Russian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Forum: Small Business – Big Opportunities (part of SPIEF 2015)

Relevant topics for Russian small- and medium-sized businesses were discussed on 17 June 2015 as part of four discussion platforms held in a roundtable format in the run-up to SPIEF 2015.

The key themes of the Russian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Forum included: the potential of small business, demand for the products and services of small enterprises, government procurements; administrative and legal regulation, improvements to tax legislation and the elimination of administrative barriers; innovative and industrial small business and infrastructure for business; financial resources for small- and medium-sized business and investments in small business.

Each theme is an integral part of an entrepreneur’s daily life. It was noted during the discussion that the government is by no means utilising the full potential of the country’s small- and medium-sized businesses, while administrative ‘over-regulation’ along with the tax and other burdens are rather high. Recommendations were given during the discussions to focus on results and not on processes.

The Forum participants suggested developing a development strategy for small and medium entrepreneurship (SME) and the establishment of a SME Development Corporation that would coordinate work on all problematic areas: legal regulation, the tax sphere, administrative barriers, financial and credit incentives, innovations, education and more.

It was suggested establishing centres in the regions to support business and coordinate measures of government support.

The presentations given by the Forum participants were devoted to the importance of enhancing the role of SME in the development and restructuring of the Russian economy. A proposal was made to enhance the status of public organizations of entrepreneurs and their role in establishing a domestic business environment.

One of the main challenges was formulated at the Forum – the establishment of a competitive environment and a market for innovative products. It was noted that there big business has no economic, tax or other incentives to start cooperating with small- and medium-sized businesses. The country’s economy cannot develop without the development of the real sector.

The moderators presented the recommendations made at the roundtables at a plenary session of the Forum devoted to the decisions of the State Council of the Russian Federation and new opportunities for small and medium entrepreneurship.