Millions of Ukrainians have left the country in the past years, in search of better wages and job security in Europe and abroad. One in fifteen Ukrainians is estimated to work abroad, and many of the country’s top graduates have left for better pastures, prompting warnings about a brain drain crisis in Ukraine. But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to change all that, starting with a new program titled ‘Return and Remain’.
The program, aimed at entrepreneurs, is intended to help Ukrainian business secure something the country dearly lacks – easy access to cheap financing. Credit in Ukrainian banks are often high, and loans commanding above 10% interest are not uncommon.
‘Return and Remain’ authorizes government-backed loans of up to 1.5 million UAH over five years, with discounts for borrowers, depending how the business uses the money. The cheapest rate at 5%, for example, is obtainable for new or existing businesses only if they create at least two jobs in the country. A 7% rate is meant for existing businesses whose revenues do not exceed 25 million UAH per year, with further discounts available for created jobs, while a 9% rate is available for businesses with revenues between 25-50 million UAH per year.
Zelenskyy believes that this program will be a draw for Ukrainians who want to stay in the country – by providing cheap credit to start their own businesses, or by working at a company looking to take advantage of the rate decreases per job.
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