Small companies in Ukraine are banding together to keep the economy going despite the ongoing conflict. With the Russian invasion imminent, Andrey Klen, co-founder of O0 and Petcube, helped relocate over half of his 50 employees. He eventually resettled in Lviv but had to flee again as bombs started falling there. Petcube, now a fully remote company, is paying all its employees full salary, has made donations to local defense groups, and has earmarked continuing monthly donations.
Two weeks later, the Spend with Ukraine campaign was launched with a YouTube video showcasing Ukrainian startups offering a range of services, products, fashion, and technology. The campaign website features over 100 Ukrainian brands, from security company Ajax Systems to entertainment app Reface.
The design firm created the campaign in less than two weeks, despite the difficult circumstances. For many employees, the project provided a mental health boost and gave them a sense of purpose. The founders are promoting the Spend with Ukraine effort like they would launch a new startup, using channels like ProductHunt and Y Combinator’s internal message boards.
Klen and Neskin emphasize that spending with Ukraine supports the economy and helps it recover. “All money that goes into Ukraine will help Ukraine,” says Neskin. They also point out that economies, not just armies, win wars.