Record Number of Businesses Opened in Ukraine Despite Ongoing Conflict

Retail Trade Takes the Lead as Ukrainians Embrace Entrepreneurship

10 July 2023

Ukrainians have set a new record for business openings in June, with the highest number of new individual entrepreneurs (FOPs) registered in the past three years. Following a challenging period for businesses during the onset of the conflict, Ukrainians are increasingly taking the leap to start their own ventures.

Overall, during the first half of 2023, Ukrainians launched just under 134,000 new businesses, accounting for nearly 70% of the total FOP registrations in the entire year of 2022. While the majority of these new entrepreneurs are engaged in retail trade, the IT sector continues to attract aspiring business owners.

The month of June witnessed the highest number of new FOP registrations, surpassing 31,000. This figure represents the highest record not only during the full-scale invasion period but also in the past three years. For comparison, the last time over 30,000 new entrepreneurs were registered was in June and July of 2020.

The number of new individual entrepreneurs (FOPs)
MonthJanuary 2020FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuary 2021FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuary 2022FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuary 2023FebruaryMarchAprilMayJune
The number of new individual entrepreneurs (FOPs)26,77539,84424,00711,31922,97531,11634,19215,33825,17621,95718,02615,22317,89421,49923,51223,33421,40325,64628,29024,56627,95924,23424,59621,23823,63321,9101,94612,62615,40817,95019,08520,10820,13617,32415,93411,95116,93116,44022,04021,48125,62331,477

The most popular sectors for new business openings remain consistent: retail trade claimed the top spot, with over 38,000 Ukrainians officially entering the industry. The second most popular sector is IT which was the most popular before the conflict began. This year, more than 12,000 entrepreneurs have already started their businesses in this field. The third position goes to the category of “Provision of Other Personal Services,” with over 8,000 new FOPs operating in this sector.

Top sectors of activity for newly established sole proprietors
Other Personal Services8,7456.5%
Wholesale trade7,7665.8%
Cafes and restaurants7,5425.6%
Information services6,5794.9%
Car trade3,2242.4%

In terms of regions, Kyiv took the lead in the number of newly established businesses during the first half of the year, surpassing 19,000. Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv regions secured the second and third positions, with approximately 12,000 and 10,000+ sole proprietors`registrations respectively. The regions most affected by the conflict, either fully or partially occupied and currently experiencing active hostilities, recorded the lowest registration rates.

Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the conflict, Ukrainians are demonstrating resilience and an increasing entrepreneurial spirit. The record-breaking number of business openings reflects their determination to build a thriving economy and seek opportunities in the face of adversity.

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