Local Economic Development program

Building sustainable partnerships to develop responsible, proactive communities at a local level

No of Projects Funded by the Program:


Fact №


No of People Program Reached Directly:


Fact №


No of People Program Reached Indirectly:

5 million

Fact №


Funded by the Program:

$4.1 million

Fact №



Program aims to find effective solutions to support economic potential boost of Ukrainian regions through empowering communities and building partnerships. The Program is targeting small scale projects according to three main criteria, such as solving a problem and responding to the need of the community; building partnerships, and ensuring sustainability of results.

Our Goal – build sustainable partnerships to develop responsible, proactive communities at a local level

Our Approach – support transformative projects and agents of change (national solutions with a local impact)

It embraces SME development, urban transformations, startups ecosystem and education-related initiatives, innovative & business clusters, etc. It is built on effective cooperation principles, including shared responsibility and co-financing to ensure sustainability of transformative initiatives.


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International Mayors Summit

International Mayors Summit (IMS), launched in 2016 as a knowledge exchange platform for local government leaders, became “more than a conference”, a place where projects and partnerships are born. The annual Summit brings together prominent mayors from throughout the world, the business community, international organizations representatives and civil society to discuss solutions, innovations, best practices and common challenges in all areas of city life. The Summit is organized by Western NIS Enterprise Fund and supported by the Prime Minister of Ukraine. Mayors and experts from the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, UK, UAE, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Germany took part at the International Mayors Summit. The Summit’s format allows participants to get knowledge and build a strong international network with prominent global leaders of urban transformation, be part of professional speed-networking sessions, test various solutions at the location, sign memorandums and launch special projects.
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Technovation girls

Technovation Girls is the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship competition for girls aged 10-18. Technovation Girls aims to popularize programming among women, support girls in the IT-sector and develop women’s leadership. It is one of the most significant initiatives, which helps girls realize their role in the community and overcome the stereotypes around women in IT. Ukraine joined the program in 2016 and already over 500 girls from 40 Ukrainian cities have participated in Technovation Girls Ukraine projects, with over 30,000 reached.
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CANactions is the first Ukrainian school of urban planning that contributes to the qualitative transformation of Ukrainian cities by involving the best practices tested by international experts. Within the framework of the UMAEF grant, special attention is paid to a theoretical program with practical results, the basic component of which is visits to pilot cities.
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Small Grants Projects is a joint initiative of CANaction School for Urban Studies and UMAEF to facilitate the practical implementation of urban projects in Ukraine in different directions. As a result of the first program, 7 (out of 263 applications) projects were implemented in different cities. 10 out 512 projects were chosen within the 2nd enrollment. The Small Grants Competition’s main goal is to empower initiative citizens to implement different kinds of urban projects. Projects selected within the Competition aimed to develop socially responsible entrepreneurship; to find environmental solutions; to boost social interaction of citizens and promote their engagement in collective decision-making; to preserve historically valuable elements as well as maintain overall cultural environment; to set up different forms of educational programs – both formal and informal – in the sphere of urbanism; to upgrade infrastructure and adapt it to the needs of citizens; to do local tactical changes within an urban environment.
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ProZorro is a new electronic public procurement system that allows state procurement online. It provides a transparent platform for public purchases, which will significantly eliminate the corruption inherent in the procurement process. UMAEF was among the first donors to fund the project. Since August 1, 2016 ProZorro is obligatory for every public institution at central and local level, and has already saved over 18 bln. UAH to the state budget. ProZorro was named the best “electronic procurement system” in the world (2016 World Procurement Awards) and won the first prize at the third annual Open Government Awards 2016 ceremony in Paris.
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The project aims to build an e-auction for transparent sale of assets owned by the Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF) in Ukraine (based on ProZorro principles of e-tender). DGF is responsible for sales of assets of 65 insolvent banks. Total insolvent banks assets book value is UAH 447bn. Experts estimate total recovery value is UAH 80-120bn.
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1991 open data incubator

1991 Open Data Incubator is a non-commercial incubator that helps activists and IT-developers to create their own startups and services using open government data that will be helpful to citizens, companies, and the government. The incubator is funded by UMAEF and operates with the support of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, ministries, and international organizations such as Microsoft, Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data Institute, etc. The project aims to take the massive data produced by Ukraine’s bureaucracy and streamline it for citizen access. Supported by UMAEF and in partnership with Microsoft Ukraine, 1991 hosts groups of programmers from around Ukraine, selected during four hackathons.
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Hub Schools

Hub Schools is a project initiated by the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and with the support of the international donors such as the USAID, Ukraine-Moldova American Enterprise Fund, Caritas, and Microsoft Ukraine. The project aims to enhance the education of children who live and study in rural areas, promoting the development of hub schools as educational and cultural centers that will fully meet the educational needs of children from ungraded, closed or reorganized schools as part of decentralization reform. 24 pilot schools (one per each region in Ukraine) were selected and are being improved: infrastructure, educational equipment, and materials, through donor funding. UMAEF ensures the upgrade of science labs (250,000 USD invested), while reparation of schools is being undertaken by USAID through Save the Children and Caritas.
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Mykolaiv development agency

Mykolaiv Development Agency was established by Mykolaiv City Council as a nonprofit organization based on communal ownership, subordinated to the Executive Committee of Mykolaiv City Council, and supported by UMAEF. The Agency aims to develop and facilitate the implementation of the city development strategy, provide analytical support for this process, attract off-budget financial and other resources, investments, and establish partnerships with sister cities and donor organizations. It is designed to cooperate effectively with local and central governments in strategic planning and administration of territorial development projects, ensure effective cross-sector cooperation between the local authorities, business and community and create a brand-new city development environment.

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