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Unique fund will raise Ukraine to the next level

Article - January 19, 2012
The Ukraine Economic Reform Fund is an international organisation supported by contributions from private companies all over Ukraine

The Fund’s activity is focused on supporting projects aimed at the successful implementation of economic reforms, stabilisation of the Ukrainian economy, and the improvement of Ukraine’s image abroad. The Fund was founded in 2010, and its official presentation took place on January 14, 2011.

Lyubov Rudyuk, president of the Ukraine Economic Reform Fund, explains how the fund will help boost Ukraine’s economy.
How did the idea for the reform fund come about?

The idea of how international companies expanded their activities and built their networks has always interested me. I wanted to create an institution in Ukraine which would incorporate the best international practices while reaching out to the national and international organisations. This is how the idea of creating the Ukraine Economic Reform Fund (UERF) came about. Today, the Fund covers the whole country, by working with different organisations, including the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, which is represented in every region of Ukraine. The Fund also maintains its presence in European countries and plans to further explore the opportunities of international cooperation.

Can you tell us a bit more about the organisation?

UERF has a group of about 30 young professionals who work closely with the government. We also reach out to the high-level officials, decision and policy makers of the countries who are willing to share their first-hand experience. Our Advisory Board consists of people who are on the Committee of Economic Reforms supervised by the President of Ukraine.

UERF was founded in 2010. What have been its big successes?

Our Harvard Program relates to human capacity, as well as the country’s positive international image. While it is common enough for most people to go abroad to enroll in business schools, this is the first time ever that we are bringing people in to study in the School for Public Administration.

In fact, Harvard’s management was surprised by how young the group was. What they saw was a group of vibrant, English-speaking young professionals who were keen to learn. The pilot program was a success. In a way, it is a totally new concept.

Launching the information campaign about Ukraine on CNN and BBC was a good start. In addition to the information campaign we have launched a supplementary project about the country in the form of a brochure, which was distributed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, The Economist Ukrainian Summit and other important international events.

Apart from beautiful pictures of Kiev, the brochure also contained motivational quotes from Western businesses based in Ukraine. We continue to publish these kinds of brochures. However, we do need more concrete, themed events dedicated to Europe. This is the next direction that we would like to take as a fund. 

What is your long-term vision for the Fund?

I would like to see Ukraine implement the vision and aspirations which the government and the President have declared as their agenda.

In the next five years, I would like to be in a position to say that we have helped make these ideas a reality.