As public money flows into venture capital funds in Poland, the supply of available financing is larger than the pool of projects fit for investment. One solution to this problem would be to engage start-ups from east of the Polish border.
Ukraine could be firmly back on its legs within a few years with a reasonable support of the West, despite all its current problems. But this requires a change of the mindset of the ruling class – a challenge far greater than obtaining the funds.
Ukraine's Maidan revolution, the seizure of Crimea by Russia, war against Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country and a deep economic recession have sent a torrent of Ukrainians either seeking shelter elsewhere in Ukraine or escaping east to Russia or west to the EU in search of a better and safer life. The figures are devastating: over 850,000 internally displaced persons and many more who have fled abroad.
Reform is on the agenda in Kiev. After over twenty years deformed by corruption and incomplete reforms, the demand for “European standards” – an umbrella term for values such as greater transparency and rule-of-law – is stronger than ever. But with Ukraine facing a dramatic recession and a drawn-out conflict in the country’s east, many fear the government will again fail to seize the opportunity to take the painful steps needed to modernise.
Ukrainian authorities are considering how to rebuild Donbass, destroyed by Russian mercenaries. Unless the West takes part in the procedure, decisions are likely to depend on under which variant the most money can be transferred to the pockets of oligarchs associated with the governing team rather than on economic effectiveness.