These entrepreneurs in Ukraine suddenly do not do business, but offer help

Now that the war in their country has largely shut down business, Ukrainian entrepreneurs are losing billions. In addition, some of them invest much of their time, network and money in helping their country and compatriots.

The annual billionaire survey by US business magazine Forbes shows that the five richest businessmen lost 5.7 billion dollars compared to last year. That‘s about a third of their total assets.

The not entirely undisputed billionaire Rinat Akhmetov lost part of his money voluntarily. โ€œI’ve already instructed my foundation to help with the evacuation, medicine and whatever it takes,โ€ said the country‘s richest man two days before the invasion to Forbes. โ€œWe want to do everything we can to prevent a humanitarian disaster.โ€

Other entrepreneurs who have become rich on Ukrainian soil are now also investing money in refugee aid, among other things. DecceIt spoke to two of them about their wartime affairs.

Originally Pakistani Mohammad Zahoor has made a billion dollars in Ukraine since he went there to study in 1974. A few days after the invasion, ‘the country‘s richest expatriate’ with his Ukrainian wife and two daughters traded Kiev for London.

In and around the Ukrainian capital, Zahoor owns, among other things, a plastic factory, offices, a cinema and houses he rents out. โ€œThat factory came to a complete standstill. And rental tokens of the real estate in me no longer.โ€ He continues to pay the wages of his staff and obligations to the bank also continue. โ€œThis has already cost me 10 million.โ€

Yet Zahoor and his wife Kamaliya – a well-known pop star in Ukraine – have little business these days. She gives benefit concerts in Poland and Germany, where he converts old offices into refugee homes. โ€œWe also want to establish Ukrainian schools to keep the language alive.โ€

Zahoor said it was already spending around 8 million in helping refugees. In total, he has already lost almost 20 million to the war. He hopes that he will be able to return to improving the trade relationship between Ukraine and other countries as soon as possible. โ€œAnd with tackling corruption in Ukraine, because that is still a problem. After the war, we really have to keep an eye on where all the aid money goes.โ€

Bas Godska and his Ukrainian wife Kseniya happened to be in the Netherlands on business when Russia invaded Ukraine. The Dutch IT businessman has been living in the country where his family came from since 2013.

โ€œFrom here, we immediately started to bring friends and family to safety,โ€ says Godska. From this, a foundation quickly emerged. โ€œWe have shaken pressure to the network boom to raise money in the Dutch entrepreneurial community.โ€

That was successful. Well-known entrepreneurs such as Willem Sijthoff and Barend Raaff have joined the foundation. With the money raised, Godska now supports 700 refugees. โ€œWe arrange host families, for some living allowance, clothes for the first two months here. After that, we assume that the help of the government has started.โ€ The foundation also sends medicines. In his personal capacity, Godska also bought a number of body armor to protect acquaintances in Ukraine.

โ€œI transferred the activities for my investment fund to colleagues,โ€ says Godska. All time goes to the foundation. Unpaid, he says. โ€œWhat I lose doesn‘t matter anymore. The whole dimension of money doesn’t matter right now. A bulletproof vest can save a lifetime, what does the cost of 1000 euros matter?โ€