Equipping businesses with the skills required to rebuild Ukraine

Hundreds of Ukrainian businesses affected by the Russian invasion and ensuing conflict took part in the first of three online lectures on disaster management, resilience building and sustainable growth.

Posted 26 May 2022

The flag of Ukraine.

The sessions were delivered by Professor of SME Growth and Development, Maharaj Vijay Reddy.

Working with the European Business Association (EBA), Professor Reddy gave the first presentation on risk and crisis management on Friday 20 May, with two further sessions to be delivered in November 2022 and February 2023.

Established in 1999, the EBA in Ukraine provides a forum in which its members can discuss and find solutions to common problems affecting business. The EBA unites over 1,000 companies in Ukraine and is one of the largest and most influential business communities in the country.

The knowledge transfer lecture included strategic directions for conflict and high-risk areas with academic underpinning and practical business recovery examples from previous disasters, war zones and protracted conflict areas, for instance, Japan, Kashmir, Iraq, Columbia and Sri Lanka, as well as policy guidelines from international agencies such as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and United Nations Global Compact.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to catastrophic impacts for Ukraine causing Europe’s largest refugee crisis since the second World War, a significant loss of lives, a humanitarian crisis, destruction to infrastructure and disproportionate shocks in the demand and supply systems of businesses of all sizes.

As of April, the invasion has caused over $564 billion (£452 billion) in economic losses to the country in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), infrastructure, enterprises and loss of direct investment, according to the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine. 

Professor Reddy said: “With on-going military conflict in several parts of the country and ceasefire talks failing to make progress, the road to peace in the country and socio-economic recovery of businesses are largely unclear. Nevertheless, the need to reduce further economic loss and maintain business stability in Ukraine to avoid stepping into the conflict-poverty trap is growing."

Team Leader of the EBA Management Development Centre in Kyiv, Ms Liliya Yamborak, commented: “These topics are of great importance for every Ukrainian, especially now when people are struggling for freedom, to overcome the crisis in business and keep their resilience up.

"It’s important to have precise examples and cases from history to be equipped with the knowledge and skills required for rebuilding a new Ukraine.”

Professor Reddy’s challenging research projects focusing on earthquakes, tsunamis and conflicts were funded by national and international agencies including UNESCO, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, and British Council.