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 155 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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Youth Entrepreneurship: Empty Hype, or the Future of the Russian Economy?
5 June 2021
12:00—13:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Entrepreneurs are getting younger and younger

Children aged 14–17 are attending the Forum. I think that if we’re talking about the entrepreneurial culture in general, it’s important today to create [such a culture] from childhood. Last year we launched the Big Change competition, and this year it has 2.5 million participants. We had 11 focuses, and they initiated a twelfth one themselves – entrepreneurship. Children want to do this — Ksenia Razuvaeva, Head, Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh).

The economy is rapidly changing, and new technologies and new industries are emerging. Young entrepreneurs have the chance to not repeat what has already been done, but come up with something new and work in formats that did not exist 10–20 years ago. This is why young people’s involvement in entrepreneurship will grow, and in the next 5–10 years the share of entrepreneurs in this age cohort will be greater — Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
Young people aren’t sufficiently involved in the state’s agenda, and the state doesn’t engage them enough

We [the Agency for Strategic Initiatives] work with 2–3% of Russian young people and are able to reach them. The rest are out of our reach. And, from our point of view, the biggest task in this regard is to raise awareness. When we talk about ourselves, especially in the regions, the first thing we are asked is: what are ASI young people. Then they ask why your platform is needed at all. We explain it in simple terms. They say: good, but it still won't work — Aleksandr Vaino, Head of Youth Initiatives Center, Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI).

The younger generation’s low level of involvement in global processes is, of course, a very big risk for the development of all mankind [...] At the end of 2020, unemployment among people aged 20–24 in Russia was 16.2%. And this is almost 2% higher than it was before the crisis in 2019. This is a very serious systemic problem that needs to be addressed — Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.

There is a small and medium-sized business project [the national project ‘Small and Medium-sized Entrepreneurship and Support for Individual Entrepreneurial Initiative’] in which we have protective measures today to support entrepreneurs in general, and the youth audience there has not been highlighted in any way — Ksenia Razuvaeva, Head, Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh).

Education and youth policy institutions are too slow to adapt to change

Our country doesn’t have any entrepreneurial universities in their pure form. Our approaches are changing, and we are adding new courses if there is demand for this from students, because today’s students, of course, cannot be fooled. They go to the specific place where they will obtain more knowledge and to the teacher in whose course they are interested — Elena Druzhinina, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

It’s a little scary when we have people with grandchildren who have a very indirect relationship to this agenda. It’s good if the governance system is nevertheless built around people who adequately and organically feel that they are a part of their agenda. This gives us hope, but these hopes still have to be realized — Alexey Repik, Chairman, Russian-Japanese Business Council; President, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia); Chairman of the Board, Group R-Pharm .

SOLUTIONS
Develop measures to support and incentivize youth entrepreneurship at the state level

We could bring together everyone involved in youth entrepreneurship, sit down at the same table, and draw up a roadmap on how we are developing youth entrepreneurship. [It’s crucial] to unite so that everyone knows what is being doing in the Russian Federation and who is doing it, and then build on this. Because now, unfortunately, we aren’t seeing this systematic approach — Aleksandr Vaino, Head of Youth Initiatives Center, Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI).

Build a mentoring system at universities and create educational entrepreneurship-related disciplines

A number of studies have been done, and these studies confirm that 60% of young people are ready to start their own business after graduating from university. They want to engage in entrepreneurial activity even when they are studying. We have launched the Startup as a Diploma programme. We have allowed students to defend their achievements and their activities in the form of thesis research, and we are working on the regulatory framework and will work on this further. Because there is demand, kids are getting investors, and universities are inviting practicing entrepreneurs [to hear students] defend their theses. A certain mentoring system is being built, which, of course, is needed in the university community — Elena Druzhinina, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

Many come in without any experience, then gain experience, and, accordingly, reach a stage where they can use and share this experience. So, I would really like all of us who interact with the business community to talk about this […] That is why education is very good trend. A lot of resources have been put into this. I’m certain that by specifically using knowledge, any young entrepreneur will definitely be able to move forward in the right direction — Oleg Semenenko, Managing Director, Head of GR and Special Projects, Sberbank.