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Private Sector Development and Entrepreneurship

Language: English | Russian

Speeches Shim

AID-VENTURE project's participants
Bel.biz

The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), works to strengthen and expand the private sector in Belarus by increasing the capacity of private businesses. USAID particularly focuses on supporting innovative entrepreneurship. It strives to improve micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises’ (MSMEs) access to modern business technologies and access to capital. 

Low MSME participation in the national economy hampers job creation and the development of modern products and services. A stronger private sector in Belarus will lead to sustainable economic development, job growth, and increased incomes for the people.

FACTS:

  • USAID helped launch the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Belarus in 2011, providing state-of-the-art knowledge, skills, and connections to thousands of entrepreneurs. 
  • TechMinsk Accelerator has engaged 291 young tech entrepreneur participants (30% women) in in-depth training and mentorship in English. Graduates of TechMinsk created several internationally known companies and unicorns, including MSQRD, OneSoil, PandaDoc, Trackduck, Friendlydata, StoryLine, LungPassport, and EightydaysMe.
  • 18 Startup Schools were established in the regions of Belarus from 2016 to 2020. Close to 14,000 participants (31% women) received training in relevant topics. Around 1,200 startup teams and enterprises benefited from this program.
  • USAID helped pilot 18 Startup Schools Junior seasons to educate school-aged children on entrepreneurship basics; 196 schoolchildren developed their entrepreneurship and leadership skills in 2019-2020.
  • Four Best Start-Up Idea competitions were organized for young professionals and future entrepreneurs in Belarus. A total of 359 startup teams were supported, 59 received funding. All participants got free access to 6 online courses on business planning, financial and risk analysis, and marketing.
  • USAID helped create a venture funding market in Belarus. Belarus Business Angels Network AngelsBand was founded with USAID support in 2018. Venture Capital (VC) Academy (vc.imaguru.co) was established. Overall, 260 future investors (20% women) attended online and offline educational courses, including those in the VC Academy.
  • The leading Belarus private business school expanded its reach to the regions, converting 42 courses into a distance-learning format. Over 1,200 entrepreneurs (55% women) completed training. Five Regional Centers of Excellence in Entrepreneurship were established; over 6,000 entrepreneurs (52% women) benefited from their services.
  • Close to 3,400 representatives of rural microenterprises (67% women) improved their financial literacy. Over 1,100 people (55% women) improved their rural business skills, and over 1,400 people (55% women) improved their agricultural skills. Unique microleasing program for rural areas was launched, benefiting 317 rural entrepreneurs.
  • 81 trainers were certified to conduct practice-oriented Plan Your Future financial literacy courses for rural households, incorporating best international practices in financial planning.
  • USAID and the International Finance Corporation helped to improve the regulatory environment for SMEs. About 40 legislative acts were developed, and 16 were adopted in 2010-2017.

Last updated: December 16, 2021

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