The 5th Russian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Forum will be held on 5 June at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre on the opening day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The event is being co-organized by the Roscongress Foundation, the SME Corporation and the Opora Russia All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium Business.
During the SME Forums business programme, participants and experts will consider such issues as creating an ecosystem for developing youth entrepreneurship, interaction between large and small businesses in industry, outsourcing as a partnership tool for business and the state, global value chains, constraints and growth points for digital trading in Russia, and attracting investment for innovative projects, among other topics.
Opora Russia President Alexander Kalinin noted the importance of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses participating in major business events.
«For each entrepreneur, this is an effective communication platform that has the utmost practical importance and allows for enhancing the level of ones own professional expertise and knowledge and establishing new business contacts. The participation of small and medium-sized businesses in the Forums events should primarily result in the visible prospect of real agreements being reached at the level of B2B communications, including in international trade. This year, the programme will feature events in a new format such as: an investment fair, an export accelerator, a financial battle, and TED-style performances by successful entrepreneurs of the new generation. Mentoring and networking are traditionally among the main topics of the SME Forum. We will utilize both the tried and true format of the Mentor Lounge as well as the rather new, yet effectively proven format of the Investment Fair during which young entrepreneurs will be able to present their projects to potential investors», Kalinin said.
The SME Corporation will hold a panel discussion titled Small Business in the Urban Economy as part of the Forums business programme. The participants will discuss how to most effectively stimulate the development of small and medium-sized businesses in cities as well as ways to simplify the opening of a typical business and replicate the existing successful business practices in small cities using the franchise mechanism.
«It is extremely important that the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum traditionally devotes great attention to the development and support of small and medium-sized businesses in Russia. This year, together with the participants in the Forums zero day, we plan to look at small and medium-sized businesses as the basis of the urban economy. Unifying the most effective measures to support entrepreneurs, including financial, property, information, consulting, and other types of support as well as the services of the SME Business Navigator, could be an important step in the development of small and medium-sized businesses in cities», SME Corporation CEO Alexander Braverman said.
The battle Small Business and the Financial Market: Barriers and Bottlenecks will take part during the SME Forum. The battle consists of debate in which the speakers are divided into two teams, each of which defends their point of view on a given topic. The Entrepreneurs team and the Financiers team will discuss issues related to the availability of small business financing as well as the scale and prevalence of state support programmes for SMEs.
The Investment Fair is the flagship project of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Committee, which brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and government representatives. Eight investment projects will be defended before investors during the section. At present, the project has already raised RUB 250 million in private investment and more than 200 jobs have been created. The fair is to be held in eight federal districts in 2019.
Another format used to provide assistance to entrepreneurs is the Mentor Lounge, where major businessmen and industry experts will meet with entrepreneurs to share their experience, knowledge and proven business tools. The mentoring session provides an opportunity to analyse cases or business, solve problems, and exchange contacts.
The SME Forum is an annual event that aims to discuss the current state of small and medium-sized businesses and measures to boost their role in the Russian economy. The goals of the Forum are to develop the potential of small and medium-sized businesses in Russia, expand the dialogue between SMEs and state authorities in an effort to reduce administrative barriers as well as to enhance the effectiveness of infrastructural, financial, and institutional support for SMEs. Representatives of the federal and regional legislative and executive authorities, the CEOs of small and medium-sized companies, heads of state and public organizations that support small and medium-sized businesses as well as representatives of the banking sector, consultancies, and law firms are invited to take part in the Forum.