Mastercard study: One in five entrepreneurs generates income solely from cashless sales

Kyiv, November 30, 2023 – Ukrainian entrepreneurs continue to demonstrate resilience and a strong desire to work, seeking ways to grow their businesses. Almost half (46%) of entrepreneurs who were forced to stop operations due to the outbreak of the full-scale war have managed to resume their activities in full. Another 38% anticipate a return to pre-war levels within one to two years. These are the findings from the Mastercard SME Index 2023 study, which explores the status, key needs, and development prospects of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine.

Current needs and trend towards cashless payments

The primary needs of small businesses today include money for development (45%) and acquiring new orders and sales markets (43%). Meanwhile, the most significant challenge for medium-sized businesses is the lack of staff (35%).

To support their business, one in five respondents participated in grant programs empowered by the state or other organisations, with 83% of them receiving financial assistance in a cashless form.

One-fifth of Ukrainian businesses (19%) generate sales income exclusively in cashless form through payments via POS terminals, to a bank account, or using digital services. For another 53% of entrepreneurs, cashless payments account for more than half of their income. Overall, 9 out of 10 businesses today accept cashless payments for goods and services.

Plans for the future

Entrepreneurs are increasingly focused on future planning. Thus, 73% are planning to scale their business, with 19% already implementing such a strategy. In particular, plans include diversifying goods and services (32%), opening new outlets and increasing production volumes (31%), developing digital channels (31%), and expanding sales abroad (16%).

Germany is the leading country for exporting products, with 29% of Ukrainian entrepreneurs stating they sold their goods and services in this market the most over the past year. Other popular export destinations include Poland (27%), the United States (21%), the United Kingdom (17%), and Canada (13%). Respondents identify cost, quality, and uniqueness as the key advantages of Ukrainian products and services abroad.

7 out of 10 representatives of the Ukrainian business community plan to contribute to the recovery of Ukraine and its economy, on top of their operations. Among them, 47% are willing to join government reconstruction programs, while 42% aim to launch own projects and initiatives to aid the country's post-war recovery.

"At Mastercard, we are inspired by the resilience of Ukrainian entrepreneurs who continue to work and scale their businesses despite the challenges of the full-scale war. Once again, we are convinced that digital solutions and cashless payment technologies are becoming crucial for business development and provide additional opportunities, such as access to other markets. Our mission is to support Ukrainian entrepreneurs on this developmental journey," said Inga Andreieva, General Manager, Mastercard Ukraine and Moldova.

Mastercard has been actively supporting Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses for many years by launching specialised financial products, services, and initiatives that help them develop and scale their businesses, through modern payment technologies. The company is a long-term partner of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine in developing the Diia.Business online portal, as well as offline centres in Ukraine and abroad. Mastercard is also implementing a number of initiatives with partner banks providing financial, advisory and educational support to Ukrainian entrepreneurs. The company also launches its own projects, such as the Start Path Ukraine acceleration program, specifically designed to support Ukrainian fintech startups.


About Mastercard SME Index

Mastercard SME Index is a study of the state of Ukrainian micro, small and medium-sized businesses conducted by Gradus on behalf of Mastercard in June-July 2023. The online survey involved 404 respondents – both men and women who own or manage micro, small and medium-sized businesses – in 20 regions of Ukraine.