Nathan London managed this £1.2 million DFID-sponsored project to improve the competitiveness of Ukraine’s medium sized businesses. This innovative project aimed to develop the country’s first national benchmarking index as a tool for improving the competitiveness of business, particularly private SMEs, and to assist SMEs in exporting products and developing partnerships with foreign suppliers, customers, partners, and investors.

The project established three clusters in three Oblasts: stone in Zhytomyr, wine in Odesa, and machinery in Kharkiv. It also trained and accredited 20 Ukrainian consultants in benchmarking; these consultants then conducted best-practice benchmarking sessions at more than 150 companies.

The project’s relationship with business clusters afforded us a unique opportunity to affect the implementation of regulatory policy, including the development of regulatory impact analysis (RIA) systems and training to inform government of the impact of regulations (e.g., for licensing and inspection) on the cost of doing business.

Nathan London’s work on clusters, benchmarking and regional regulatory policy resulted in 1,000 jobs in each pilot Oblast; a reduction in the amount of time needed to register a business to less than four days; and a reduction in the number of business inspections per business in each of the three Oblasts to among the lowest quartile of all Oblasts in Ukraine.

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