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Open Dialogue ‘Development Pathways for Young Entrepreneurship’
6 June 2019
16:45—18:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Young entrepreneurs are the driving force of the new economy

Young entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses are the drivers of development. Those are people who positively care, who are able to take risk and make mistakes, get up and move on. <...> A large number of entrepreneurial projects have already been implemented as part of the grant support system that we have in our agency — Alexander Bugaev, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs.

People should try themselves as entrepreneurs as early in life as possible. Young people strive to create digital products. <...> New media is a popular trend. <...> There are many volunteer projects — Vladislav Davankov, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Russia – the Land of Opportunities.

In Yakutia we see explosive growth of entrepreneurship in IT, primarily among young people. <...> Our task is to grow the second economy out of the creative economy, in addition to the one based on the extraction of diamonds, coal and oil. <...> Yakutia is the third largest regional cinema producer. 64 films were shot over the past 4 years, which brought 74 awards at the international and Russian film festivals. <...> We create systematic support [for the Yakut filming industry, – Ed.]; a foundation has been created earlier this year, which will distribute grant-based support to filmmakers and develop educational sphere on the basis of grants — Vladimir Solodov, Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Young entrepreneurs are much more optimistic over the entire horizon of research [carried out over five years among 2,500 entrepreneurs, – Ed.] regarding investments, hiring people, working with personnel and sales growth — Konstantin Basmanov, Head of Small and Medium Enterprises Unit, Promsvyazbank PJSC.

The government creates conditions for the small and medium-sized businesses to develop

We now have an environment shaped out so that small and medium-sized businesses took everything they could. We provided them with maximum access to public procurement: the share of medium-sized businesses exceeds 3 trillion roubles — Sergey Zhigarev, State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship .

In healthcare now there are very good terms [for entrepreneurs, – Ed.]. <...> There is a zero VAT rate on medical services in Russia. <...> I believe, the network culture in the medical business will be shaped up in the future, in fact, we see that large networks are entering the markets, but they are not always represented by young entrepreneurs — Muslim Muslimov, Board Member, Chairman of the Health Care Committee, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia); Founder, Klinika No. 1 Medical Centre Network.

Small and medium-sized businesses help to solve the employment problem

With the advent of the new technological revolution, a great number of professions and specializations will be extinct. <...> This is in no way synchronized with the education system in our country; people are not going to get an up-to-date profession that is in demand. And so, we expect them to join small and medium-sized businesses, because otherwise they would have a hard time finding a job — Sergey Zhigarev, State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship .

ISSUES
Entrepreneurship is viewed ambivalently

Historically, Russia has a background that impedes the development of small and medium-sized businesses — Sergey Zhigarev, State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship .

Lack of interaction mechanisms between government, business and scientific community

The level of awareness among young people in the start-up environment about the availability of tools and opportunities [for business development, – Ed.] is very low. Very often there are no horizontal links between universities, the innovation environment and large companies, which should shape up the demand for innovative solutions. Instead, large companies draft their innovative strategies themselves. <...> The venture environment exists on its own, raising start-ups through grants to a certain level, and science is on its own. The task of the government is to organize such horizontal connections — Aleksey Ivanchenko, Deputy Chairman, Head of Innovation and Digital Economy, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF" .

We do not have a mechanism for interaction between entrepreneurs and the government. <...> Standard processes are underway, but should an unusual question arise, it bumps into a wall. Different authorities divert the decision-making process to each other, and as a result, entrepreneurs disconnect from interaction with the government, which they begin to view negatively — Artyom Kopylov, Director General, Agromig.

48% of our working-age population is the Y generation: people born between 1981 and 2000. There is also Z generation, born after the year 2000. Those are different types of entrepreneurs, who study and perceive information in different ways. <...> During in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, regardless of the generation they belong to, it turned out that they do not want to study, they do not need classical education. But they are ready to take up useful knowledge that may be applied instantly — Vitaly Tarasov, Chief Executive Officer, Delovaya Sreda (Business Environment).

We do not have enough quality technoparks and associations where, with the help of the government, they can make high-tech prototypes and advance them into serial production. So that the entrepreneur engaged in this would not be concerned over the problem of interaction with the government — Pavel Lenets, Director, Sapphire.

Practice of post-payment

We are facing a problem that the majority of large companies in Russia work on post-payment basis, which can take up to several months. That is a serious problem for young entrepreneurs — Oleg Mansurov, General Director, ACTUM.

SOLUTIONS
Promoting entrepreneurship

Our task is to popularize the very concept of an entrepreneur. We must invest substantial resources into this, because they will subsequently make a major contribution to the economy — Alexander Bugaev, Head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs.

Affordable credits for small and medium-sized businesses

The incentive to attract small and medium-sized businesses should be the maximum affordability of credit resource. Low cost and volume of loans should be increased substantially. Availability of equipment, venues for doing business, logistics, connection to new digital technologies. This is the only way how we have a chance to create new jobs for people in the conditions where certain professions disappear — Sergey Zhigarev, State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship .

Creating the system of support for start-ups

When working with the government, it is important to properly build the system of operation within public-private partnerships, because within one company it is very difficult to implement something on a federal scale. It is important to build clear rules of the game between state development institutions, government-owned companies and small tech companies — Oleg Mansurov, General Director, ACTUM.

Development corporations in any country provide financial leverage at the late and risky phases of start-up development where venture investors and commercial banks do not tread — Aleksey Ivanchenko, Deputy Chairman, Head of Innovation and Digital Economy, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF" .

Shaping up a creative business environment in educational institutions

We work in four regions of Kazakhstan, where we selected nine universities and colleges. That is where we strive to completely reformat and create a creative business environment. Five thousand students are in this environment on a daily basis. <...> As soon as you provide people with opportunities and methods to act on, young people’s energy and initiative immediately go full swing. But this should be a government initiative: a private company cannot do that. We should implement this method from kindergarten to universities — Alexander Machkevitch, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Eurasian Resources Group S.a.r.l. (ERG) .

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS