The first day of the World Franchise Forum continued with the panel session on ‘State Support for Small and Medium Enterprises at National and Regional Levels. Export development and international integration. Russian Export Center Support Programs’. Panellists spoke about the mechanisms and instruments that exist to lend support to small franchising enterprises.
General Director of the Federal Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprise Alexander Braverman demonstrated the SME Business Navigation Portal, a free resource that enables one to create or expand a business online. “More than 550,000 entrepreneurs in Russia use it. The platform makes it possible to calculate market capacity, to find out which products and which target audience are in demand, and to determine price policy and types of existing support,” Alexander Braverman said. He noted that five different countries had already requested the tools to create the same platforms in their country: “They’ve already been given to Kazakhstan and Armenia, and Azerbaijan and a number of Italian companies are also on the way.”
The platform works closely with franchising, and you can now open businesses in 64 different lines of franchising. The General Director of the Federal Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprise mentioned the necessity of developing along different avenues. “There is a proposal for a sharp expansion of access to franchises, in keeping with reports provided by the Russian Franchise Association. By the way, it was exactly one year ago, on 30 May 2017, that we signed our agreement with the association,” Alexander Braverman said. RAF President Agnessa Osipova noted that the association was ready to work together more broadly.
Director of the China Chain Store & Franchise Association Susan Su spoke about Chinese practices in developing the franchise market and mentioned that China was experiencing great interest in the industry as well as in cooperation with small and medium Russian enterprises. The Celestial Empire has also witnessed active growth with the number of franchise businesses increasing by 22% per year.
Co-Chairman of the Delovaya Rossiya All-Russian Public Organization Anton Danilov-Danilyan spoke about Russia’s experience in the industry and said that enterprises had significantly improved in quality and reliability thanks to development organizations and the work of the banking sector. “The number of types of franchises needs to be increased along with involving different business specifications. Delovaya Rossiya is ready to help the Russian Franchise Association carry out the necessary work,” Anton Danilov-Danilyan added.
Deputy Director of the Department of Trade and Services of Moscow Alexander Ivanov mentioned that franchising was an important component of the development of small and medium business in the capital. “Stability is important to us; it’s important that enterprises and entrepreneurs enter the market and create stable jobs. In order for a business to be stable, it must have established procedures. Franchising is a qualitative and understandable mechanism for many entrepreneurs, and for the city it is a plus, because we understand just what Muscovites and guests of the capital will receive from these entrepreneurs,” Alexander Ivanov said, adding that a large number of programmes for entrepreneurs existed in Moscow and that the city administration supported all the undertakings and tasks facing the RAF.
CEO of Delovaya Sreda Andrey Vanin mentioned the demand for training and knowledge for young entrepreneurs. During the session, he presented the Russian educational platform for knowledge and services for business (https://dasreda.ru/start), which contains all the stages an entrepreneur passes through, and businesspeople can see what they need to do to keep their company afloat. An export platform providing Russian companies with access to export markets abroad and foreign companies with a way to enter the Russian market was also introduced. “There are 100 countries connected to the platform, and 500 thousand enterprises have found markets,” Andrey Vanin said.
The World Franchise Forum and Expo is being held 31 May – 1 June under the auspices of Moscow Entrepreneurship Week and with the support of the Roscongress Foundation, the Moscow Government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. Forum address: World Trade Centre, 12 Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment, Moscow.