A Ukrainian, Yana Barysheva, fled the war zone and started a small business on peaceful territory. Her participation in the EU4Yоuth programme: "Better Skills for Better Future" helped her small business to become more resilient.
Dozens of roses are in bloom in the courtyard of a small private house in the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk Region, where the young entrepreneur Yana Barysheva lives. The roses are white, red and pink. For some reason in this area, where coal is mined and metal is smelted, people love to grow these exquisite flowers.
However, 29-year-old Yana leads us along paths past the fragrant flower beds. We go to the back yard of the house where her mini-farm is located. Yana and her family's providers live here: broiler chickens. A small flock of 150 chickens is located in two small aviaries. The entrepreneur raises chickens for meat, which she sells and earns a decent living for her family.
Six months ago Yana Barysheva's small business received a new impetus. She participated in the "EU4Youth: Best Skills for Better Future" programme, funded by the European Union. The programme supports disadvantaged young people in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, including those in conflict areas like Yana. The main goal of the project is to increase the level of education, employment and social integration of youth.
As part of the EU4Youth programme, the young entrepreneur has been trained in the basics of entrepreneurship and business administration. During the two-week training, she was taught to look for clients, calculate risks and got motivated not to be afraid of difficulties. In total, 132 people underwent training within the framework of the EU4Youth programme in the Donetsk Region. According to the results of the training, 77 participants wrote business plans, 28 of which were approved for grants from the European Union.
Yana Barysheva was one of the participants who received money for the development of their enterprise. She says that the training helped her understand how to become more effective and what equipment is needed for this in the first place. With the help of the grant she bought a heater, an incubator, a freezer and a device for plucking feathers. With the help of modern gadgets, it is possible now to process the bird in ten minutes. Previously this process took an entire hour.
According to Anton Stukalo from the Save the Children project, which coordinates the implementation of the EU4Youth programme in the Donetsk Region, one of the criteria for grants was the demand for the product on the local market. The chickens that Yana raises and sells perfectly fit the criteria. And besides, the business of the entrepreneur contributes to the development of the local health ecosystem. "People get organic poultry, and the entire community where Yana lives can benefit from the healthy nutrition," explains Anton Stukalo.
Ran away from war
Yana Barysheva has been raising domestic animals for years. As a child she worked at her parents' farm, which was located in a village near the town of Debaltseve, Donetsk Region. In 2014, hostilities began there and Yana's parents' farm was destroyed by shelling. The family moved to the peaceful city of Bakhmut from the war-torn territory and stayed with their relatives.
In 2016, Yana began to revive the farm in a new place. She decided to raise broiler chickens to sell chicken meat. She says this is the cheapest poultry in terms of production. The only important feature in its breeding is the need to maintain constant cleanliness. This is necessary so that the chickens do not get sick, so Yana and her husband clean out the cages every two days.
Now, thanks to an incubator bought with the EU grant, Yana is conducting an experiment. She is learning to hatch chickens from eggs at her mini farm, so she does not have to buy them from other sellers. If the experience is successful, the entrepreneur will make great savings. One chicken costs about one euro at a specialised farm, while eggs for hatching cost five times less.
This business optimisation will be very helpful: the entrepreneur wants to increase the number of chickens she raises.
First orders for poultry meat from Yana's farm came from her friends. Then the word of the mouth method worked: the news of good and high quality product spread fast.
However, relying on this method for the successful sale of the product is not enough. Thanks to her marketing knowledge, Yana came up with her own brand and several advertising slogans for each category of buyers.
The name of the brand is "Broilerushka" and her advertising slogans promise the elderly customers health, the younger buyers strength and families good taste. Yana plans to pack her products in paper bags with a printed logo and these slogans.
But besides a recognisable brand, Yana's products have other, more significant, competitive advantages. First of all, the entrepreneur delivers her products to customers' homes, and secondly, her chicken is 6-7% cheaper than the same product on the market.
Due to this, all products of the Broilerushka trademark are sold out completely and all of Yana’s customers come back again.
The entrepreneur plans to open a large farm, not in town as it is now, but in the countryside. At the same time, she wants to supply meat not only to private customers, but also to cafes and retail outlets. And now, when she has more tools for business in her hands, the probability of success is much higher. "The training and the grant helped my business become more stable and grow faster," says Yana. "I was able to increase the number of chickens and find more customers."
Author: Kateryna Shapoval