How to Succeed in the Young Entrepreneurs program (a true-life story)
Young Entrepreneurs (YE) is a business educational program developed by Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (NUCC) in cooperation with Norwegian and Ukrainian partners. The program is aimed at talented and ambitious business-minded people from Ukraine and Norway.
Many participants of the YE program neither had prior business experience nor took part in any Norwegian-Ukrainian projects before. Though, several months of academic and practical insights into Norwegian and Ukrainian business environment through solving a real business case combined with access to a wide network of well-established NUCC members let participants to put their unique knowledge gained at the program into practice and become successful enterpreneurs.
Yurii Kulynych is a lector at the National University of Food Technologies in Kyiv and during one of his trips to Norway he found that there is a growing need of importing Ukrainian agricultural products as ingredients for Norwegian fish feed. However, chosing the right suppliers and connecting them with potential buyers became possible within the Young Enterpreneurs program.
Yurii found several suppliers in Ukraine and needed help in finding potential buyers in Norway, so an opportunity to join the Young Entrepreneurs program was a perfect chance to search real buyers while working in a team that studied agriculture industry sector.
There were four people in the team, two from each country. Ukrainian team members focused mainly on Ukrainian agriculture market, while those who lived and worked in Norway researched Norwegian fish feed market. Yurii was a team leader, so he coordinated work of his colleagues in the program.
Yurii: “Teamwork is the most important skill I got in the Young Entrepreneurs program”
A final presentation of the case
The goal of the team was to research key market players, gather statistics on exporting Ukrainian agriculture products and importing similar products to Norway, as well as study market potential, key risks, and logistics options. As a result they came up with a list of suppliers, one of which, Interstarch Ukraine, was particularly interested in exporting its products to Norway.
Ukrainian agriculture products, especially corn gluten, caught the interest of a Norwegian fish feed company the team worked with. The Norwegian company soon got deeply involved in the project, visited several farm enterprises in Ukraine, and even attended team’s presentation of business case at the end of the YE program.
Yurii: “We brought a sack of corn gluten from Ukraine to our business case presentation in Oslo so that the buyer’s representatives could make sure of its highest quality.”
While working on the project the team engaged specialists from other organizations. Together with international trade and finance experts, they inspected several farm facilities in Lviv and Vinnitsa and did their best to overcome all the obstacles and make sure both parties are satisfied.
Finally, the contract was signed, and more than 2000 tonnes of corn gluten have been delivered to Norway so far. Yurii gets commissions for each tonne of corn gluten supplied under the terms of the contract, continues working with other participants of the YE program, and plans to expand the range of agricultural products exported to Norway.
Yurii: “The contract was signed in December, 2016… Just on the same day as my 28th birthday. The best gift ever!”
Visiting a factory in Poltava region with Norwegian partners
The Young Entrepreneurs program goes on and invites young people from Ukraine and Norway to become a part of it next year. Filling in the application form can change your life, like it did for Yurii Kulynych who made the most out of the chance he got. Now it’s your turn!