DRIVER OF ECONOMIC UPTURN
Improvement of women’s entrepreneurship is a recognized global trend in economy. Nowadays most authoritative rating agencies value entrepreneurial activity and the level of women’s engagement in economy on a regular basis. Maria Scherbatkina, co-chairperson of the Committee of Improvement of Women’s Russian Grounds Entrepreneurship spoke about the index of entrepreneurship activity in Russia within the framework of one of the First International Women’s Congress’ of SCO and BRIC countries sections.
‘In Russia, women have a high level of education and high economical activity. Nowadays the level of women’s economical activity in working age is 77%. The percentage of employed women in the average number of employed population is 49%’, marked Maria Scherbatkina. That said, Russia takes the first place in the global rating for the percentage of women chiefs. Thus, Russian private-sector organizations are headed by ladies with probability of 45%.
In Russia people pay much attention to improvement of women’s entrepreneurship. There are different researches taking place for it. Maria Scherbatkina told that now Russia has the WBI (Women Business Index). It is a system instrument of estimating business and social spheres for improvement of women’s entrepreneurship. The research’ results showed women’s business activity from three aspects: the culture of entrepreneurship (the society’s attitude towards women entrepreneurs), the entrepreneurial ecosystem (valuating of business conditions, infrastructure’s accessibility, finances, business education etc.), and personal qualities of a woman (valuation of her living qualities and her professional skills).
According to the results of the first wave of the WBI research, 96% of the interviewed female Russians have a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. Three fourths of them would want to start their own business in future. That said, the limiting factors of realizing one’s own business projects are lack of financial possibilities, lack of knowledge, self doubt and many others. In return, 57% of women who took up entrepreneurship mentioned positive changes in their lifestyles.
According to Maria Scherbatkina’s opinion, the index of women’s entrepreneurial activity rapidly increases in time. ‘It is the result of business conditions’ advance and realization of specific programs aimed at improvement of women’s entrepreneurship at the federal level’ said the speaker. That said, adoption of the National Strategy for Women for 2017-2022 in 2017 also played an important role in it. One of its aims was creating conditions to encourage women’s self-engagement and improvement of their entrepreneurial potential.
Besides, there is the Committee on Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship within the framework of one of the largest Russian business associations ‘Russian Grounds’. It is aimed at active popularization of business among ladies.
The working group of the Eurasian Women’s Forum develops and realizes support programs of women entrepreneurs, keeps motivating women to create new projects, and helps scale successful practices together with the Committee. Maria Scherbakina marked that the prime goal of one of the support programs on developing women’s entrepreneurship is female entrepreneurs’ accessing to information, education, finances, and market.
For example, the Eurasian Women’s Community web-portal became an information and communications platform for women from different business spheres. It allows ladies to exchange experience, maintain useful relationships, and broadcast their business information around the world. The web-portal has its register with more than 2500 women’s business communities, non-commercial organizations, and social structures.
The program also realizes an educational ‘Mother Entrepreneur’ project. It allows women who left for childcare to gain new knowledge and skills in business spheres. The project’s women participants take special courses and later prepare their own business plans as a final work. The author of the best concept gets a grant for her project’s realization.
It’s necessary to say that it is not the only way for women entrepreneurs to get financial support. The MSP Corporation and the MSP Bank created special credit products for women entrepreneurs within the framework of realization of measures of loan and guarantee business support.
It’s important that women’s entrepreneurial projects get the opportunity to be represented at the international markets too. The Committee on Improvement of Women’s Entrepreneurship ‘Russian Grounds’ takes part in large international forums and summits and maintains cooperation with the APEC, the UNIDO, SCO, and BRIC with support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The first contest of women’s entrepreneurial projects within the framework of the annual forum of Asia-Pacific cooperation ‘Woman and Economy’ became an important initiative of the Committee together with the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation in 2016. The participation in such a contest allows women entrepreneurs to maintain new business connections, exchange experience and the best practices on international expansion, and find potential partners and investors.
‘Women entrepreneurship is a driver of economic upturn. The conditions of the modern world require the society’s important needs for developing the markets of social, informational, and educational service. These are the spheres most characteristic for women’s entrepreneurship’, said Maria Scherbatkina. That is why we can say that support of women’s entrepreneurial activity and improvement of women’s entrepreneurship are the basis of successful economic exuberance of Russia.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Irina Nikishina