During the round table discussion, they also announced the fourth competition for grants among social entrepreneurs.
Participants in the events of the Social Entrepreneur’s Day were representatives of the government, public and business. Interest in social entrepreneurship is growing every year in Krasnokamensk. The first competition for grants was held in 2014. Then, the 18 best business projects received 50 thousand rubles each to open their own businesses, and several socially-oriented organizations, such as the shop for children’s development and creativity “Orange elephant”, joinery shop “Brusok” (“Timber”), have been running in the city for four years now. In 2015, ARMZ Uranium Holding and the City Administration held a competition to provide financial support to socially-oriented small and medium-sized businesses for the development of existing activities under co-financing conditions. A grant of 150 thousand rubles provided for the development of a cabinet-type furniture production plant, a town of children’s attractions, and another eight small businesses. In 2016, eleven applicants, including the mother and baby club “Academy of Early Childhood Development” and a bakery production shop, received grants of up to 200 thousand rubles. All projects have a social component: creation of new jobs, including for people with disabilities; production of essential goods, or focus on children.
ARMZ Uranium Holding conducts a consistent policy to support social entrepreneurship in the city of Krasnokamensk and the Krasnokamensk District. We see that money has not been wasted; residents of Krasnokamensk do need socially-oriented businesses. Therefore, we continue our work in this area. This year, we have significantly expanded the range of potential applicants. In addition to representatives of small businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteers – employees of the Priargunskoye Mining and Chemical Production Association, Public Joint-Stock Company, wishing to implement their own social projects, can apply for grants. The fund of the contest will be 2.4 million rubles, according to Victoria Dolina, the Head of corporate social policy and non-financial reporting at ARMZ, JSC. The organizers also hope that the competition will attract representatives of peasant and private farms in the Krasnokamensk District, especially since there are positive examples of their development using grants. For example, Valentina Shtefan, a farm head, used the financial support received from ARMZ in 2014 for the purchase of fuels and lubricants. “This allowed us to maintain the cattle stock and to further increase the production of milk”, the businesswoman told. Today, the products of the farm are successfully sold in the market. Its regular customers are the Daursky Meat Processing Plant and the Krasnokamensk Dairy Factory.
It is important that all support measures, including from the government and various foundations, are available for social entrepreneurs every year in the Krasnokamensk District. The speakers at the round table discussion “Social Entrepreneurship: Experience, Problems and Prospects” were Olga Kanunnikova, Deputy Mayor of Krasnokamensk; Natalia Malakhova, a federal coach of the program “School of Social Entrepreneurship”; Olga Donskaya, the Director of the Small Business Support Foundation; and Svetlana Rygdylova, a representative of the federal program “You are an entrepreneur” in the Trans-Baikal Territory. They talked about some federal programs being implemented in the Trans-Baikal Territory. For example, the project “You are an Entrepreneur” enables young people aged 14 to 30 years to attend free educational thematic courses. Many people, who have been trained with the support of the Russian Center for the Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship, get an opportunity to present their business projects at national exhibitions.
Andrey Prostakishin, Deputy General Director of the Priargunskoye Mining and Chemical Production Association (PMCPA, PJSC), told about the preferences of the Krasnokamensk Advanced Socio-Economic Development Territory (ADSEDT), as well as the opportunities of city’s production sites. He urged business community representatives to actively participate both in the process of diversification and in the establishment of new production plants: “I’m sure that most managers and founders of today’s small and individual enterprises have plans to create larger businesses. The ADSEDT provides significant tax benefits, which will help implement the most ambitious business plans. In our city, including on the PMCPA’s production site, there are many industrial buildings, which can be used to accommodate new production enterprises. And given our low tariffs for heating and electricity, we can talk about the most comfortable conditions for business establishment and development.
Participants in the Social Entrepreneur’s Day were over 70 founders of existing small enterprises and people thinking about starting their own businesses. The talked about the current situation, about the problems faced on the difficult way of creating their own businesses, and about their plans for future. In particular, businessman Maksim Abukhanov, engaged in the production of furniture, plans to increase staff and to expand production this year. “In 2017, we purchased expensive equipment. We paid a part of its costs using the grant of 200 thousand rubles, received from the ARMZ Uranium Holding and the City Administration. Another part of the funds was borrowed, and we hope to repay the loan ahead of schedule. Today, we are preparing documents to participate in another program to support small and medium-sized businesses”, the businessman told.
After the round table meeting, master classes were held, that were dedicated to the development of social business in Krasnokamensk. Their participants considered variational models of the territory development, opportunities and ways of using governmental and non-governmental sources of financing, and get expert advice.