Majority of Ukrainian entrepreneurs (61%) continue to work despite the war, forced relocation, difficulties with logistics and decrease in sales, and 91% of those who have suspended their activities are ready to restart their business in the future. These are the results of the Mastercard SME Index survey, that analyzed the state and the key needs of small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine, and prospects of returning to pre-war levels.
- 61% of Ukrainian SMEs continue to work despite the war, adapting their business to the new reality
- 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs who stopped their business because of the war are ready to resume it in the future
- 53% believe they can restore pre-war business levels in one to three years
- 70% of entrepreneurs use digital sales channels. For 39% of working businesses such channels generate more than half of all orders
- 87% of businesses provide customers with the option of cashless payment, and one in ten accepts payments in cryptocurrency
The state and major needs of small and medium-sized businesses
The war had a significant impact on the revenues of small and medium-sized businesses. 79% of respondents state a decrease in business volumes; for half of the entrepreneurs such a decrease reaches from 50% to 99%. However, every fifth entrepreneur managed to maintain (19%) or even increase (2%) business volumes compared to the pre-war period.
Adapting to the new reality, every second entrepreneur (50%) had to transform business activities. Most often, these changes were related to the reorientation of business towards the country`s defense efforts (17%), transition to another area of business (16%), or relocation of production facilities to other regions of Ukraine or abroad (13%).
Business recovery will require time and support. Depending on the longer-term situation in Ukraine, 41% of respondents predict a return to pre-war business volumes within a year, 30% believe that it will take one to two years, and 23% expect they will be able to fully recover within two to three years. Among the major needs that operating businesses declare are new orders and sales markets (56%), money for development (33%), and help with logistics (23%).
However, despite the income reduction and the challenges small and medium-sized businesses encounter today, Ukrainian entrepreneurs actively make charitable donations and support volunteer initiatives – this is stated by 74% of respondents.
Digitization and cashless
Active digitization is a common feature for most small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine. Thus, 70% of entrepreneurs indicate that they use digital sales channels, among which the most popular are social networks (40%) and own websites (33%). According to 39% of working businesses, digital channels generate more than half of all their orders.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen how digital transformation helps Ukrainian entrepreneurs to grow, and today, digitization is taking its momentum. As Ukraine’s small and medium sized businesses maintain an optimistic outlook, they see this as a key enabler for their recovery and growth. Today, two-thirds of Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses already use digital channels, so the potential and the need for further digitization is evident. It plays an important role in helping Ukrainian entrepreneurs, and we will continue to use our technologies, innovations, and expertise to help businesses in their recovery and growth”, – said Inga Andreieva, General Director of Mastercard in Ukraine and Moldova.
The number of businesses accepting cashless payments for goods or services is increasing. Since the beginning of the war, 8% of businesses started accepting cashless payments for the first time. Overall, according to the survey, 87% of active businesses accept cashless payments – via POS terminal, transfer to a bank account, or using digital services. Notably, a third of entrepreneurs claim that most payments (90-100%) by their clients are now made cashless.
Ukrainian entrepreneurs are also showing interest in the new payment technologies. According to the survey, every tenth entrepreneur accepts payments for goods and services in cryptocurrency, and 24% of businesses are considering having such an option in the future.
Mastercard has been strongly committed to supporting Ukrainian small and medium businesses over the years, through the launch of dedicated financial products, services, and initiatives aimed to empower SMEs with the help of modern payment technologies. Since the start of the full-scale invasion, to ensure additional support to entrepreneurs, Mastercard temporarily waived interchange fees for cashless payments in Ukraine. Additionally, Mastercard partnered with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine to launch the Diia.Business Consultancy Center for Ukrainian SMEs in Warsaw earlier this year, to help those entrepreneurs who found themselves abroad.
Mastercard has also announced a new Start Path initiative that has been specifically designed for Ukrainian fintechs and entrepreneurs to enable Ukrainian start-ups to accelerate growth and contribute to the rebuilding of the country’s economy. To further support relief efforts for Ukrainians and drive small business programs in particular, the company has deployed $3 million through the Mastercard Impact Fund.
About Mastercard SME Index
Mastercard SME Index is a survey on the state of Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses, commissioned by Mastercard and conducted by Gradus in June 2022. The online survey involved 301 respondents – men and women who are owners or managers of micro, small and medium-sized businesses in 20 regions of Ukraine.
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.Mastercard.com, is a global technology company servicing the payment industry. Our mission is to develop and strengthen the digital economy for everyone to benefit from secure, simple, smart, and accessible transactions everywhere. Leveraging protected data and networks as well as our partnerships and energy, we support solutions and innovations aimed at helping people, financial institutions, governments, and businesses realize their potential to the fullest. Our culture and everything we do in our company and beyond is governed by the decency quotient (DQ). We are present in over 210 countries and territories and build a sustainable world that opens priceless opportunities for everyone.