WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP, APEC, AND UNIDO
Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, had a meeting with women entrepreneurs implementing export-oriented projects. The meeting took place on December 6, as part of the preparation for the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. After the meeting, the EWC journalists interviewed Veronika Peshkova, board member of OPORA RUSSIA, CEO of Women's Entrepreneurial Development Centre. She shared her opinion why it is so important for women entrepreneurs to enter international level and present Russia in international organisations and associations. In fact, at the meeting mentioned, Veronika was thanked by Valentina Matvienko for her great contribution to the development of international projects in the field of women’s entrepreneurship.
“By developing women’s entrepreneurship we contribute to Russian economic growth. Moreover, various international organisations including APEC, BRICS, and UNIDO provide us with a wide range of opportunities. In my opinion, entrepreneurs should use these opportunities to enter a completely new level”, she said.
Veronika Peshkova said that active work on developing international projects in the field of women’s entrepreneurship started in 2016. The Committee for Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship of OPORA RUSSIA together with the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation took the initiative to hold a contest of women’s business projects APEC BEST AWARD in terms of the Women and Economy forum. Today, this contest is an integral part of its programme.
This year, one of the large projects implemented by the Committee is dedicated to building bridges between Russian, European and Arab women entrepreneurs. Veronika Peshkova shared that the first delegation visited International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.
“We had an interesting and fruitful discussion. And we had a number of new useful contacts. We learned that Arab countries have many outstanding business models. Cooperation with the Middle East gives us promising prospects in developing Russian entrepreneurship in creative industries, IT sphere, medicine and other fields. In my opinion, we should support such international communication, since we have a lot with other countries to teach one another”, she said. By the way, a number of African countries also pay much interest to such collaboration.
Veronika Peshkova mentioned the General Conference of UNIDO, which took place last week. One of its sections was dedicated to expanding women’s economic rights and developing women’s entrepreneurship.
“In terms of the event we agreed to continue developing joint projects. In addition, not there is a promising direction allowing women entrepreneurs from around the world to share experience with one another and establish communication”, she commented.
It is important that special sessions and sections of authoritative international organisations including BRICS Women's Business Club, Women 20, APEC, and UNIDO will take place in the framework of the Forum for the first time. Veronika Peshkova believes that cooperation with such organisations and associations is a key factor of developing not only women’s entrepreneursip, but also Russian economy.
“Such platforms help us not to establish bilateral business contacts separately with each potential partner, but to present our programme, products or projects at a single venue for many countries and receive support from a number of governmental and non-governmental associations at the same time”, added Veronika Peshkova.
For example, APEC includes 21 economies of the Pacific Ocean surrounding (China, the USA, Australia, Indonesia, etc.). The APEC Forum addresses issues regarding overcoming trade barriers, cooperation of technologies, and economic development. Its participants can take their initiatives, demonstrate projects, and share experience with other states.
UNIDO comprises 165 countries as participants. This organisation focuses on industrial development, pays much attention to such issues, as environmental and technological security, entrepreneurial development, and trade relations between UNIDO members.
Speaking about the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum, Veronika Peshkova shares what she expects from the forthcoming event: interesting, useful and unique practices, opportunity to have new contacts with people from different counties, and involvement of bigger number of women in international activity. In her interview, she wished all women entrepreneurs always to seek reaching a new level, finding new people and opportunities.
“Never be afraid of your client living in New Zealand or Indonesia, even if your production is located in Siberia. Your activity may be interesting for residents of other countries. We have much more in common than it seems from the first sight”, she finished.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov