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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Mass Youth Involvement in Entrepreneurship: Current Realities and Future Potential
3 September 2021
10:00—11:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The number of young entrepreneurs in Russia is growing, and an environment has been created to encourage this

According to surveys we are seeing today, more than 56% of young people see their prospects and future lying specifically in entrepreneurship. This could be connected to freelance work, or coming up with products and ideas. This proactiveness is reflected in growth rates and figures. According to statistics, young people account for 30% of the entrepreneurial community. At the same time, the average age of an entrepreneur today is 38. <…> If we look at the number of new small enterprises opening and the number of young people becoming self-employed, then the most active group in 2019 were young people aged 24 – 29, and in 2020 it was already the 18–24 cohort. This is the trend we are seeing — Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation.

The trend for entrepreneurship is indeed very pronounced. However, it is vital that it does not only exist in the 18–35 age category. It is also essential that school pupils show a huge interest in entrepreneurship. <…> And this is indeed the case, given that last year the finalists of the competition [the Big Change competition for school pupils – ed.] proposed adding a new branch to it, entitled ‘Get Down to Business’. This year, it proved to be one of the most popular, with more than 400,000 of the 2.5 million entries in Big Change being in the entrepreneurial section — Ksenia Razuvaeva, Head, Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh).

In actual fact, tech entrepreneurship is not necessarily the domain of young people, but it is true that if you look at the statistics, the overwhelming majority of companies are those with young people, the younger generation — Igor Drozdov, Chairman of the Board, Skolkovo Foundation.

Everything has largely already been done to create a good business environment. In the Ease of Doing Business ranking for 2020, Russia was in 28th place, so we are in the top 30 nations in terms of the business environment. We just need to learn to capitalize on the environment that has been created — Petr Ivanov, Deputy Head, Federal Antimonopoly Service.

Is running a business a very risky enterprise? It certainly is. However, practice has shown that young people find it easier to bear that risk, as they have more free time and fewer commitments. What’s more, there’s a unique opportunity to turn a hobby into a business, as was the case with me — Sofya Makhatadze, Finalist in the All-Russian "Big Change" Сompetition.

ISSUES
The government needs to create a one-stop shop to provide information to young entrepreneurs regarding the options available to them. Career guidance should also be offered to school pupils, which should in part include businesspeople becoming involved in the teaching process

You’ve got the first window, then the second, then the third, then the fourth – this is the issue we are seeing. Young people today have a wealth of options, and everything is very straightforward right up to the moment when a choice has to be made. There is no one-stop shop – no universal point of entry — Aleksandr Vaino, Head of Youth Initiatives Center, Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI).

In addition to centres of excellence, I would probably also highlight the need for the government to provide assistance in terms of shaping knowledge and skills at an earlier stage. <...> Young people endeavouring to develop their business are not always that focused on the regulatory framework of various regimes — Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation.

One of the main issues about getting young people involved is explaining things and speaking about entrepreneurship using normal language. We are referring to both schools and universities. Let’s be clear about who could do this. There’s only one answer – it needs to be done by an entrepreneur, but they’re not allowed into schools. Entrepreneurs are excluded from them. That means young people can only take a master class as an extra-curricular activity outside their school or university. It only exists as a form of additional education. <...> The entrepreneurship bug can only be caught from an entrepreneur — Andrey Shubin, Executive Director, All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses OPORA RUSSIA.

SOLUTIONS
Developing various government programmes offering early career guidance for young people, and getting them into entrepreneurship

We are already working together with our colleagues to develop a youth employment programme. In the process of this, we are paying a significant amount of attention to career guidance procedures at the latter stages of schooling, as well as during the first year of university or college. This is so young people gain a clear understanding of what areas and what industries are most attractive to them. <...> In this regard, we are also working with employment centres to raise awareness and offer assistance to potential entrepreneurs from the point of view of current legislation. <...> Incentive regimes [for young people – ed.] are already in place — Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation.

In addition, we are currently working with the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation to develop a navigation tool detailing various options. It will digitalize all forms of support available in the country, while consolidating all our grant campaigns and support measures offered by the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Ministry of Economic Development. We are moving forward according to the principal of aggregation, of Uberization [the replacement of intermediaries with digital platforms – ed.] <...> All the ideas developed by these people have gone into the heart of the programme. There is a fairly broad range of them, which we have launched together with the Ministry of Economic Development. It will be launched this year in 30 pilot regions, and we will test the main formats until March next year. If we see that it’s working, we will roll out the programme to the whole country by the end of next year. It is made up of a few sections, with the first one being education — Ksenia Razuvaeva, Head, Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh).

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS