The article aims at identifying topical problems in designing and successfully managing innovative projects for small and medium enterprises in Ukraine and finding effective ways to solve them. The following general and special research methods were used to solve the tasks set in the article: analysis and synthesis, generalization, comparison and systematization. The stages of startups development have been considered as well as the types of funding sources for enterprises that are just starting their activities. The role of the state in supporting small and medium-sized businesses under risk and the importance of encouraging the promotion of innovative projects in order to increase the competitiveness of both enterprises and the country as a whole have been identified. The global ecosystem of startups has been analyzed as to its theoretical representation. The reasons for the low innovative activity of Ukrainian enterprises have been identified and ways to overcome them have been suggested helping startup projects to achieve ultimate success despite the imperfect legal system and unfavorable investment climate. The authors have designed some measures guaranteeing that domestic business ideas will have sufficient potential for development. The experience of the most promising cities in Ukraine, which have been developing and implementing startups in recent years, has been studied. The necessity not only to support the development of startups at the initial stage, but also to mentor and coordinate them throughout the project life cycle has been proven. The main results of the research can be used in practice while designing and implementing of innovative business ideas at an enterprise.