for Ukraine in cooperation with the Nobel Women Initiative launched the Women Lead project to empower female entrepreneurs and female-led initiatives contributing to sustainable recovery of Ukraine.

Women Lead will support female-led recovery projects focusing on three pillars:

Healthcare & Well-being

Women Lead supports women who take action across these three pillars, helping them to reach their goals, deliver upon commitments and become a long-standing independent player in the market. The programme promotes sustainable economic growth and positive social impact within the country. Building synergies between various sustainable development goals unlocks the maximum potential of recovery.

Origins of Women Lead

The Women Lead campaign dates back to May 2022, when United For Ukraine, in collaboration with the Nobel Women Initiative and other partners, sought to raise awareness and garner support for the women of Ukraine. The partnership led to the creation of "Oh Sister!", a 20-minute documentary that vividly depicts the struggles of Ukrainian women in the face of Russian invasion.

We were inspired to not only shed light on the challenges facing Ukrainian women, but to help them rebuild their lives and maximise their potential. This desire led to the creation of a fundraising initiative aimed at empowering women leaders, activists and entrepreneurs in Ukraine, which became the Women Lead campaign under our Recovery Initiative.

Together  we can achieve more!

Join the Nobel Women Initiative and United For Ukraine‘s Programme Women Lead.

As a donor or cooperation partner, you can contribute to accelerative sustainable economic growth and create a positive social impact in Ukraine. The UFU is responsible for the management and steering of the project, cooperation with local partners and agencies in Ukraine, selection process and reporting. You will get access to the digital platform and can become part of the innovative community driving positive and lasting change.

Are you ready to join or would like to learn more?

Contact us

Dariia Zheliezniakova
Digital and UFU Platform Lead
Myriam Mansour
Co-Founder & Project Manager

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