The Feasibility Study for Setting up and Developing iHUBs in Ukraine

The Study has been prepared. It provides an assessment of the economic, political and security environment for the establishment and growth of iHUBs in pre-selected cities in Ukraine, namely: Odessa, L’viv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsya and Chernihiv. It is used as a decision making tool to plan and assess different options, and final selection of three cities where the iHUBs to be supported by the UNINI project will be placed.

The Business Plans for 3 Operational iHUBs

The Business Plans elaborates the iHUBs in detail and provides the roadmap to move them forward. It starts with a clear mission and goals, and addresses all aspects of HUBs operations, including organization structure, the types of services that would be provided to client companies, marketing to prospective clients, selection and screening of applicants, staffing, site and facility, budget, and an implementation schedule.

The iHUB Manual

The iHUB Manual has been designed to enable the iHUB managers and staff to prepare for, set up and successfully operate an iHUB in their regions. It captures the iHUB concept, the iHUB business model and the set up and implementation including day to day operations. It also addresses the issue of sustainability beyond the life-time of the externally donor funded project.

Strong Public Private Partnerships established as foundations for setting up and developing iHUBs

The iHUBs are independent organisations with transparent management. To secure economic sustainability UNINI has developed a Private Public Partnership (PPP) model, where local authorities contribute with premises free of charge for 10 years. When PPP agreements are established with cities, the process is transparent and secures long-term commitment since the agreement has to be based on a unanimous decision in the City Council. The following agreements have been signed:

  1. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Odessa (26.06.2014)
  2. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Lviv (08.12.2014)
  3. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Vinnytsia (07.02.2015)
  4. PPP City of Vinnytsia (24.04.2015)
  5. PPP City of Lviv (22.06.2015)
  6. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Chernivtsi (02.07.2015)
  7. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City and Regional Adm. of Ivano-Frankivsk (13.07.2015)
  8. PPP with the Ivano – Frankivsk (21.07.2015)
  9. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Cherkassy (21.08.2015)
  10. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Kyiv (08.09.2015)
  11. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Kharkiv (19.09.2015)
  12. PPP with the City of Kyiv (18.12.2015)
  13. Letter of Recommendation with the City of Khelnytskyi (25.12.2015)
  14. Memorandum of Cooperation with the City of Kherson (30.12.2015)

In addition, UNINI project received support from the national authorities and the following agreements and support have been received:

  1. Memorandum of Cooperation with Verhovna Rada of Ukraine signed in the presence of Mr. Børge Brende the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affaires (April 2014)
  2. Recommendation Letter from the Ukrainian Ministry for Regional Development (01.10.2015)
  3. Recommendation Letter from the Ukrainian Ministry for Economic Development (13.10.2015)

In total four iHUBs in Ukraine has been opened and are fully operational.

  • iHUB in Kyiv was re-established autumn 2014 in new premises with 700m2. The new attractive space was fast filled up with more than 200 talented young entrepreneurs. Currently further expansion is ongoing to almost 2000 m2 in a PPP-model with the City of Kyiv
  • iHUB in Lviv was opened on 5th November 2015 in a PPP-partnership with the City of Lviv. Total surface of 400m2 has capacity to host 80 entrepreneurs and not even after one month of its launch it has 30 tenants already.
  • iHUBs in Vinnitsa was opened on 26th November 2015 in a PPP-partnership with the City of Vinnitsa. Total surface of 250m2 has capacity to host 50 entrepreneurs and already now it has 15 tenants.
  • iHUB in Chernihiv is established in partnership with a local entrepreneur and the project support such as furniture from UNINI 1, management capacity and trainings. The iHUB was opened on 27 April 2015. This pilot has shown that there is a great need and interest among young talents in smaller cities which. Giving these talents an opportunity in their home city is a good instrument to reduce local “brain drain”.

iHUB staff trained and in operation

UNINI’s success factor in securing sustainability is to recruit and train local staff/managers from day one and give them responsibility step by step. iHUB network now have a well-trained team of six young local managers in Kiev, that also have a key role in establishing the iHUB in the other cities. iHUB local managers and teams in Chernihiv, Lviv and Vinnitsa are also fully operational.