A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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World Franchise Forum on the role of franchising in Moscow’s economy

The World Franchise Forum and Moscow Franchise Expo 2018 that are taking place from 30 May through 1 June as part of the Moscow Entrepreneurship Week are very important for Russia’s capital where most of the industry is concentrated. While the latest trends have been for regional brands to grow in importance, Moscow is still the industry leader largely thanks to the support the city government lends entrepreneurs. The session entitled ‘Franchising, a Reliable Guarantee of Active Development of Small and Medium Enterprise in Moscow. ‘Made in Moscow’ Programme’ was dedicated to the development of franchising and SMEs in Moscow and tools designed to support them.

Vasily Kalinkin, Head of the Investment Raising and Support Department of the City of Moscow, spoke about property rent mechanisms available to businesses. He argued that the system of relations between the authorities and businesses has become much simpler, with auction winners now getting keys to their new properties within three days.

Vladimir Chernyavsky, Deputy Head for Strategy of the Moscow City Investment Agency, pointed out Moscow’s “reasonable and integrated” system for business support and growth. He introduced the Moscow Investment Portal: “It is a major investment portal that has been set up to make sure business in Moscow is done in a transparent manner. It also acts as a feedback loop for entrepreneurs and the city government. The portal receives more than 6,000 unique hits daily, with 1.7 million visitors counted last year alone.”

The portal hosts several sections, including the ‘Guide for Investor’, which offers access to city e-services. “We can help with getting your business registered, find premises of recruit staff. Our mission is to provide one-stop-shop navigation and help businesses resolve issues,” Vladimir Chernyavsky added. Other sections include the ‘Moscow Investment Map’ and ‘Industry. Innovations’, which invite applications for renting premises and for city support.

“We have put in efforts to create the ‘Active Investor’, a new online tool to gauge the opinions of the business community on putting properties to commercial use,” Vladimir Chernyavsky said, adding that all of Moscow’s initiatives are aimed at helping entrepreneurs achieve success, something the city is strongly interested in.

Representatives of Russia’s largest franchises, the Shokoladnitsa coffee shop chain Regional Development and Franchising Director Maxim Trubnikov and General Director of the LECHU.ru chain of medical centres Igor Zharkikh, joined in the discussion.

“Global experience demonstrates that 80% of startups go out of business within two to three years of setting up shop. In case of franchises, the situation is just the opposite,” Maxim Trubnikov said. He noted that starting an independent business made sense in the early 2000s, when weak competition was making it easy to take any new concept off the ground. Now, this is an extremely hard thing to do.

In his turn, Igor Zharkikh spoke about the advantages franchises hold for beginning entrepreneurs: “Franchises offer ready-made business processes, expertise, technology and existing logistics, all of which can be had as off-the-shelf solutions. And entrepreneurs have to work within operational frameworks offered by franchisers.”

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