There was a meeting of Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, with businesswomen, realising export-oriented projects. The meeting was held as part of preparing for the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. Irina Saltykova, Member of the Committee for Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship of OPORA RUSSIA and CTO of ANCO FVE Ericsson Training Centre, was one of the participants. The Chairperson of the Federation Council awarded a commendation to her for a major contribution to development of international projects in the sphere of women’s entrepreneurship. 

Two years ago, the Economic Development Ministry of the Russian Federation and the Committee of OPORA RUSSIA decided to create the APEC Business Efficiency and Success Target Award (APEC BEST AWARD), a competition of women’s entrepreneurship projects, as part of annual APEC Forum. Then, Irina hosted the event and took on the role of one of the organisers of the competition. 


Participants from every of 21 countries present the jury and guests of the event successful and potentially retailing women’s business projects in the framework of APEC BEST AWARD. The competition gives businesswomen an opportunity to enlarge business relations; exchange experience with one another; and find potential partners, sponsors, and investors. It is also important that by the end of the competition the participants receive great support from their governments and draw the Mass Media’s attention, which is very useful for their projects. 

“The competition was held for the second time this year. I am happy to see that our initiative has gained traction. This year the projects are of very high quality”, said Irina Saltykova. Moreover, the number of participants also increased greatly. Irina mentioned that they charged everybody with their energy and positivity. According to her, even doubters of women’s entrepreneurship were impressed by the projects. 


It is important to mention that APEC BEST AWARD is an initiative that transcends the frameworks of the competition. Thus, a catalogue of the best women’s projects presented on the competition was edited according to the results of the event. You can also find information about members of the jury, participants’ contacts and other there. Today the catalogue is available on the APEC official site. The entrepreneurs can find partners and gain inspiration by learning successful projects of their colleagues with the help of this catalogue. 

Irina is sure that quality of hosting the competition will increase as the time goes. “Our Korean partners contacted us. They are creating special internet portal where they post the most successive practices realised in the framework of the APEC. They suggested presenting this project as an example of one of the best projects initiated by Russia”, said our interlocutress. 


Irina pays much attention to the development of women’s entrepreneurship in our country. She is sure that it is wrong to split business spheres into ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’. Nevertheless, some approaches to business differ due to different world perception, traits of character, mentality, and cultural patterns of both sexes. Thus, women often are more cautious, are serious about even the simplest things. They have genetically instilled code of caring about the nearest. Of course, it is reflected in their business activities. 

By the way, our interlocutress mentioned that today many stereotypes are defied in the society. More and more women come to the spheres that were traditionally considered men’s. Irina is aware of this firsthand. She is the CTO in educational organisation, which specialises on projects in the sphere of high technologies where many women study today. 

In conclusion, Irina addressed women from all over the world: “Even if you are afraid of making some steps, move to a new level, do it regardless. Think well and take a chance. You can always correct anything you have done, yet you will regret deeds you haven’t”. This advice is also useful for businesswomen who only plan to bring their products to international market. 

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community 

Translated by Yan Zarubin