From Ukraine to New Brunswick — Welcoming Zwebra Web Studio
Opportunities NB (ONB) and the Province of New Brunswick understand the critical role that immigration plays in economic growth. Recent ONB announcements speak directly to this immigration focus. The arrival of Dream Payments in Moncton, for example, brought several new families to the province from Russia and Vietnam. That announcement came hot on the heels of our partnership with TrueNorth, a Vancouver firm helping U.S.-based companies establish operations in Canada.
Today, we introduce another new arrival to New Brunswick: Maksym Bezorudko, Executive Director of Zwebra Web Studio.
Zwebra Web Studio
Zwebra launched in 2009 with four employees. Today, the company employs 25+ people in its Ukrainian offices. Four of those employees are now making Saint John their new permanent home.
Zwebra develops websites (corporate, e-commerce, web portals), mobile apps, and software packages while offering SEO, social media, PPC, and other assorted online marketing services. Maksym Bezorudko says the company now boasts a strong portfolio and competitive prices, with clients in Ukraine, Russia, Canada, the U.S., England, Spain, China, Israel, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.
From its home in Ukraine, Zwebra supports mid-sized and large businesses across multiple verticals, including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and energy.
The Road to Atlantic Canada
ONB’s Investment Attraction team visited Ukraine in the summer of 2015. As part of the trip’s preparation, ONB Lead Generation compiled a list of the region’s potential tech sector clients, including Zwebra.
A Skype call was arranged with Zwebra’s team immediately. Company executives then traveled to a Kiev software event to meet with ONB and representatives from the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour (PETL). Immigration to Canada was of significant interest from day one.
ONB and PETL next combined their efforts to support Zwebra’s move to New Brunswick by:
- Connecting them with New Brunswick-based legal and accounting support;
- Offering expertise in the preparation of immigration documents; and
- Making introductions to organizations like the Saint John Multicultural and Newcomers Resource Centre (SJMNRC) and Enterprise Saint John (ESJ).
Why New Brunswick?
We asked Maksym what appealed to him about New Brunswick in particular.
“It was an opportunity to work more closely with the Canadian and American markets. A North American office seemed like the next step in terms of bringing the company to the next level. There is also an unstable situation in Ukraine and very little opportunity for further growth there. The cost of doing business in New Brunswick is much more affordable compared to places like Toronto or Montreal. Ultimately, we chose New Brunswick because of that initial invitation received from Opportunities NB. The support from your team and PETL has made all the difference.”
Maksym Bezorudko and his wife arrived in New Brunswick in May 2017. “[ONB Business Development Executive] Joel [DeWolfe] met us at the airport late in the night and helped us get to our hotel. It was really big help after a 15-hour flight.”
ONB and its provincial partners continue to support Zwebra’s New Brunswick growth plan. PETL Program Officer George Itoafa, for example, plays a crucial role in assisting their team with the immigration process.
Maksym appreciates the quality of life New Brunswick offers for him and his family. “You feel safe here. New Brunswick has such welcoming people, great places to visit, and beautiful scenery, especially if you enjoy hiking.”
A small number of Ukraine-based company executives will join Maksym on a permanent basis in New Brunswick in the coming months. Their plan is to continue building the team in Saint John from there. “Once we have acquired enough local clients, the plan is to expand this office and hire locals. I’d like to bring in students for internships and practicums as well.”
Zwebra isn’t the only Ukraine company to arrive in New Brunswick with the help of ONB. In the case study below, learn how our team helped Silicon Valley-based RevJet establish their New Brunswick office.