The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has shared a story about a veteran of the conflict in eastern Ukraine who used the COVID-19 lockdown as an opportunity to develop his EU-supported business.
Artur Kinosian is a military engineer by education who served in the conflict zone in the east of Ukraine from 2014 to 2015. After he was taken out of active service, the veteran started devoting more time to his own business – making packaging for corporate gifts with his wife Olena.
Last year, Artur took part in an EU-funded IOM project on veterans’ reintegration and received equipment as a grant for his business. Due to COVID-19, however, the demand for his products fell sharply.
Artur and Olena swiftly adjusted their business to the new reality:
“We had to start taking on any orders that we could fulfil,” explains the veteran. “Stencils, educational games, alphabet toys, rulers, decorative panels, promotional products, slate boards, and this is not even the full list of our products.”
The EU project was implemented by IOM in three pilot regions – Dnipro, Kyiv and Lviv. It ran from January 2019 until August 2020 and supported career development and self-employment training. Throughout the duration of the project, over 400 veterans received grants of up to €400 for vocational courses, re-qualification or advanced trainings, and nearly 500 veterans received grants of up to €1,000 for developing their business.
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