Business Revival and Entrepreneurial Identity: Ideas Day in Odesa

Business revival through inter-sectoral collaboration, precise planning, and the development of local identity.

Since 2017, the Ideas Festival has been held in Odesa, bringing together theorists and practitioners to seek solutions to current challenges. However, due to the security situation, Aspen Institute Kyiv and Impact Hub Odessa, and its co-founder Yegor Grebennikov found a new format for the event – a series of one-day events in three cities across Ukraine. One of these took place in Odesa, the birthplace of the Ideas Festival.

The central theme of the panel discussions in the famous port city was the revival of Ukrainian business.

Speakers of the first panel discussion analyzed the challenges facing Ukrainian businesses on the path to revival from various perspectives: entrepreneurs, potential investors, and risk management. Specifically, among the most significant challenges, the speakers noted the insufficient interaction between business and the state, low investment levels, and the vulnerability of businesses. To address these challenges, efforts should focus on increasing investment attractiveness, creating associations for “state-business” interaction, and enhancing regional capacity.

Participants in the discussion included Irina Gorovaya (CEO and owner of POMITNI), Kyrylo Kryvolap (Director of the Center for Economic Recovery), Oleksii Sobolev (Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine), and Dmytro Stryzhov (founder of the security holding “SHERIFF”).

Denis Poltavets, Director of Program Development at Aspen Institute Kyiv, moderated the discussion.

The second discussion focused on the specifics of entrepreneurship in Odesa. Speakers discussed the role of business in city development and building its image. They also discussed the stereotype of the “typical Odesa entrepreneur” and how to counteract it.

Speakers of the discussion included Kateryna Balyutova (CEO of “Marine Container Service”), Oleksandr Babich (historian, tour guide, volunteer), and Dmytro Kazavchynskyy (co-founder and owner of GMT Group). 

Marina Honcharenko, Director of America House Odesa, moderated the discussion.

We thank everyone who contributed to creating the atmosphere of Ideas Day in Odesa! We hope to see you at the Grand Ideas Festival!