Galina Karelova, deputy chairperson of the Federation Council attended the anniversary Forum of non-governmental organisation for small and medium business OPORA Russia called 15 Years Together.


Throughout the expert session called Women’s Entrepreneurship Within International Export-Oriented Development of SME the Federation Council deputy speaker highlighted, that women’s economic activity is on the global agenda of all the leading international organisations today. Alongside with other numerous countries, Russia understands the extraordinary value of women’s entrepreneurship for small and medium business and strong reserve for employment creation.

According to Galina Karelova, “we can state, that today our development of women’s entrepreneurship is of active phase. All the leading economic establishments contribute to it. We do not consider particular women’s business, but creating special business environment for women. It is the matter of exceeding the old-fashioned business limits, of social protection of women or a part of supporting small and medium business.”


Senator reported, that over the last year the development of spheres where women-entrepreneurs work was stimulated. Among those are consumer goods and juvenile products industries, arts and crafts development and social entrepreneurship.

Mrs. Karelova reminded of Government’s National Strategy for Women 2022 initiated by the Federation Council. According to her, one of the largest parts of it is dedicated to women’s economic empowerment, amplification of their labour market competitive ability and their entrepreneurship involvement.


Deputy speaker highlighted, that gender pay gap in Russia is at 26%; more than 1.8 million women are unemployed. The hardest-pressed here are new mothers, mothers of challenged children, women of preretirement age and women-citizens of single-industry towns. It is important to create all the opportunities for them to earn money distributing their time between family and work if necessary.

According to her, the Government should provide concepts of public support of women during maternity leave by November 2017. The law on securing the notion of social entrepreneurship is going to be passed in autumn 2017. It will become an essential part of advancing women’s business environment. Moreover, the Federation Council suggested such measures supporting businesswomen as tax holidays for single mothers, new mothers and those with many children who operate business, funding socially important goods, etc.


Galina Karelova mentioned, that the Federation Council is striving to make the support of women’s entrepreneurship international. Women’s Entrepreneurship Development is among 12 international women’s projects for the second Eurasian Women’s Forum 2018. Russian initiative on developing the international supporting program for women entrepreneurs was approved at the Jaipur Forum of Women Parliamentarians 2016. That was accompanied by UNIDO representatives’ suggestion on discussing the matter as well as WB’s international support program for women entrepreneurs of summer 2017.

In conclusion, Galina Karelova said: “Our factors for developing women’s entrepreneurship are political will, NGOs’ support, women’s educational background, vacant market niches in Russia and international cooperation. It is important to use all at once to benefit from them.”

News agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Boykov