This is my last blog for the BBCU.
Having moved to Cyprus on a permanent basis and with plans to return to the UK later, I decided that the BBCU needed a new owner.
It has been an interesting journey for me and the BBCU during the past 12 years. The BBCU started life as a networking club where we brought together enthusiastic business minded people every month to share information about developments in Ukraine. We had some great speakers and witnessed interesting presentations from both British and Ukrainian people. Our club membership started to grow. Some well-known politicians and business leaders both British and Ukrainian were among our speakers. Although we always tried to choose a different hotel for each monthly event, perhaps the best meetings we had were thanks to the generosity of the team at INTER TV. The roof top location at their offices on Turhenievska Street proved to be a popular meeting place.
The boom years of 2002 to 2009 in Ukraine were exciting times for all involved. The property sector was most interesting when prices for residential property become more expensive than in Western Europe and rental prices for commercial property were crazy.
We branched out and offered teaching and training services, (those first Saturday morning Speaking Club meetings were very well attended). At one stage we had 16 teachers serving our members and clients around Kyiv and we quickly developed a good reputation with many businesses. We also provided a special VIP one-to-one English teaching service to business leaders and professionals which included over the years a select few Ukraine Government Ministers. The majority of these people now speak near perfect English.
Later we provided outsourcing services for small to medium size foreign businesses in Ukraine which included accounting, banking, HR admin and general support to help take away the headache of the over burdensome ‘Ukraine paperwork system’. Unfortunately, the country still has a long way to go to lift the burden of what can only be described as ‘aggressive demand’ from most government agencies/departments. Private sector businesses still employ accountants who spend most of their time providing information to meet government demands.
We also played an active part in promoting golf to Ukraine and helping to introduce ‘pay as you play’ with our partnership with Royal Kyiv Golf Club. Our golf days for beginners were entertaining and great fun.
The downturn in the economy of Ukraine as a result of events since late 2013 and the whole of 2014 led to many businesses struggling to survive. The year 2015 has been a very difficult year for Ukraine and I sincerely hope that the situation improves during 2016.
Therefore I am happy to announce that the BBCU now has a new owner. He is a long time British expat who has been living and working in Ukraine for many years and has various business interests in Ukraine. He will be making his own announcements along with a re-launch of the BBCU later in 2015.
I wish him the very best.