Supporting Ukraine one business at a time

    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time

    Businesses wouldn’t exist without the environment they operate in. That’s why businesses are responsible for the well-being of the world around them....

    Businesses wouldn’t exist without the environment they operate in. That’s why businesses are responsible for the well-being of the world around them. 

    Today, the world’s wellbeing depends largely on whether or not Ukraine stands strong against Russian aggression, so companies around the world are supporting Ukraine, one business at a time. 

    Below, we’ve compiled a list of all business initiatives in support of Ukraine for you to get inspired by and take action.

    Businesses that supported Ukraine and pulled out of the Russian market 

    Starting from February 24, 2022, the day when Russia invaded Ukraine, many international businesses have suspended their operations on the territory of the Russian Federation, or have pulled out of the Russian market completely. The number of businesses that do so grows by each day, as Russia continues its aggression toward Ukraine. 

    Nonetheless, there isn’t a dichotomous “naughty or nice” list of companies that are either in or out of the Russian market. 

    As of now, there are over 500 large international enterprises that have cut ties with Russia in one way or another. But the extent of the severity of their resignation varies and falls into one of the three categories:

    • Withdrawing all business — companies that have completely halted Russian engagement. 
    • Suspending Operations — companies that have temporarily curtailed Russian operations, but are keeping return options open. 
    • Reducing Activities — companies that scaled down some (not all) operations and/or delayed investments.

    One way or another, some of the biggest names on the list include McDonald’s, Apple, Intel, Dell, IBM, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mastercard, VISA, PayPal, UpWork, Adobe, Coca-Cola. All of these companies supported the sanctions and took initiative. 

    On March 7, Depositphotos and VistaCreate announced that they condemn the military activities carried out by Russia and, therefore, would stop accepting payments, halt access to pre-paid services, and stop any other type of cooperation with clients and partners from Russia and Belarus. 

    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time

    Let’s dissect this move and understand why pulling out of Russia is the right thing for businesses to do given the current circumstances. 

    The answer to this question is fairly straightforward: doing so helps Ukraine win the war and stop Russian aggression. But it also helps your business to stay afloat and competitive in the age of total corporate social responsibility. Here’s how…

    Firstly, making a decision like this can be reflective of your business’s mission and the values it stands for. Fighting against war is something any business would want to be associated with, and backing your words with actions is a good place to start building those associations. 

    Secondly, when companies, one by one, pull out of the Russian market, they inspire others to follow in their footsteps and, therefore, create a domino effect.  

    And finally, by limiting your presence on the Russian market, you sever the inflow of money into the Russian economy and, therefore, strip the aggressor of monetary resources that would’ve otherwise been spent on missiles, bombs, and artillery to destroy the lives and homes of innocent civilians in Ukraine. 

    However, even if you don’t have any ties with Russia to sever, or you don’t want to do so, you can still contribute to establishing world peace and help Ukraine win this war — conventionally or not.

    Unconventional business initiatives in support of Ukraine

    While a lot of people took their donations directly to global or local Ukrainian organizations, some came up with more unconventional ways to support the people of Ukraine directly. 


    One of the most notable actions that went viral in the first days of the war was the Airbnb rentals booking initiative. 

    Back in late February, the home rental platform announced it would offer free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. But Airbnb users took it a step further and came up with a novel way to financially help those in need in Ukraine — book stays in Ukraine without having the intention of going there. That way, Ukrainian hosts that were struggling to make money amid a military conflict in the country, could rack up a couple of dollars and sustain their families financially.

    The initiative was originally started by @DimaggioEth on Twitter, who used the social media platform to post his booking confirmation along with the message exchange between himself and the Ukrainian host:

    People around the world liked the idea and started booking Ukrainian properties to support fellow Ukrainians. The home rental platform backed this initiative and waived all guest and host fees on bookings in Ukraine.

    A great example of a customer community and business working in synergy to achieve shared goals. 


    Ahrefs, one of the most well-known tools among marketers, came up with a great initiative to support Ukrainians in the war. 

    Crystal Carter on Twitter: "Thanks to @ahrefs for highlighting charities  that are supporting Ukraine during this time. Best wishes to everyone  there." / Twitter
    Source: Twitter

    As their dashboard statement promises, ‘for any amount donated to one of the approved charities in Ukraine, Ahrefs will extend users’ Ahrefs subscription for double of that.’

    Just like this, Ahrefs scored thousands of loyal customers and helped Ukraine with what they needed the most from businesses, support. 

    Mykolaiv Zoo and Kyiv Zoo

    Mykolaiv Zoo was closed to visitors on February 25, following the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the territory of the zoo has been affected by the war directly — it’s been bombed. Nonetheless, the zoo’s director decided to stay to help the stressed animals.

    He also encouraged people from all over the world to buy e-tickets to support the zoo and help animals survive during the war.

    People have supported the initiative: in a short time, tickets were sold out a month in advance, leaving the zoo with enough money to buy provisions for the animals.

    You can still buy e-tickets for as little as $1 and support the Mykolaiv Zoo animals here.  

    This same initiative has extended to other zoos around Ukraine. The Kyiv Zoo is, too, asking for help. You can provide it by buying an e-ticket here.

    Be Brave Like Ukraine by Banda Agency

    While Ukraine is in desperate need of donations, and military and humanitarian aid, not every campaign and initiative have to be monetary. For instance, Banda, a Ukrainian creative agency, has partnered with the Ukrainian government to launch a powerful campaign titled ‘Be Brave Like Ukraine’.

    The main mission of the project is to establish and reinforce the association between Ukraine and the very essence of courage.

    This message is directed at both internal and external audiences. Ukrainians get to see the world’s support and recognition every time they come across posters, banners, and positive comments celebrating their bravery online and offline. This inspires them to keep fighting against Russian aggression. Foreigners, on the other hand, learn more about Ukrainians as a nation and get exposed to the image of a country where brave people, bold businesses, and bold ideas live.

    In the civilized world, Ukrainians have already been identified as a nation of brave people. Our people go to rallies against Russian occupiers and stop tanks with their bare hands, no weapons in sight. Essential workers — doctors, rescuers, vendors, drivers, pharmacists — continue to work even under artillery fire and air raid sirens. It’s really impressive. I believe that after the victory our country will have a ‘window of opportunity’ and our main task will be to use it properly.

    Mikhaylo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation

    You can share your own examples of Ukrainian bravery on social media using the hashtag #BraveUkraine or spread awareness about brave Ukrainians by downloading the materials off of the project’s website and sharing them online.

    A list of small Ukrainian businesses to support

    Consider buying from Ukrainian businesses! A lot of them are back to business, trying to do their best to support their teams and the Ukrainian economy. 

    Below, we’ve compiled a short list of Ukrainian businesses you should check out today to save tomorrow!

    • Katimo — Ukrainian clothing brand that is sending part of their profits to Ukrainian charities.
    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time
    • Ruslan Baginskiy Hats — stylish headwear known all around the world. The brand has launched a special drop of two baseball caps in the signature Ukrainian colors, blue and yellow, which became a symbol of freedom, courage, and determination. Every piece from the drop is made in Ukraine during the war.
    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time
    • — an upcycling clothing brand in Ukraine.
    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time
    • DARI jewelry — DARI jewelry is selling in stock pieces.
    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time
    • TOTÉ — strong suits to support strong Ukraine.
    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time
    Supporting Ukraine one business at a time

    Valerie Kakovkina

    Content marketing manager at VistaCreate. Valerie loves all things marketing, with her favourite areas being email marketing and social media. When out of the office, Valerie loves travelling, going to parties, and helping her friends with their art projects (oh to be surrounded by artists).

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