Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Successful Start-ups and Businesses in Emerging Economies

Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

Little is known about innovative and successful enterprises in the countries that, until 1990, were part of the Soviet Union. Most previous research has extensively covered barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation that exist in these countries, some of which undoubtedly represent a hostile and harsh environment for any entrepreneurial activity. In this book, a different perspective is introduced. The focus is shifted to the innovative potential that these environments provide, demonstrating how entrepreneurs have been able to convert possibilities in hostile business environments into successful businesses. Through this collection of six in-depth case studies, the authors illustrate how successful and innovative businesses were able to develop in countries such as Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Moldova and Ukraine. Each case study presents an overview of the country’s key economic indicators and the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy, followed by the presentation of a case study of a successful SME.

Chapter 7: Integrating Cutting-edge Chemical Knowledge and Entrepreneurial Drive: The Case of New Substances in Ukraine

Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, organisational innovation


Nina Isakova INTRODUCTION During the 1990s, Ukraine underwent significant political, economic, social and cultural change caused by the collapse of the socialist bloc and the former Soviet system. In the transition to a market economy, which was one of the most important objectives of transformation, the biggest challenge was developing an efficient private business sector and innovative capacity. Ukraine has no history of private enterprise and this sector of the economy had to be developed from scratch. The overall crisis in politics and the economy as well as a lack of adequate state support policies in Ukraine added to the difficulties in the formation of a small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector, which was developing not due to but inspite of government policies. The national innovation system of Soviet Ukraine was not conducive to technology transfer and required radical transformation. The Ukrainian scientific community constituted part of the former Soviet Union science system; it was highly defence-oriented and restricted from international cooperation (Egorov 1995). The following assessment given by Pavitt (1997) holds true for Ukraine. According to this Western expert, ‘the transformation of national systems of science and technology in the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe has been no different from transformation in other spheres – slow, messy, disappointing, and much influenced by country-specific factors. More specifically radical changes in institutions and in the incentive structures that they face have required competencies well beyond those readily available’ (Pavitt 1997,...

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