Programmes for Developing Women’s Entrepreneurship
One of the Main Topics on Starting Day of the Eurasian Women’s Forum
On the starting day of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum, an open discussion was held on ‘Programmes and Institutes for Developing Women’s Entrepreneurship’. The meeting was moderated by CEO of the NAFI Research Centre Guzelia Imaeva.
Guzelia Imaeva noted that back in 2010, the number of hits one could come across in the Russian Internet for women’s entrepreneurship barely exceeded 70, while there were thousands devoted to the topic nowadays. Business activity is growing rapidly among women. Many government agencies and large companies are implementing a large number of projects aimed at supporting businesswomen in a variety of ways.
Meeting participants discussed ways to improve the business and social environment to further the development of women’s entrepreneurship. Particular attention was focused on educational programmes to increase the financial literacy of women.
Olesya Teterina, Deputy Director of the Department for Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Competition of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, spoke about her experience implementing similar projects. She stressed that it was first and foremost necessary to inform women of existing opportunities for business development and to share experience and theoretical knowledge with them. It is important that the information be available on various platforms and that the businesswomen be able to choose the type most convenient for them.
Evgenia Brodskaya spoke about the Women@Google initiative. She noted that many large companies such as Google were investing in projects and platforms that contributed to increasing women’s involvement in business.
Kirill Tikhonov, Vice President and Deputy Director of the Small and Medium Business Directorate at Promsvyazbank, and Konstantin Bobrov, Chairman of the Management Board at Bank Uralsib, shared statistics related to lending on women’s entrepreneurial projects. They noted that as a rule female entrepreneurs were more responsible when it came to credit. And despite the fact that they took out loans less often, they nevertheless received approval from the bank in most cases.
Vera Podguzova, Director for External Communications of the Russian Export Centre, talked about how her organization provided financial and non-financial support to women’s entrepreneurial projects. The Russian Export Centre works actively in the regions, helping businesswomen find customers, partners, enter the foreign market, implement marketing strategies, and acquire the business knowledge they need.
Evgenia Lazareva, Co-founder of the OPORA Russia Committee on Women’s Entrepreneurship Development, Oxana Kukharchuk, CEO, MTS University, business coach, Creator of MOOC Platform Talented.me, and Dmitry Bogdanov, Director of the Department of Accelerator Programmes at Social Projects Support Fund among others also participated in the discussion.
Anna Repina, Eurasian Women’s Community News Agency