Uniting local entrepreneurs to revive the winemaking traditions of southern Ukraine is the goal of the project “Formation of ENO cluster” in Berdyansk, supported by PLEDDG as part of the SME Development Fund program.

The Berdyansk region has a long history of growing and processing grapes. Today, the winegrowing and grape processing industry is experiencing a period of difficult revival and needs a balanced and systematic management policy. There are now several winemaking schools and small family businesses that do not always have the ability to build the most effective business model or use effective marketing tools. Within the framework of the project “Formation of ENO cluster” (from Latin oeno – “wine”) implemented with the support of PLEDDG, modern forms of doing business are introduced, the efficiency and adaptability of traditional industries and related ones are increased.

The main tasks of the project are to unite people around the benefits of winegrowing products, the history and practice of winemaking, the production of craft products from grapes, as well as the promotion of local producers at the national level.

Olena Odnolko, project manager, head of the NGO “Italian Cultural Center “Emily”, commented:

“Currently, the part of the project is being actively developed that is related to the manufacture of cosmetics from winegrowing products. In a coworking space, with the equipment purchased with the help of PLEDDG, we conduct soap making workshops. Thanks to the project, 3 artisans who studied at our workshops have found their first clients thanks to online sales and promotions on social networks.”

Within the framework of the Enotherapeutic Workshop, where cosmetic eco-products based on grapes are developed and manufactured, a number of workshops on the creation of enotherapeutic cosmetics have already been implemented, as well as a coworking space for producers of grape-based craft goods.

Viktoriya Kamayeva, a handicrafts artisan, shared her learning experience:

“I took up soapmaking thanks to the project.  I gained the knowledge during workshops, and the coworking space allows me to save a lot on production. Now I’m starting my Instagram page to sell the soap I make, while the main buyers are my acquaintances, but I’m sure the number of customers will increase later. I also hope to reduce the cost of viticulture products, grape seed oil and grape juice, because thanks to the creation of the ENO cluster, winegrowing in the Berdyansk region is developing, which means there will be high-quality and affordable local materials.”

Now the project has a separate website and several pages on social networks.

Local media also actively supported the revival of winemaking in Berdyansk, which is now regularly covered in printed and online publications. There is a growing interest in the products of both local residents and national traders.

Olha Cheprasova, a wine selection specialist, said:

“There used to be a lot of vineyards in our region. Now, viticulture is seeing a revival, so the demand for knowledge in this area is quite high, both among winemakers and buyers. Participation in the project helps me in my professional activity. The vast majority of customers visit a wine shop without knowing the value and history of the drink they are going to buy. I can provide additional information about wines, get the customer’s interest, and ensure that the customer will return not only for the drink but also for added value in the form of a story, a story about the benefit or features of the drink.”

Creating a foundation for the revival of local traditional production is a key basis for balanced economic development and its compliance with local needs. Therefore, PLEDDG supports regional initiatives aimed at strengthening traditional types of entrepreneurship, creating business clusters, and developing professional opportunities for men and women.