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Foundation in Poland expands support for entrepreneurial women from Ukraine

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A female entrepreneur working at her small fashion business
Program designed to help entrepreneurial women from Ukraine living in Poland was launched in July 2022 | Photo: Ron Lach

The Impact Foundation and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth have opened a new “Rebuilding Ukrainian Businesses” co-working space as part of their continued support for entrepreneurial women from Ukraine.

Located in Warsaw, it will be open to entrepreneurial women and other displaced Ukrainian participating in the “Rebuilding Ukrainian Businesses” program. Its mission – to provide the best possible place to work, with opportunities for networking where they can share ideas and experiences, but also focus 100% of their attention on the things that need to be done to make their business dreams come true.

It will also be a space to receive expert business advice, to participate in a variety of activities designed to improve their professional skills, as well as make them feel more comfortable on a personal level.

“We are happy. We have the opportunity to meet and share our progress, daily lives, and the simple feeling of belonging somewhere. It helps to improve our daily lives significantly,” says Olena, one of the program participants.

Additionally, the co-working space offers a daycare service, empowering Ukrainian entrepreneurs to concentrate with the peace of mind of knowing that their children are well cared for and involved in a wide range of engaging activities.

“Rebuilding Ukrainian Businesses is a program designed to put Ukrainian women in Poland back on the road to personal and professional success. Those who participate in the program have a chance to reestablish economic livelihoods by getting technical assistance from leading specialists in Poland, child care support and financing,” says Payal Dalal, Senior Vice President from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. 

“The program, however, has a lot more to offer than skilling and financing. It’s about building a community of Ukrainian entrepreneurs who can learn from each other and coach each other. It’s about making them comfortable and safe in their new environment – giving them not only a place where they can work on their new business ideas, but also the peace of mind to know that their kids are well cared for when they do it.” 

To date 80 entrepreneurial women from Ukraine have been chosen to be part of “Rebuilding Ukrainian Businesses.” They are currently in the process of launching their own business in Poland and adding diversity and impact to Poland’s economy.

Participants of “Rebuilding Ukrainian Businesses” can also interact with the best e-commerce and e-business specialists in Poland. As part of the program, they can sign up for and take part in a monthly series of webinars. The topics discussed during each of these online meetings focus on a specific aspect of successfully doing business.

“We believe the power of this program is based on the perfect combination of personal and on-line meetings with the leading experts in our market,” explains Michał Kamiński from the Impact Foundation CE. “We are going to focus on topics like online sales, marketing or digital financial services.”

The first webinar in the series, which took place on February 20th, 2023, was focused on customer relationship. It was hosted by Monika Żukowska – an experienced practitioner and professional mentor with a focus on everything involved in the sales process. For more information visit: https://ukrainianbusiness.impactcee.com/szkolenia/

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Go North East sponsor Durham Cricket’s Visually Impaired Team

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Go North East sponsor Durham Cricket's Visually Impaired Team
Durham’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team now plays in the England and Wales Cricket Board Development League | Photo: Gavin Forster

Go North East has announced the continuation of its partnership with Durham Cricket as the front-of-shirt sponsor of their Visually Impaired team until 2025.

First founded in June 2007, Durham’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team now plays in the England and Wales Cricket Board Development League, against 11 other teams.

Visually Impaired (VI) cricket is a specially adapted version of the game that is suitable for anyone with a visual impairment – whether partially sighted or totally blind.

Ben Maxfield, Business Director, commented, “We are thrilled to be supporting the Visually Impaired Team at Durham Cricket again this year. At Go North East, we are dedicated to making our services accessible to everyone, and our buses are equipped with next-stop audio announcements to assist visually impaired passengers. This sponsorship is a natural extension of our commitment to inclusivity and supporting our community. We look forward to seeing the team’s success in the coming season.”

Tom Seymour, the Commercial Director for Durham Cricket said, “We are delighted to have Go North East, a local company connecting the region, renew their partnership and sponsorship of the Visually Impaired Team.”

He continued, “We’d like to thank them for their continued support for this programme and further showing the commitment we have here at Durham Cricket in creating an inclusive and welcoming space in the sport.”

For more information about the team, visit Visually Impaired Cricket – Durham Cricket

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Volunteers with learning difficulties plant floral displays at train stations

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Aldingbourne Trust volunteer Ben Slade
Aldingbourne Trust volunteer Ben Slade

A 15-year-old partnership between Southern Railway and a charity for adults with learning difficulties in the UK is once again delighting thousands of passengers with fresh floral displays at stations in West Sussex.

Funded by Southern, a team of volunteers from The Aldingbourne Trust near Arundel, has been out and about planting and installing colourful beds and hanging baskets that they will maintain until the autumn.

“Our volunteers get loads of feedback from passengers getting off the trains who say how fabulous the flowers look. It makes them proud of what they do and know they’re contributing to their local community.

“It’s great for their mental well-being too. Some of the volunteers used to spend a lot of their time quite isolated at home, especially after the pandemic, and this ‘Adopt A Station’ enterprise with Southern encourages our volunteers to get out and about to meet people and be more social,” says Karen Tyrrell, Visitor and Enterprise Operations Manager.

The ‘Adopt A Station’ programme also gives its volunteer skills in communication, independent travel and health and safety.

“It doesn’t matter what your ability is, there’s a value you can add to your community,” says Tracy Jarvis, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern.

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EU awards recognize citizen science initiatives

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EU awards recognize citizen science initiatives
CoAct for Mental Health won a €20,000 Digital Communities Prize

The winners of the EU 2024 Prize for Citizen Science have been announced this week. Citizen science – the general public engagement in scientific research activities – contributes to a vibrant civil society and is getting increasingly popular with Europeans.

Out of the 288 applications, three citizen science initiatives received the main prizes and 27 were recognised with honorary mentions. 

The winners are:

  • The ‘Grand Prize’, worth €60,000, goes to the EU-funded INCREASE  project for its outstanding achievements in advancing knowledge on seed preservation through the empowerment of civil society and citizens, in particular from rural areas.
  • The Digital Communities prize, worth€20,000, is given to the Horizon 2020 project CoAct for Mental Health for its use of digital technologies to develop a personalised approach and improve the quality of life for people facing mental health problems.
  • The Diversity & Collaboration prize, worth €20,000, is given to SeaPaCS_Participatory Citizen Science against Marine Pollution for producing transformative knowledge that filled the existing cognitive and emotional gap between society and the sea.

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

“I warmly congratulate the winners of this year’s EU Citizen Science Award, but would also like to commend all participants. Your initiatives address some of our most pressing challenges and showcase the transformative potential of citizen science. They improve the excellence and impact of our research, and also deepen the relationship and trust between science and our societies.”

The winners have been selected by an independent jury of five experts. Two of the three winners of the main prizes are projects funded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s previous research and innovation programme (2014-2020). The third winner involves both a former and a current Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellow.

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