The Ukraine Blend

Our Ukrainian partners in the EU-funded Collaborate For Impact market building programme, SILab Ukraine, are investing in five new social enterprises. For the first time in its existence, their impact fund USVF resorts to a blended finance offering, marking a new milestone for the fund.

Tom Dinneweth |
The Ukraine Blend

Since its inception, the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund (USVF) has been steadily growing its portfolio, providing both financial and non-financial support to a wide range of social entrepreneurs. 

With their most recent open call, they went into exciting uncharted territory for the fund, offering a blend of non-repayable and repayable support. More specifically, the selected enterprises stand to receive financial support of up to 33.000 Euros, of which:

  • 75% will be provided in the form of grants - non-repayable financial assistance.
  • 25% will be provided in the form of repayable financial assistance, which is to be returned to the fund within 12 months from the date of receiving the funds

It’s a time-consuming process structuring and securing this offering. “Providing this type of financial support requires a huge amount of due diligence”, explain Anna Gulevska and Alena Kalibaba, Chair and CEO of USVF. They’ve been working on the project for an since the end of 2023, when the open call for proposals came to an end.

“From the list of applicants, we made a longlist of 20 companies, that we invited to a two-week crash course in January 2024”, explains Anna. The goal of this intensive lesson package was to teach the applicants the basics of financial modeling and impact assessment. It included different working forms like lectures, homework assignments and individual tutoring. Once successfully graduated from the crash course, a second selection was made based on the cash flow templates and impact strategies put forward by the candidates.

“We eventually compiled a final shortlist of 10 companies”, explains Alena. “They underwent an additional process of financial due diligence before receiving the final decision from our side.” This lengthy preparation aims to make sure that the money invested is well-spent, while also strengthening the chosen enterprises in their ability to repay loans in time. It’s a stress test for these emerging enterprises, holding them accountable not only for their social impact, but also for the sustainability of their business model.

Without further ado, let’s look at the five enterprises that have gone through this process successfully, and who will be the recipients of the USVF funding.


The first beneficiary is Promhydroprivod, a hydraulic equipment company located in Kharkiv. They have been operating for 25 years, specializing in the production and repair of cylinders, pumps, motors and other spare parts. With the start of the large-scale invasion, they introduced a new production line aimed at producing parts that would typically have been imported to Ukraine from Russia and Belarus. This is crucial for the heavy industry in Ukraine, which is largely reliant on these hydraulics to function. By literally keeping the engines going, Promhydroprivod help retain the jobs of those working in Ukrainian industry services.

Why it matters:

The investment of the USVF will help them purchase new equipment, that will allow them to increase the production capacity by five times and to adhere to the quality standards of foreign customers, opening new avenues towards profitability. In this process, they will also seek to employ 4 new workers. The company is adamant in sourcing these from the local youth, teaching them vital industrial skills.


2. Family Farms Ukraine

The private agricultural enterprise Family Farms Ukraine is the second beneficiary. They are one of the largest industrial farms in the Rivne region and are co-founders and participants in the all-Ukrainian impact project Family Dairy Farms, which support dairy farm holders in the country.

Why it matters:

The social mission of the enterprise lies in providing support to farms all over Ukraine, with a particular focus on those affected by the war. It will come as no surprise that many farms in the country struggle to be competitive and to be profitable in these times. “Ukraine” offers veterinary and zootechnical services, focusing on smallholder dairy farms. The USVF investment will allow them to equip 3 extra crews of veterinarians, effectively doubling the support they can offer currently.


3. Museum in the Dark

The Museum in the Dark is the only museum in Ukraine where all events take place in complete darkness: tours, events and walks are conducted by blind guides. The museum was opened in Kyiv in 2017, and its branch in Lviv was opened in 2023.

In addition to guided tours, the social enterprise offers guests the opportunity to take part in "dates in the dark", "dinners in the dark" and "concerts in the dark". The dinners are served by blind waiters, and the concerts are performed by blind musicians. The museum's mission is to break down stereotypes about blind people, increase their employment and to make art accessible to all.

Why it matters:

The new USVF funding will assist in purchasing vital materials for the Lviv branch, as well as contributing to the rent of the space and an advertising campaign. The goal is to double the amount of visitors that come to the museum, helping it achieve sustainability and doubling the social impact it has on the community.

Why it matters even more:

The Museum in the Dark is also the subject of an upcoming short film we are producing - Underseen. You can read more about the making of the film and its message on our website.

Museum in the Dark

4. Framiore

Much like with Promhydroprivod, the story of Framiore is one that has a chapter before and after the Russian invasion. They used to be focused mainly on sustainable women’s clothing. Since March 2022, they have complemented their production line to include sewing workwear and equipment for different units of the Ukrainian army.

Why it matters:

With the new USVF funding, Framiore can purchase new equipment that allows the launch of a new product line. All profits generated from this will in turn go to learning how to produce refractory fibre. This material, which is vital to the Framiore production line, is currently only available through import. Bringing the production of refractory fibre in-house would make them less reliant on charitable foundations and volunteer organisations, whom are paying for many of these imports today.



The last beneficiary, Medicasano, is a therapy and rehabilitation clinic located in Mykolaiv. The clinic's main clientele comprises patients of different social statuses and categories with musculoskeletal diseases, vascular and neurological pathologies, and varying degrees of mobility, whose condition requires intensive treatment.

Since the invasion, the clinic has provided free treatment and rehabilitation to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, veterans, IDPs affected by hostilities, as well as representatives of other vulnerable groups under the Power of the Real social project. In total, the clinic allocates 30% of its total monthly expenses to this project.

Why it matters:

The investment from the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund will enable the company to provide ultrasound services that were previously unavailable, while also enhancing the quality of rehabilitation services through the addition of an exercise bike and a treadmill lift. Specialized devices to aid patients suffering from paralysis, amputations or spinal cords injuries will also be procured. Medicasano hopes to improve its patient flow by about 50 percent, taking these improvements into account.


The new blended finance offering shows the increasing maturity of SILab Ukraine's activities and its USVF impact fund. Throughout difficult circumstances, they have continued to support SME's , showing great agility and adaptibility. We wish all five selected SME's the best with their new investment, and look forward to seeing the results come to fruition.