Andriy Lutskevych City: Kovel

One day in the social network I saw an announcement about study in Kovel, which was very surprising. After all, in our city, I have not heard about such events before. The main goal of the application was to get acquainted with active citizens of my city, to find like-minded people and just wonderful, interesting people with a "highlight". During the first few sessions all the participants were very shy and I began to lose interest in this program. But with every next lesson we became more acquainted and closer together. The training took place in a wonderful atmosphere, our teachers were highly-qualified and, most importantly, they increased our IQ. Subsequently, we began to do tasks that really began to reveal our potential. Education is training, but the practice I liked the most. During the whole period of  "Getting Down To Business" program, I may not have mastered 100% of the material submitted to us, but got acquainted with  nice, energetic, indifferent people who inspire not to be massive and try to put their ideas into practice. I grew up during this program and realized that time was up and I needed to lift my "fifth point" and run to meet my dreams, while overcoming all possible and impossible obstacles. This program explained to me the following: do not postpone what you can do today for tomorrow; bring order to the workplace; be punctual; knock on the door and you will open it ... We have all heard and seen it in books, but it is in this atmosphere that with these people and plus with live examples of successful people you begin to realize that you can actually turn the mountains up. The main thing is correct approach and 100% return on this case.

About a month before the program was completed, several participants, including me, united and formed the NGO "GREAT IDEA". In a rather short period of time we have implemented a few interesting ideas, one of which was the joint organization of the grandiose national project "CITY OF PROFESSIONS". This event was held mainly in regional centers and it was NGO "GREAT IDEA" who was able to organize this holiday for the first time in Volyn for children and adults in a small city. Representatives of 67 professions were involved in the project. The event was attended by more than 3000 children of the city and region. Local entrepreneurs and representatives of state structures joined the project. Representatives of such companies as AVK, STIHL, VIKING, Kiev Vitamin Plant, EVA, Limo and others arrived on a holiday organized by GREAT IDEA.

For our team this is just the beginning of great of work that awaits us ahead. But thanks to the project "Getting Down To Business" we were able to believe in our strengths, to find our own advantages and to direct them in the right direction. I am quite confident that my life is divided into two categories "before" and "after", so I express my great gratitude to the organizers and I believe that this is far from the last project in our city.

Iryna Savyuk / City: Lutsk

"Getting Down To Business" project was a significant event in my life, which gave me  an interesting experience, deep knowledge, a lot of impressions and emotions. It inspired new achievements and "feats." And since I devote most of my time to social activities, such a charge is extremely important for me.

The first thing that I want to recall is wonderful people who, during the whole period, were qualified, creative, extraordinary teachers and wonderful, positive, intelligent colleagues. After all, each lesson was conducted in a special way. As if you are not just learning, you get only useful information in a pleasant atmosphere with some notes of humor.

It is worth saying that such a technique was successful. In particular, it gave the opportunity to deepen knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship, practice in the application of IT in business, improve many necessary skills. For example, and that is very important in this area - communication in English. New interesting tasks, original exercises, which were given us by the teachers, contributed to that.

Personally for me, the project has become meaningful because it added value to my resume. As a result, I was able to take part in various schools, trainings, seminars and projects. Communication with foreign organizations, participation in their events and common projects has now become even more interesting and enjoyable, thanks to the knowledge gained in the project. After all, English language skills have improved.

At the moment, I'm continuing my little cultural and educational project, which I started during the project "Getting Down To Business". Most of all I work in social networks and I hope that in the near future it will give me the opportunity to become a successful entrepreneur.

I hope each participant got what he hoped from the project. As for myself, I have to say - it satisfied my expectations. I was expecting something cool, but I did not expect it to be so cool.

Finally, I want to wish all success in the endeavors, rapid development of projects, inspiration and ... After a few years, be sure to meet with a cup of coffee and recall the wonderful moments of our "School of Entrepreneurship".

Halyna Polishchuk / City: Volodymyr-Volynsky

What was useful in the project?

Every, every lesson was useful for me. First of all, this is, of course, English (which I came for, frankly speaking). All the same, at classes for doing own business, I have heard a lot of useful and new information.

Has my life changed?

I will not lie, my life has changed more now because of the fact that my child was born.

I cannot boast of success in business, but I have one very cool idea, which I plan to implement in the near future and apply all the acquired knowledge there.

The project taught me a new and more creative way of thinking, not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid to dream.

Remembering a project, I always have a sense of gratitude. I thank teachers for interesting, not boring and meaningful lessons. I express gratitude to the students, with whom I had fun at the lessons. Well, for the fact that I dared to apply for participation in the training!

Veronika Bormova / City: Volodymyr-Volynsky

It was a simple day, one of those that was not remembered by anything special ... I came to the employment centre and saw there an interesting girl. She told employees about the project, the English language and the rest of interesting things - then I did not pay much attention to it. It was my first acquaintance with Natalia ... Natalia Lytvyna.

It took several days and I, as it happens to people, was sitting at the computer and browsing some news. I saw again the ad I had seen before, the invitation of young people to the Getting Down To Business courses. I was interested and decided to try ...  But my lazy and comfort zone suggested to me: "Why do you need it ... collecting some documents, going somewhere, studying …" - it delayed the filling of my documents for this course. A few days later, I saw the ad again and made myself collect all the necessary documents. Then I thought that I always wanted not only to learn English but understand it, find new friends and join something interesting and non-standard.

I saw that girl with eyes-flames again. She was friendly and cheerful. Natalia told me where, when, how, and a month later I talked with the representatives of the competition committee, and then began to study. It was very interesting. English language finally became clear to me, the accounting business of fifty shades of black became fifty shades of grey. Several legal lessons have clarified many questions about which I did not even guess :))).

IT have contributed to my outlook on computer technology. Finally, I know what "clouds", "hash tag" ... and other newfangled words are. And most importantly, I became acquainted with many good people. An English teacher Angelina Kalinina gave a lot of practical advices and told everything in a very interesting way. "Mingle-mingle", and "Hi!" How are you », « Harry, this is Mary »by Sergey Kirpis, I will never forget! Natalya Lytvyna allowed me to look at the world of IT technologies in a new way.

Project participants, boys and girls, became friends for me. Did I become an entrepreneur after the project? - No, but I thought about it and have some plans about it. Has my life changed? It did not change fundamentally, but I became more confident, more persistent, if possible I take part in diverse seminars, trainings and projects. I study English independently. When you put effort and do things that you like, everything grows like an avalanche of snow, an increase in the number of friends, interests, information, emotions. There is inspiration for everything new and new, you feel like a charged battery, you want to live in full and do something good and meaningful. Looking at the trainings by Natalia Lytvyna and Victor Valchuk on Facebook, I want to get and get new knowledge. Everything was cool! I am glad to have attended these classes. I would recommend to anyone who wants a truly high-quality and interesting study of a foreign language to draw their attention to the projects of the series Getting Down To Business. These are really high-quality and professional courses. I recommend!

Kateryna Chuyko / City: Lutsk

 

Probably, everyone had an idea to start his own business, but the fear and misunderstanding where to begin, always stopped from achieving this goal.

I had the same situation before the announcement of the Getting Down to Business project on the Internet. Its aim was to train a group of young people during six months in the basics of business English, doing business and working with modern media.

Participation in the project was formed on a competitive basis. Each candidate had to provide a complete package of documents. It all looked simple enough until it came up to writing a motivation letter, a resume, and finding people who would give a written recommendation. So, after a few weeks of collecting documents and waiting for the results, I joined the team of project.  Now I fully understand that the summary and motivation were insufficiently convincing and well-prepared.

During the project, I not only learned to write such easy, at first sight, documents, but also to process them in English. It, in turn, has led and will lead to cooperation with foreign customers and participation in international projects. One of these projects was "Study Tours to Poland", and  I was selected from a thousand students from 4 countries. I am grateful for the experience and information received in the Getting Down to Business project. The project introduced me to resource centres, information portals, where everyone can find all possible world-wide trainings, contests, conferences, grants for financing their own affairs and ideas. The project showed me a wide range of opportunities that are open source and completely free. Everything is possible. The main thing is to want.

Now when ideas are born in my head, I conduct a SWOT analysis that helps me to remove really bad ideas and leave only those that my focus is all about. After analyzing the strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities for implementing the plan, I begin to write a business plan. At the moment in my arsenal there is a powerful project to open a web studio and an information portal "Lutsk-Space". To realize this idea, a large amount of money, a customer base, skilled workers and advertising space on the Internet are needed. Therefore, to begin with, I will work as a freelance web designer and look for a programmer and manager for collaboration. At the moment, I am engaged in administering a foreign language learning page, as well as selling hand-made things for evening parties and other holidays. A large number of subscribers will allow me in the future to engage in the sale of advertising or free promotion of their own products and services.

The financial classes where we studied the regulatory requirements for conducting our own business and reporting to the supervisory authorities were not wasted. Now I have an idea of how the tax system and registration of entrepreneurial activity are organized. All these things seem  to be an ordinary business and will not be a problem in the future.

I thank Getting Down to Business project for all the organizers and teachers who had made it possible to improve English language skills, helped  to realize our dreams and goals, to get out of the comfort zone and to understand how many opportunities are open to us today.

Kateryna Pachkovska / City: Kovel

During my participation in the project, I got additional knowledge of English and IT technologies, the experience of communicating with people, new acquaintances. "Getting Down To Business" project is a good start for a career. Thanks to the project, I have determined which sphere of my life needs to be developed most of all.

Of course, I want to put together several goals at the same time and reach them simultaneously. And the result, obviously, is worth it. I have been hired to work as a "accountant" specialist in the prestigious organization of the city of Kovel. The courses gave the opportunity to structure theoretical knowledge, use it in practice, meet and overcome various difficulties, learn how to solve problems.

Self-confidence helped me direct all internal resources to achieve the goal. I have become better, morally stronger and wise. The person who has achieved his or her goals, self-esteem, self-confidence increase - it's all about me now.

I am also very pleased to have improved my knowledge of English. I now communicate with people from all over the world and have conversations in international internet chats and groups, learned a lot about life and culture of other nations.

 

My dream is travelling. Now I can easily implement it, since English is spoken in more than a hundred countries around the world. Knowing English, I can communicate with foreigners without any difficulty. I think that big changes in my life are still ahead. Because I am striving for it.

Maryana Sorochuk / City: Lutsk

I studied English at school, then I went to the university. However, that knowledge was more theoretical, and when I got into the linguistic environment, I felt like a dog who understood everything, but could not say anything. This state of affairs did not suit me at all. I started looking for language courses. And oh miracle! My friend has posted an announcement for young people for a free "Getting Down To Business" course, where you could not only improve your language skills, but also learn something new about business communication and etiquette. So I collected the necessary package of documents, passed the exam and began to study.

After completing the courses, my language barrier disappeared, new friends appeared, it became clear that I already had a sufficient English vocabulary to have a conversation and business negotiations are just a few new words.

Now, after two months after completing the course, I already had several opportunities to communicate with English-speakers. You know I got it! We came to an agreement and even agreed to cooperate. All this was without translators and Google! Now it's just a matter of practice.

I plan to work for an international project that involves English proficiency. Thanks to this project, I stepped closer to implementing my plan. It is necessary to learn languages, because it is not only new interesting acquaintances, knowledge and opportunities, but also self-confidence.

Maria Kostiuk / Volodymyr-Volynsky

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After passing an interview for a good, highly paid work of an interpreter, I decided that it would be great to deepen my knowledge of the English language. One day I came across the announcement of the courses "Getting Down To Business". It was a great opportunity to improve knowledge of English and learn about doing business.

I really liked the training program, trainers and teachers, a professional accountant and a lawyer, an opportunity to meet with attaché from the United States, as well as methods and practices for conducting classes and a large amount of new and necessary information.

I think the way of conducting of the lessons was very effective. Firstly, we worked in groups and it always gave us the opportunity to discuss situations and tasks, and then present their implementation. Secondly, the classes were related to the organization of doing business and demanded to do practical tasks. After finishing  task, it was presented and discussed and the trainer gave us advices. Thirdly, every lesson was well planned and filled with just right information about the rules of organization of own business, current legislation, specific action plans, ways to find necessary resources. During the project, I learned about various business ideas, the possibility of self-employment and what it is necessary to know and take into account to make your business effective.

During the learning process, I realized that there were many opportunities and prospects that could be drawn from various projects and organizations. To do this, we even were provided the necessary links. The most important is to think over your idea.

Since I am a teacher in the sphere of education, I am interested in educational services. Now I am planning to organize extracurricular work with children because parents are often at work until 17-18:00 and they would like someone to look after their children, help with homework and organization of leisure. At the moment, I'm only at the planning stage. I consider all pros and cons. After all, I want my business to be effective, interesting and original. It is necessary to take into account the place of business, age groups of children, to develop training programs, organization of leisure activities, necessary equipment, advertising and much more. And I am sure that I will realize my idea soon.

"Getting Down To Business" is a great opportunity to learn new and necessary things for starting business. I would like to have more such courses, because they give not only new knowledge and skills, but also the main thing - a push to dare to do something that has long been just a dream or idea. After receiving information and instructions, it becomes a close reality. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the project!

Iryna Vlasyuk / City: Turiysk

My name is Iryna Vlasyuk. I am a mother of a little daughter. When I gave birth to my daughter, I had a desire to open my own online store of baby clothes and accessories, but there was a lot of excitement and hesitation. After all, business needs start-up capital, customer base, and, as it turned out later, knowledge of English. I buy clothes at foreign sites where negotiations with sellers are conducted in English. My level of knowledge was not enough to speak fluently.

One wonderful day I learned about Getting Down To Business project. My first thought was: "I want to be a member of this project!" Then I thought: "Will I have enough time to attend and prepare for the lessons, and at the same time pay enough attention to my child?" as she was only half a year at the beginning of the project. However I tried, because such a chance is given not every day, and I'm happy to have made such a decision.

This project has changed my life for better. I met a lot of sincere and interesting people and our group was generally one big family, however we even didn’t know each other before participating in the project. Every class was a holiday for us.

I also want to tell about the teachers of the "Getting Down To Business" project. In my opinion, one should write a book about each of them, because they are really professionals. It was they who believed in us and found an individual approach to each student. They became not only our mentors, but also friends. It was very interesting to study, learn new things, discover new talents and opportunities. We had a lot of meetings with entrepreneurs, lawyers and accountants during the project. Each of them shared some useful information that helped me in creating my own business.

At the moment I am the owner of a very successful online store. Participation in the Getting Down To Business project helped me realize my dream. But I do not stop. Now, my husband and I started a new business delivering goods from Europe. I can give an advice to everyone who thinks that he does not have enough time or opportunity to participate in such projects - do not miss your chance, learn new things, go beyond your fears, take the maximum from the opportunities that are given to you, because it is really necessary for self-development. Do not be afraid to start your own business! Maybe everything will not be successful at once. It's better to try to do it than to regret later that you did not.

Nelya Chekhanyuk / City: Kovel

What did “Getting Down To Business” project give me? It is definitely another future. The future with opportunities, with the understanding that to risk, to search for yourself in something new, completely different is exciting, useful and not scary at all.

More and more in my life I become convinced that there is nothing accidental in our life. After a year and a half of maternity leave, I realized that such a "golden" time can not be wasted and it is worth doing something for self-development. After all, new ideas develop so quickly that no matter how intelligent you are, you must study constantly all your life.

I was determined that I really wanted to learn English. However it was by accident that I came across information about the advertisement for participants in the Getting Down To Business Project.

Yes, I have not started my own business yet. But everything has its own time. I have an idea, a ready business plan which I have prepared with the project trainers and there is understanding of how I can do all this.

After all, nothing happens without a reason.

How do I use the knowledge I gained in the project? The destiny led me to this project so that I could communicate with my colleague, the US Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine Richard Roman, who worked with me at a nearby table in the public organization "Centre of Community Growth." During the project I learned how to use Google services and now I can easily create a Google form for the Leadership Development Program Questionnaire. I use Canva program to develop a booklet, business card and classroom facebook cover with the right combination of logos. Groups and pages in Facebook were something unfamiliar for me. Now, as a project manager, I administer organization pages and create new ones. And it does not matter that we were taught everything connected with business. In the public sector it works just as effectively, because there is also a product - it is a quality free social service. I will conduct a SWOT-analysis without a problem, which I heard from Natalia Lytvyna for the first time. And it turns out to be important to anyone who wants to have a sustainable development and be successful. I learned to be confident in myself and not to be afraid to take risks. I have found many new friends and together we cooperate to make our city and life better.

We realize great projects, work, relax, inspire each other and move forward together.

Getting Down To Business Project is an experience, new acquaintance, a school of confidence and development. This is the way to my success, after all. One step from where I am now and where I want to be.

Taras Mankut / City: Lutsk

Has this project affected my life? - Definitely YES! Totaly.

It so happened that my participation in the project fell on a rather complicated period of my life. For objective reasons, due to the liquidation of the company which I worked for, I lost my job. Having worked for more than four years in Kyiv, I returned to Lutsk. However, the search for suitable work did not give the desired result. There were no satisfying offers from the Lutsk City Employment Centre where I was registered as unemployed.

At one of the training seminars at the Lutsk City Employment Centre, which was conducted by experts from the NGO Volyn Perspectives, I, in fact, learned about this project. Having prepared all the necessary documents, I passed the competitive selection and became a member of the program. The main purpose for me was to study and improve knowledge of English.

However, new useful knowledge and skills are not all that I got at the project. For me, this project was, above all, a source of inspiration and motivation. After all, I met many talented, positive and energetic people here. I call them "inspirational people"!

Both the organizers and teachers, and the participants of this wonderful project even now inspire me for new accomplishments, motivate to learn, develop and never stop.

Thanks to the project, I significantly improved my English proficiency, mastered the extremely useful Internet resources, got acquainted with the regulatory framework in the field of entrepreneurship, taxation and accounting.

In addition, as part of the project, there were many interesting and informative meetings with English speakers - foreigners, volunteers who, to a certain degree, changed my outlook and life priorities.

Using the knowledge and skills received at the project, I significantly improved my resume, I found a suitable work that gives me the opportunity for further development both in the specialty and in other areas.

Nevertheless, I have plans and start my own business, which will enable me to use the knowledge and skills gained at the project in full.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank everyone involved in this project - the organizers, lecturers and participants. You are doing a great job!

And I want a further development of the project, because in modern conditions such projects are extremely important for the happiest future of our country and society!

Taras Vysotsky / City: Lutsk

My name is Taras Vysotsky. I'm 24 years old. I have higher education in the specialties «Political scientist, teacher of social and political disciplines» and «Management of financial and economic safety of the enterprise». I work as a sales manager at Raiffeisen Bank Aval. I am engaged in the management of a private farm, and I am a deputy of the Zhidychyn village council of the Kivertsi district of Volyn region.

Participation in the project "Getting Down To Business" has become useful and significant for me in my life. Thanks to this project I received much important and practical knowledge in the field of starting and doing my own business as well as studying business English.

During one of the lessons, I learned about a project to support of self-employment for internally moved persons and local communities in Ukraine from the International Organization for Migration. Thanks to the knowledge gained during the "Getting Down To Business" project and the support of our teachers, I succeeded in writing and defending the business plan and receiving financial assistance in co-financing for the purchase of equipment - modern polycarbonate greenhouses and, in practice, in March 2017, to start the opening own business growing fresh greenery and flowers in the greenhouse and their implementation.

The most interesting and profitable for me was growing flowers: gladiolus and static (kermeko). I took the stack on a seedling in a new greenhouse in March, I planted in the May-June planting plot, and from the middle of July I am engaged in its growing. Work is hard physically, but it brings moral satisfaction and financial stability to me and my family. I sell live flowers in floral shops in the city of Lutsk, as well as in the cities of Kovel, Volodymyr-Volynsky, Novovolynsk, Kivertsi and Gorokhiv. We have to work almost 7 days a week, but I work on my own - I do not want to go abroad for work, I need to develop my country, especially due to the fact that there is a war in Ukraine.

I sincerely thank the organizers of the "Getting Down To Business" project to Volyn Perspectives, the Embassy of the United States of America in Ukraine and the US Department of States, as well as our wonderful teachers for this magnificent project.

I hope that it will be further implemented and will contribute to the creation and development of small business in Ukraine.

Yulia Stolyarchuk / City: Kovel

Hello! My name is Yulia and I would like to share my little period of life during and after Getting Down To Business project.

I am a simple girl and I do not differ from other people much. I graduated from the University and I did not work at my specialty and I will never do it because it is not interesting for me. I went to work like most people but I did not enjoy it. It did not bring me joy and profit. In the evening I was busy doing different things and it continued day after day. I spent my free time on watching films, meeting with friends and social networks.

Therefore, when my friend told me about "Getting Down To Business", I did not doubt  a second and filled in the questionnaire. I thank my destiny, because this project not only made it possible to increase my English level and gain some knowledge in other areas, but also meet a lot of interesting, intelligent and positive people. I was glad to study. It was because both teachers and groupmates and the desire to learn. As a part of this project, Natalia Lytvyna, our IT technology lecturer and member of the Volyn Perspectives NGO, gave us the opportunity to take part in another project on self-employment development and the possibility to get a grant of UAH 20,000. I was the only one from the city of Kovel, who got this opportunity and after that I had a clear goal: "I will win this project, get a grant and become a professional make-up artist!"

 Two days of study in Lutsk, a successful business plan, a belief in myself and my dream have contributed to my victory. However, first of all it was  a victory over myself. I got funding and I bought a professional table and armchair for make-up, a set of brushes and eye-shadows, as well as a suitcase for cosmetics. Now I can say confidently that I have my favorite business and enjoy it! And it is not the end!

 I cannot but mention the NGO "Great Idea", which was created by the participant of the project Luda Savina and joined by some of the like-minded people in the project "Getting Down To Business". Without "Getting Down to Business," I would not have been involved in the "Leadership Development Program", because the new acquaintance brought me there. Within the framework of the Leadership Program, I and two other participants united and created our own Active Kovel project, which promoted alternative youth leisure. We had the first Kovel quest on the theme of the famous series "Friends". We did not even expect such a result, and we are waiting for this project to go on. My life has changed for the better, I have grown morally, changed my priorities, met necessary and interesting people, have made new friends, I work as self-development worker and I continue to study English. I have become better and I want to tell that the development and culture of the city depend on people themselves.

I thank "Getting Down To Business" project for a crazy start!

Khanova Julia / City: Volodymyr-Volynsky

I came to the project "Getting Down To Business" because I was curious and thirst for knowledge. Remembering the project, every time a smile appears on my face, because the first thing that comes to mind is our friendly team. The participants, organizers and teachers – I am grateful to all who have contributed to the work of the great mechanism called "Getting down to business".

All six months we worked for a common purpose. Thanks to each of us, this project has taken place and has the right to exist. Business English is our everything. By studying business English, I strengthened the knowledge, thanks to the professional lecturers and well-organized work.

The classes were held in a relaxed atmosphere, which helped open up many people. Every time teachers provided a lot of interesting and useful information. At classes I was able to express my thoughts and ask questions. This way of learning a foreign language is quite effective.

Today I can confidently say that my knowledge of English  has increased. Thanks to the project, I understood how effective advertising is in the process of doing business. The knowledge helped me expand the target audience and increase the reach of potential clients. Cloud-based technologies, which I have not used before, are now an integral part of everyday work. The main thing is that the project inspired me to develop my own business and this desire has become even stronger. I wish you all success! Remember no matter what your goal is, you will be able to achieve it if you want to work!

Iryna Kuznetsova / City: Volodymyr-Volynsky

 I would like to tell at once that the impact of the "Getting Down To Business" project was global in my life. Immediately after the first lesson. At first it seemed to me that young people in our area  were interested only in how to make money smuggling, because we live near the border with Poland. When I came to this project, I saw that many young people in Volyn wanted to change life for the better. And not only in their own lives, but also in the life of society. They are smart, educated, purposeful, full of strength and energy. Immediately this power influenced on me and made me think about their future. In addition to valuable knowledge, I have received a push to change my life.

At the moment, I am planning to buy my own car in order to collaborate with people in Poland and Germany. I have already joined driver training courses for obtaining international driving license. These changes were prompted by our project, as I learned English, got knowledge of accounting and the ability to write official letters to business partners.

At the initial stage I decided to sell goods and equipment from abroad in order to accumulate funds for the further development of my business. I am planning to supply goods for home from Germany and Poland. Such goods are in demand in Poland and Ukraine, so I have already compiled a list of possible customers in these countries and I have established contacts with some of them. Also, there are lists of customer contacts for the sale of products from Poland in the east, south and centre of Ukraine. I do not even know how I could find partners in Germany without knowledge of English. If in Poland I could still speak a little Polish, at the German market such variant would not bring results.

In future I am planning to purchase equipment for home in Germany and implement it in Ukraine. Since most entrepreneurs are buying equipment from Germany already in Poland, the price level for it is higher than I can offer, because I will buy equipment directly in Germany.

This is my plan for the next 3-5 years. My main goal is opening of a public catering facility in Volodymyr-Volynsky. In my dream, I'm thinking of earning the way described above and writing projects and receiving grants, using the knowledge I gained at the project.

The catering establishment is too general word for my dream. I dream of opening a restaurant (perhaps small but definitely unique), where visitors can not only eat delicious food, but also get acquainted with the history of our city, since it is more than 1000 years old, therefore we have something to tell. This restaurant should resemble the famous Lviv Kryivka with unique atmosphere, mysteriousness and things that people wore and used 1000 years ago in our area. In Volodymyr-Volynsky, and even in the neighboring cities, there is no such institution, where visitors of our city can come and immediately understand what Volodymyr-Volynsky is. Is it interesting? Would you like to come to kneipp and do not understand what year is outside? Just imagine, you went to the restaurant because you smelled of fragrant meat or other dishes from the street, and dive into the atmosphere of the last millennium! Rare things in the interior, the waiter dressed in the clothes of those times, a guard in combat ammunition. When everything suggests that now is not 2017 but 1000-1015. Are you already there?

Podlyak Iryna / Volodymyr-Volynskyi

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One fall day in November 2016, randomly wandering around the World Wide Web, I by chance encountered a proposition to participate in a project called Getting Down to Business.

I have long dreamt of and seen myself as the leader of my own business. One could say "business owner," but I prefer a slightly different formulation "own a business."  This underscores the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills, the ability to translate ideas into action, the freedom to operate at one’s own pace and style, the chance to gain financial independence, and ultimately, the prospect of discovering many other opportunities.

My timid thoughts about owning my own business would have been waiting in a queue of “to be continued for contemplation” for a long time, if not for the Getting Down to Business Project!  The project gave me enough knowledge to click the "Start" button!

In 2013, I graduated from the Faculty of Philology at Ivan Franko National University in Lviv.  I earned a diploma with honors; I had the chance to continue my studies in graduate school, but I realized that I am more of a practitioner than a theoretician.  Moreover, my profession as a teacher of Ukrainian as a foreign language is intensely interesting and extraordinary!  For several years, I have been working as a specialist at a private language school.  During this time, I have worked with students from various countries around the world including the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Estonia, and Poland.  By communicating with these amazing people, I managed to overcome the barriers and borders between Ukraine and often distant countries (imaginary ones of course).

 

Life in a small city such as Volodymyr-Volynskyi has many advantages over large cities (for me personally).  Many young people think that it's hard to succeed in one’s profession in a small town.  I once thought so as well, especially given my rather exotic profession (teaching foreigners).  My opinion changed after participating in the project "Getting Started."  The project kick-started a series of happy coincidences, or rather logical events unfolded in my life.

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Thanks to a highly informative project coordinator, Natalia Lytvyna, and cooperation with the Lutsk-based public organization “Veles+,” the students in my group learned about an International Organization for Migration project to support and grow entrepreneurship among internally displaced persons in the local communities of the Volyn region.  The project included a two-day training and a business plan competition to start an entrepreneurial business.  I was fortunate enough to be among the beneficiaries who received grant support.  The grant funds covered the costs of technical and educational equipment as well as furniture (computers, printer cartridges, magnetic boards, desks, shelves, chairs, etc.)  My business idea was to provide tutoring for people desiring to study Ukrainian language and literature along with the services of an online teacher (Ukrainian as a foreign language).  Currently, I conduct both types of services and activities from home.  In a few months, I will return to work after maternity leave, and my child will start attending kindergarten.  From now on, I will be able to more actively and quickly develop my business: renting office space, registering business activities to expanding the format of my activities – culminating in a complete tutoring center.  My efforts have already resulted earning a profit!  I spend some of the income to purchase textbooks and study materials, the rest - on personal needs.

Foreigners reside in our city!  And this is the second fortunate opportunity!  Thanks to one of the Getti

ng Down to Business English language tutors, I met a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.  I am currently teaching her Ukrainian.

The project coaches are not only business professionals with charismatic personalities; they are also socially active citizens.  During the project, we spoke a lot about community activism.  Recently, USAID offered a training event on writing project proposals and budgets for the Strengthening Local Financial Initiatives (IMF-II) implementation project.  I am now preparing my public benefit project for registration in the electronic system and its further expansion and promotion!

I hope that positive happenstances and unexpected events continue appearing in my life!  I advise people hesitating in life, at the appropriate place and time, with the words of a well-known politician: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are," which in Ukrainian translates to "Роби те, що можеш, з тим, що маєш, там, де ти є" (Theodore Roosevelt).

Iryna Podzizey City: Volodymyr-Volynsky

I took part in such a project as "Getting Down To Business" for the first time. New acquaintances with professionals of their work and with the participants themselves - are inspirational and useful. The training took place with interest, in a friendly atmosphere, so half a year passed very fast.

Of course this project is an "opportunity for opportunities". We expressed our ideas, discussed, turned them into business plans, shared some experience, tried to describe in English.

Thanks to this project I had the opportunity to attend a two-day training on self-employment, after which I, with the support of the project trainers, wrote and defended my business plan.

I decided to choose a business idea related to my education - the direction of arts and crafts. As this is a rather broad aspect of creative activity, I focused on the topic of "Making home fabrics by hand weaving and acrylic painting." My idea was supported and I received a grant for the purchase of the necessary equipment for development.

It was my small victory. I hope this is the beginning of a great deal. Getting knowledge and my strength, I will go to the right direction, because now there are offers for master classes and small orders for painting things.

  Thank you very much to the organizers of this project, because it helped to believe in myself, to find like-minded people, to learn more about the possibilities of obtaining and applying additional education!

Olexandr Yaroshyk / City: Lubeshiv

"Knowledge of one foreign language allows you to enter the corridor of life, the knowledge of two languages ​​- opens all the doors in this corridor" - these words of Frank Smith made me, in adolescence, set myself the goal of learning at least one foreign language. Undoubtedly, currently English is the most common among foreign languages. Thinking why this Old-Germanic language has become so popular today, I find some reasonable answers. First, most business spheres depend on it. Secondly, this is a generally accepted language of the modern digital era. Nowadays, fluency in English is no longer an amazing skill, but a necessity.

I was born and grew up in a small town where there were not many opportunities for training or work. After analyzing the labor market, I came to the conclusion that knowledge of modern computer technologies and monitoring of their progress would open great prospects for me. So, the choice of my profession was the specialty "Computer Engineering" at the National Aviation University in Kyiv.

During the first year of my studies, I faced the problem of low English language proficiency, since studying each of the programming languages required knowing of vocabulary. And I began to study English myself.

Later, having graduated from the university and worked in the civil service, I found myself in the register of those who receive unemployment benefits at the employment center. In such a difficult life situation, I realized that only thanks to the knowledge of a foreign language new career opportunities and personal growth would be opened for me. However, independent study of this language did not give the desired result.

It was at that moment, when with the help of the employment center, I learned about a set of participants in the new social initiative "Getting Down To Business": English for Young Entrepreneurs in order to increase their skills in business and use of mobile and social media. "It was a chance to try again to realize my ideas in life and I did not want to lose it.

After selecting and becoming a participant in this project, I did not imagine that I could become a part of a new big family. We constantly shared new ideas, gave each other advices, and most importantly - it was a support in all the new endeavors of each participant. Thanks to our instructors, we have all the skills we need to succeed in starting small business, have experience in social media and digital applications, have acquired skills in creating advertising materials using Internet technologies and improved our knowledge of English, which was one of my most important criteria for me in this project. I also want to note the frequent meetings with native speakers of this language, which surprised me personally, and especially acquaintance with John Silver, Regional English Language Officer at the US Embassy in Ukraine.

I hope that this project has become for me the very springboard, which I will enable me to reach the ascended heights in my life, because the love, desire, endurance and efforts that were invested by the organizers and teachers are inestimable!

Iryna Vecheria / City: Volodymyr-Volynsky

I took part in "Getting Down To Business" project and now, looking back, I understand that really, my life can be divided into two parts such as "before" and "after" the project. I worked at a local company which made furniture. My work was routine and it didn’t bring development and pleasure. However, since childhood I have been trying to develop. I was interested in everything new, I learned easily and quickly. That is why I was very interested in the project when I saw the announcement for the groups.

For me, the project was a step for change. I made sure that working for a job was not a verdict. You can improve your life, dream, act, turn dreams into plans and plans into reality. And now I know for sure that everything is in my hands! At least small steps, but I can do things that change the world for the better!

First of all, I have improved my English language level, without which it is impossible to live in the modern world; got basic knowledge of normative requirements for starting and doing own business and mastered my skills of working with Internet resources, websites, and social media in order to promote goods and services. In particular, I used the program for graphic design "Canva", learned about the convenience and versatility of cloud technologies.

Most of all I was impressed and inspired by the personal story of the project coordinator, Natalia Lytvyna, who, by her own example, proved that it was possible to have interesting work and to develop at the same time. The main thing is not to be afraid, but to begin to act and not to stop.

At the project I learned about different opportunities that we got with the help of the Internet and had never known before. Among them there is an opportunity to do online courses. I have chosen interesting ones for myself and I have already passed some of them. Now I have completed the course "Social entrepreneurship" at the platform "Prometheus". It was interesting for me to find out about Internet platforms such as "Public space", "Great Idea", "GURT". Here you can find contests, trainings, grants of different directions. Recently, thanks to one of the above-mentioned platforms, I participated in the School of Mutual Understanding and Youth Leadership within the framework of the "Youth Unites Ukraine" project in Ternopil.

I quitted from work I didn’t like and now I search for opportunities, development and myself. I became more active citizen and participate in various training sessions, write social projects, and plan, if it is possible, to write a project for a self-employment grant. I understand that each of us is an integral part of society, each of us builds our country and builds our future.

Also among important changes after the project there is the creation of a public organization "Creativity Studio" together with like-minded people in the city of Volodymyr-Volynsky. The main direction of our public organization is cultural and educational activities, different events, lectures, seminars and workshops. We try to improve our lives around us, we write projects for the realization of our creative ideas.

I am planning to start my own competitive business that will bring pleasure, benefit and high income.

In general, life has become more intense and interesting. And this is just the beginning of the story the first paragraph of which has been passed through Getting Down To Business Project.

Lyudmyla Savina (Zubareva) / City: Kovel

I learned about the project "Getting Down To Business" by chance at the Kovel City City Employment Centre. Although I have been convinced that nothing in the world is accidental and every new thing is the beginning of the next level in life.

I graduated from Lutsk National Technical University and got a degree in Management of the organization. I like to be organizer, I dream of opening an event company for organizing holidays.

Although I am convinced that nothing in the world is accidental and every new thing is the beginning of the next level in life.

I graduated from Lutsk National Technical University and got a degree in Management of the organization. I like to be organizer, I dream of opening an event company for organizing holidays.

At the age of 24 I have already the experience in running my own business - in 2014 I wrote my first business plan, which was supported by an investor from Lviv. We opened office and business went up. The business project was a success for half a year and the main reason for the sudden non-profit was the inflation in the country and the fighting in the East of Ukraine, as the direction of our work was closely connected to banking and finance.

 

So when I learned about people willing to take part in "Getting Down To Business" project in Kovel, I thought it was my chance to analyze my mistakes in managing my own business, learn how to build a business strategy correctly and plan work.

Thanks to the participation in the project, I wrote a business plan of the event company "Happy Holiday" and confidently, with a luggage of knowledge behind my shoulders and a clear plan of actions that the mentors of the project helped to make, I will implement it. The course of IT-technologies was especially useful for me, because in the XXI century successful business without using computer technology is practically impossible. Thanks to the course "Business English" I can enter the world market with sale of exclusive souvenir products through my own online store "Happy Holiday". My handmade gifts have already gone to Italy and France.

After the project, due to communication with teachers and active participants, I had a desire to write a powerful business project that in the future could attract investors and tourists to our city of Kovel, promote its development in the economic, social and tourist spheres. Confidence in the success of the plan was added by information at the course of IT-technologies. I learned about the possibilities of obtaining grant funding for self-employment or small business. Moreover, the knowledge that I received from the "Getting Down To Business" project influenced on my husband at home and now he dreams of implementing this business project with me. He jokes - "I was informal student of the project" Getting Down To Business", and for the next course, the name of Victor Zubarev will definitely appear in the list of participants!".

Anna Khomych / City: Kovel

The project "Getting Down To Business" returned me to further studying of English, becoming another step towards fluency in English.

This project showed me that it was necessary to plan, dream, develop, set goals, not to be afraid to try and go to your goal. At the same time we were provided with information on how to start our own business, which form of reporting was better to choose, how, in accordance with law, to report on the activities and taxes to be paid. Also it was interesting to have the course on writing a business plan, the basics of work on websites, social media, mobile and digital applications.

One of the values of our lives is communication. Aristotle also said that man is a social being. Thanks to the project, I became acquainted with interesting people who had an active life position and inspired to work.

After the project "Getting Down To Business" I decided how I would work in the future and made my own business plan.

I am currently studying English, reading, working and developing my hobby. I also joined the community initiatives in our city.

One day, a Felix Frankfurter, a Supreme Court Judge received a letter from a boy asking him to give advice on how to become a good lawyer. The judge replied that it was impossible to become a truly competent lawyer and not to be at the same time a cultural, enlightened person. The best way is to approach the study of human rights by reading, with clear thinking and developed imagination. Felix Frankfurter advised to fill his mind with good literature, to develop and deepen his feelings as much as possible, addressing directly the enchanting mysteries of the universe that surrounded him, and - just do not think about your future career.

The project "Getting Down To Business" enabled the development and deepening of our own knowledge. Thank you for this opportunity.

Iryna Kharchuk / City: Lutsk

Having learned about the project "Getting Down To Business", which included the study of business English as well as the basics of computer and financial competence, I decided to become a member of it. After all, such knowledge will be useful to everyone in any field of activity.

Participation in the project did not disappoint me at all. I managed to master a lot of new things.

Now I have a favorite job, where I constantly use the acquired knowledge and skills. In particular, I use the strategy of work in social networks, which we were told about at computer classes. It is effective.

I managed to attract a large number of people to the events that were carried out by the Department of Tourism and Promotion of the city of Lutsk City Council, where I work.

I am especially grateful to teachers of business English, because I had the opportunity to improve my business English skills. I was pleasantly surprised by our classes and meetings with native speakers. Now I am quite fluent in English, I successfully use the knowledge gained in my business correspondence, as well as during meetings with foreign delegations with participation in foreign tourist exhibitions.

I also got acquainted with the legislative base in the field of entrepreneurship, taxation and accounting.

Not less important to me is that I got to know some very interesting and talented people. The team and teachers constantly motivated me to work and improve myself. Education gives me energy and positivity. It's great that communication with teachers and participants continues now, after the completion of the project.

I feel myself successful and happy. But I'm not going to stop. For me, the secret of success is hard work and a desire to reach the desired goal. You need to learn everything that will bring you closer to the goal!

I will be glad to take part in similar projects and I recommend it everyone!

   
 Supported by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S.Embassy.
The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S.Government.
© GDTB  2017