Ukrainian female pioneers of social investment in Ukraine meet in Vienna first time since the war

After the three months of the Russian invasion on Ukraine, the team of SiLab Ukraine, consisting of 7 women, finally reunited in person at the Impact Days in Vienna.

Members of the team of SiLab, organization promoting and supporting social entrepreneurs in Ukraine, came to Vienna from Kiev, and from different parts of Europe, where some of their team members needed to dislocate due to the war activities back at their homes. 

Within the 2 days, after the war broke out in Ukraine, following SILab’s vision ‘My country is my home’, the female team of SILab led by Anna Gulevska-Chernysh reorganized activities of delivering acceleration and mentorshipprogrammes to fundraising and delivering humanitarian support for internally displaced people, fleeing their homes to safer places within Ukraine. They started the Shelter Ukraine initiative and to date raised nearly 500 000 EUR, and provided support to over 24 000 people in 80+ shelters across the Ukraine.

Only within few weeks of war, the team realized that the social enterprises they supported before the war, are now transforming their production and activities to provide food, mattresses and sleeping bags for the shelters for internally displaced people, and many more. Through their Ukrainian Social Venture Fund, launched under the Collaborate for Impact project of European Venture Philanthropy Association financed by the European Union (DG NEAR), they launched the Social Enterprises for Emergency Call to help those companies to purchase raw materials, to pay their teams,  There were 13 beneficiaries selected from over 150 applicants, please find more information on this link . Meeting in person after so long in difficult times brought a lot of emotions and also determination to continue the good work.

‘After 3 months of working separately  I experience unique feelings to meet all SILab team in one place in Vienna. We can laugh together, we can give a hug, we can express own emotions and get support. It is quite differ from working in distance. But most important thing is that we all agree that works to one goal – help Ukraine to win and return to peaceful life.’ said Anna Gulevska-Chernysh, the leader of the team.