You are here

#Ukraine - Where can a social enterprise go for help?

According to the IP Commission  Report, the IP of a publicly traded company accounts for an estimated 70 percent of its value.

The IP of a social enterprise is its social value, delivered as benefit to society. A value calibrated in terms of people rather than profit.    

In August 2007 our strategy proposal titled Microeconomic Development and Social Enterprise - A 'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine was published in a news journal.  Part 1 began with these words

'The original Marshall Plan came from a speech by U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall in speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947:


"Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist. Such assistance, I am convinced, must not be on a piecemeal basis as various crises develop. Any assistance that this Government may render in the future should provide a cure rather than a mere palliative. Any government that is willing to assist in the task of recovery will find full co-operation I am sure, on the part of the United States Government. Any government which maneuvers to block the recovery of other countries cannot expect help from us. Furthermore, governments, political parties, or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the United States."

Focus of this plan is on the microeconomic sector because this is the most effective way to immediately meet the fundamental objectives of a Marshall Plan: policy directed against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Tools, innovations and methodologies are available today that were not available sixty years ago for tightly-focused microeconomic development aimed specifically and very effectively at target objectives. This is not to diminish nor detract from macroeconomic factors that continue to impede Ukraine's development. Those factors include such things as tax reform, energy policy, continued reduction of systemic corruption, Constitutional reform, and fostering further development of civil society and freedom of media.

The most urgent component of the project below is relief and modern medical treatment for tens of thousands of Ukraine's children diagnosed as psychoneurologically handicapped. Many have died in state care, in primitive and inhumane conditions. Many are misdiagnosed, and end up in atrocious conditions. Following intense publicity and public discussion of the issue during final preparation of this project, Ukraine's government agreed on 5 March, 2007 to open more than 400 new treatment facilities for these children all over Ukraine. That commitment from Ukraine’s government was a major step forward, clearly demonstrating Ukraine’s willingness and ability to take initiative in childcare reform first and foremost. '

Radical perhaps to publish a development proposal on a news site but we knew our IP was at risk.

Part 2 described a national development centre for social enterprise.

There was nobody who could help. For Social Enterprise UK (then the Social Enterprise Coalition), our work was beyond their focus

Over the next couple of years, we would introduce our full project proposal to many others, including USAID, The British Council, The FCO, The EU Citizens Consultation, The British Ukrainian Society, BITC Mayday project, Virgin Unite, Grameen Creative Labs and Erste bank's Social Business Ideas Competition.

The plan has been developed on the ground in Kharkiv where we networked with NGO Maidan and Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Proup KHPG who helped us get the plan into government channels.

In 2007, the threat had come from Rinat Akhmetov who'd hired Mckinsey to create a 'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine. We though our defence had worked but we soon found our efforts hijacked by some of those we'd introduced our work to. 

In spite of our groundwork, our application to become partners on this project was disregarded by the British Council, who are also one of our customers.

The British Council, I learned later, though undeclared, had expected partners to make a  financial contribution.

Those who did partner this project may be found here and include:

— Business in the Community
— Erste Bank
— International Renaissance Foundation
— John Smith Trust
— Microsoft Ukraine
— PricewaterhouseCoopers Ukraine

When BITC's Chairman wrote "Capitalism must be a Force for Good" he was lifting his argument direct from our Marshall Plan.  

The primary focus of our work had been transtion of children from abusive conditions in institutions to loving family homes. No payment was asked for our work, only that goverment take action to protect vulnerable children according to their constitution.

From a project proposal requiriing 1.5 billion dollars we are now faced with a plethora of appeals for a 'Marshall Plan' including Maidan whose call for support I forwarded to MEPs last year.

None of these plans seem to exist on paper and the latest puts forward a figure of 300 billion dollars - 200 times the cost of our "bottom up" strategy. Have no lessons been learned since Harvard's Russia Project dumped billions into the hands of organised crime.? 

A prominent backer of this new plan is oligarch, Dmitri Firtash who is in Austria fighting US attempts to extradite him. it isn't as easy as the Sheffield Hallam student who was handed over by our own government a few years ago. 

It should come as no suprise to find Lord Risby (British Ukrainian Society) and Lord Mandelson (Former EU Commissioner) are supporters of the invisible plan.

The latter Lord who is no stranger to oligarchs is on record as Secretary of State at BERR for saying his department is "helping firms who help others" Helping those who help themselves woud be more accurate.

It was EU Commissioner Barnier who denied plagiarism when introduced to him by Sir Graham Watson. He therefore must have read our entire plan to make such a denial The European People's party of which he is VP, are now 'Marshall Plan' promoters.

A lawyer working for the British Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, identifies the need for legal reform, suggesting that they are not part of the Firtash Plan.  

Breaking the story of Death Camps for Children in 2006, founder Terry Hallman had risked his life to speak out about corrution and eventually lost it through a combination of illness and refusing to give up  His death bed wish was for his efforts to be continued.

Surely we understand that corruption, perhaps Ukraine's greatest social problem, can't be tackled by means of theft? Especially when it denies some of Ukraine's most vulnerable and voiceless,      

'This is a long-term permanently sustainable program, the basis for "people-centered" economic development. Core focus is always on people and their needs, with neediest people having first priority – as contrasted with the eternal chase for financial profit and numbers where people, social benefit, and human well-being are often and routinely overlooked or ignored altogether. This is in keeping with the fundamental objectives of Marshall Plan: policy aimed at hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. This is a bottom-up approach, starting with Ukraine's poorest and most desperate citizens, rather than a "top-down" approach that might not ever benefit them. They cannot wait, particularly children. Impedance by anyone or any group of people constitutes precisely what the original Marshall Plan was dedicated to opposing. Those who suffer most, and those in greatest need, must be helped first -- not secondarily, along the way or by the way. '