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The next generation of IT specialists: How Beetroot Academy, in partnership with Sweden, trained more than 5300 people to work in IT

By the end of 2021, Beetroot Academy completed a three-year project in partnership with Sweden to contribute to socio-economic development by making impact-driven IT education available to more people in Ukraine and significantly lowering the threshold for anyone to start a career in tech.

How it all started

The idea behind this project initially came from a pilot project that Beetroot Academy implemented with support from Sweden in 2014. We wanted to test if providing intensive practical IT education for people who lost their livelihoods due to the war in Ukraine could be a way to help them create new livelihood opportunities. The pilot was very successful, with more than 90% of the graduates finding work in IT. Based on its results, we saw a huge impact potential in our education solution to help thousands of Ukrainians. This led us to develop the Scale UA project, which launched in 2018 in partnership with Sweden.

The challenge we identified was making career opportunities in IT more accessible for people in Ukraine to help them build a sustainable and fulfilling livelihood in the Digital Economy without moving to a big city or another country.

The project’s impact

Today, IT is an increasingly important driver of socio-economic development and prosperity in Ukraine. It is a facilitator of the growing middle-class, a cornerstone of any democracy, and stable economic growth. IT exports have doubled over three years and are growing faster than the export of any other services or goods in Ukraine, while the number of Ukrainians working in IT is expected to grow up to 24% in the next four years.

Over the past three years, through the Scale UA project, Beetroot Academy was able to significantly contribute to the growth of IT industry growth, with the support from Sweden that helped us improve our education, expand our course offering, and spread it across Ukraine to help more people start a career in IT.

The project’s main goal was to provide IT skills training for 3150 people across 20 regions to support inclusive economic development in Ukraine while developing Beetroot Academy to become a self-sustainable social enterprise, allowing us to continue scaling our education offering to help more people without additional grant funding.

By the end of the project, more than 1.3% of all Ukrainian IT specialists had been trained by Beetroot Academy within the Scale UA project. Additionally, the project has:

  • Provided IT skills training for more than 5300 people in all 24 regions of Ukraine

By the time we launched the project, we had around 500 graduates per year across 10 locations.

Today, we enroll more than 2700 students per year from all 24 regions of Ukraine.

  • Out of which approximately 50% were women;
  • 55% had no previous experience in tech;
  • 65% of them live in locations outside the five biggest cities of Ukraine.

Thanks to this project and the support from Sweden, we have been able to significantly help improve the gender balance in the Ukrainian IT industry while also supporting the growth of the IT industry in regional areas. We think this project has contributed significantly to mainstreaming the idea that a tech career is for everyone – people with different backgrounds and from different places.

“Together with the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine, our local partners, team, and students, we have impacted the lives of thousands of people in Ukraine, hundreds of tech companies, and provided a significant push to both the Ukrainian economy as well as the number of women in Ukrainian Tech. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity, and more importantly, it doesn't end here. We will continue scaling to create even more social impact moving forward” – Andreas Flodström, Founder of Beetroot Academy.

To learn more about Beetroot Academy and our mission, follow this link.

You can find more information about Sweden’s support for development in Ukraine here.

Daria Diadenko