May 27, 2024


Business & Finance

How Poland’s business community is helping Ukrainians

6 min read
Women, children and older people at the border from Ukraine in to Korczowa in Poland

Refugees crossing over the border from Ukraine in to Korczowa in Poland on foot

Mariana Zlahodniuk expended times trying to persuade her mother, Olena, to get out of Ukraine.

“She wouldn’t arrive, was adamant in simple fact,” suggests Mariana, a 27-yr-outdated marketing and advertising and company adviser from Ukraine, based in the Polish cash given that 2012.

The pair’s hometown of Zhmerinka, in central-southern Ukraine, is a strategic railway point and the frontline of the Russian invasion is edging nearer.

Mariana’s cell phone phone calls turned a lot more determined, right up until, last but not least, Olena made a decision to make the harmful journey to cross the border to security in Poland.

Olena’s mom, Mariana’s 73-12 months-old grandmother, in the meantime, is remaining in their property in the small city. “She phone calls me just about every working day and tells me to appear house and are inclined to the yard,” Olena adds.

Mariana finally picked up her mum on the Polish aspect of the border on 26 February following a complicated journey – 50 percent of it on a gradual teach to Lviv with the lights turned off – to prevent attracting focus from the Russian navy forces.

“I will go dwelling as soon as I can and will do what I can to help, for illustration cooking for the troopers,” Olena says, when we meet in a cafe in Warsaw. “I will have to conceal her passport,” Mariana laughs.

Mariana and Olena Zlahodniuk

Mariana and Olena Zlahodniuk

Assist at the border

When she arrived to collect her mother, Mariana says she was straight away struck by the deficiency of food items and assistance out there for the stream of refugees crossing at the border city of Korczowa and made a decision to act.

Soon after phoning spherical her good friends in the promoting and business enterprise local community, she was promptly overwhelmed by presents of assist.

She joined forces with an Afghan refugee-turned-restaurant proprietor, Harry Parwani, a friend from Krakow. His catering business, Vegan Ramen AF, has stepped in with its moveable kitchen to assist present no cost food items for up to 8,000 men and women a day at the border.

A Swiss investor then also funded far more than €10,000 ($11,000 £8,398) of food stuff procuring, and Mariana invested about 10,000 zlotys ($2,357 £1,765) of her very own funds supporting the operate just before charity organisations stepped in.

Mariana now employs 20 people as cooks and helpers, furnishing transportation and managing a lodge. Shifts rotate each a few to 4 times as the do the job is gruelling and some refuse to be paid, she states.

“Bakers promote me bread underneath market selling prices, firms bring in the foods for no cost, businesses present absolutely free transportation and drivers. It can be an extraordinary work.”

Ukranian refugees arrive in temporary accommodation in Poland

A new Ukrainian inhabitants could stop up filling some of Poland’s labour industry gaps

‘We want to provide support at all stages’

Polish businesses have mobilised speedily to assist refugees. Two million have presently arrived listed here.

“We will help as extended as it will be demanded,” suggests Krzysztof Inglot, founder of Poland’s biggest recruitment organization, Staff Service.

“We know that refugees at different stages of their continue to be in Poland will need distinct assist. At the beginning, it is typically transportation, accommodation, and psychological aid. The up coming phase is settling down, locating perform and integration with Polish society. We want to deliver assist at all these phases,” he says.

National railway enterprise PKP Intercity is featuring no cost journey for refugees, even though Maciej Panek, chief government of car hire organization Panek has donated 1,000 rental cars and trucks to transportation people absent from the border.

Ukraine refugees arrive in Poland

Several Ukrainian refugees arrive carrying just a few of baggage

Transport agency FlixBus, meanwhile, has offered refugees with absolutely free buses on routes from the border. The company also joined UA Skills – a work system introduced by two Berlin-centered Ukrainian business people that will aid refugees uncover jobs.

Meanwhile, Poland’s largest personal health care corporation, Lux Med, has offered urgent absolutely free health-related guidance to refugees. And cell cellphone operators Perform, Orange, Furthermore and T-Cellular are cutting down the fees of telephone phone calls to the major Ukrainian operators, Kyivstar, Vodafone and Lifecell.

Encouraging the refugees type out their funds will also become an important element of aid – banking companies in Poland have by now eliminated fees for income transfers to Ukraine and commissions for hard cash deposits and ATM withdrawals.

Mr Inglot is optimistic, he claims his recruitment organization info suggests the labour sector in Poland could take up 500,000 employees inside of the future six months and a further 200,000 soon after that, due to an acute scarcity of employees in numerous sectors.

“We estimate that about 30% have travelled to other nations, so can say about 50 percent a million folks may well want to sign up for the labour marketplace. That is fantastic news for employers who need to have personnel,” he says.

A labour current market study from Poland’s Central Stats Office environment exhibits firms have to have 93,000 industrial workers, 85,000 IT specialists, and 61,000 operators and assemblers of equipment and equipment, and a further more 52,000 company sector staff.

Michael Dembinski, main adviser to the British Polish Chamber of Commerce (BPCC), agrees. “Our customers have been held back by a deficiency of personnel in Poland.” He describes an outflow of guys from sectors these kinds of as development, logistics and IT, but is hopeful hospitality, retail, the care sector, agriculture and horticulture will now achieve a lot more staff members.

Daniel Di Giusto and Jacek Siadkowski are both working on the Tech To The Rescue project

Daniel Di Giusto and Jacek Siadkowski are both doing the job on the Tech To The Rescue challenge

Smaller corporations

This quick reaction has not been constrained to the major organizations: smaller firms are also pitching in. HerImpact, a recruitment agency in Warsaw, is doing the job for absolutely free to support gals arriving from Ukraine produce new CVs, implement for work opportunities and translate files into Polish and English, claims main brand officer Dionizy Wincenty Placzkowski.

“Quite a few Poles have opened their hearts and properties to give aid to folks in have to have,” suggests Agata Zeman, taking care of director of the 24/7 media company in Warsaw. The agency has donated element of its office to Traveling Bag Foundation which is serving to refugees, in particular young adults, organise their life in Warsaw. “I am very pleased of our men and women, who from the very first moment, were being united in solidarity and guidance for Ukraine. Like numerous other companies, we have given our workforce time to volunteer.”

Agata Zeman, managing director of the 24/7 media agency in Warsaw.

Agata Zeman, managing director of the 24/7 media company in Warsaw states staff are volunteering their time to assistance new arrivals

A Polish basis that connects IT providers with non-governmental organisations – TechForUkraine – was launched the working day before Russia’s invasion and in just two weeks experienced 450 corporations signed up and 30 jobs introduced.

“IT providers have these ‘superpowers’ and want to use them for very good,” states Jacek Siadkowski, director of TechForUkraine. “Youthful people coming into the sector in Poland often work on techniques for offering sausages or a little something, and this marketing campaign seriously galvanised them.”

Mr Siadkowski suggests TechForUkraine is working on an “Airbnb-type” web platform, to support Ukrainians discover accommodation. He claims the system called,, is remaining produced by a coalition of corporations including The Boston Consulting Group, Amazon Cloud Expert services, Orange and Salesforce.


Polish British Social Integration Club, Wawel, a charity centered in West London is sending out donations from the United kingdom.

Ties amongst British isles and Poland

Mr Dembicki claims quite a few of the BPCC’s users – 1 3rd are huge Uk-primarily based firms investing in Poland – have pledged some variety of assist, some monetary. He suggests many of the UK’s 52 chambers of commerce also want to assistance, providing English language classes on line.

“As before long as we read about the war in Ukraine, I questioned pals to start a assortment of humanitarian assist, so collectively with Katarzyna Mazurkiewicz and volunteers we organised it,” says Irina Nowosielska from the Polish British Social Integration Club, Wawel, a charity based in West London.

“There are a whole lot of very good individuals about. It really is just unbelievable how many individuals aid us to support Ukraine,” Ms Nowosielska states.

Back again in Warsaw having said that, Olena Zlahodniuk, is already itching to go property. “I am extremely grateful to the Polish people today for assisting, but this is our struggle and we will win,” she suggests.

War in Ukraine: Extra protection