(IBLF Russia)




Mentoring in Entrepreneurship Forum, 25 November, 2015. Post event press release

The Forum on Mentoring in Entrepreneurship “Mentor for Entrepreneur: Ladder to Success” was held on the 25th of November at the premises of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.

The Forum was organised by the Ministry of Economic Development, Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, IBLF Russia. The partners were Our Future Fund of Regional Social Programmes, EY Russia, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Russian Federal Centre for Youth Entrepreneurship Support, SME Bank, Youth Business Russia programme, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.

Among the Forum participants were representatives of federal and regional governmental authorities, public organizations and business associations, regional chambers of commerce and industry, mentoring in entrepreneurship experts, regional managers of You Are Entrepreneur programme, budding and experienced entrepreneurs, students in economics. The Forum was moderated by Boris Tkachenko, international expert in mentoring, Head of IBLF Russia and Youth Business Russia Programme Director.

Alexey Shestoperov, Deputy Head of the Department of Small and Medium Business of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, and Vladimir Strashko, Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation welcomed the participants and highlighted the necessity to upgrade the non-financial instruments of entrepreneurs support and wished the participants exciting and fruitful work.

This time, the organisers introduced a peculiar Forum format, that consisted of Russian and international sections dedicated to sharing best practices by sophisticated active mentors, young entrepreneurs supported by mentors, with experts’ opinion in between. First to tell about their experience were active mentors Nadezhda Kopytina and Evgeny Kulik, both being leading successful entrepreneurs, and finalists and winner of EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition. They told how they became mentors and why they thought this instrument was essential to share practical experience with startups, growing and social entrepreneurs. Sofia Azizyan, EY Russia Partner, in her expert review, emphasized that EY is doing the utmost to stimulate entrepreneurship development in Russia through contests, support of challenging infrastructure projects and non-financial services for entrepreneurs such as mentoring.

The next were Anastasia Isaeva and Uliana Belova, young entrepreneurs implementing exciting social-oriented projects. They told about obstacles on initial and growth stages and the mentors contribution in their business development. The expert comment on the lively narration made by Anastasia and Uliana was delivered by Stanislav Zabotin, Programmes Development Director at Vagit Alekperovs Our Future Fund and Ulianas mentor. Stanislav told about his experience in mentoring and explained that Our Future Fund will be practicing mentoring as one of priority non-financial tools of social entrepreneurs support for next several years.


The Russian section of the Forum was winded up with the performance by Youth Business Russia (YBR) programme participants from the city of Voronezh, Tamara Najdenova, the mentor, and her mentee Dmitry Nekrasov. They told how they practiced the mentoring methodology during about one year, during which they established friendly relations and how it influenced Dmitrys business and what Tamara did obtain through this cooperation.

The report by the YBR members and the Russian section was summarized by the Forum moderator Boris Tkachenko. Boris reiterated the value of mentoring in entrepreneurship and quoted the statistics on success cases for startups, growing and social entrepreneurs, supported by mentors that showed overwhelming superiority over the young entrepreneurs results working unaided.

Victor Sedov, General Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, acted as moderator of the international section. Victor mentioned successful cooperation between the Centre for Entrepreneurship and IBLF Russia in support of growing entrepreneurs through implementing of mentoring methodology by the pilot project participants in 2010, when they managed manifold increase of their business turnover and volume. Victor has also announced the Centre for Entrepreneurship intent to implement mentoring in 15 Russian regions within the next three years for stimulating dynamic entrepreneurship development, as one of the key segments of Business Accelerator.

The speakers at the international section were: TL Visvanathan, India, has 23-year track record in mentoring (representing BYST, the YBR partner in India), Pippa Murray, British entrepreneur and mentee under Start up Direct, the YBR partner in the UK, and Guillem Aris, mentoring expert and Director of Youth Business Spain Foundation, the YBR partner. The guests presented the best practices in their countries and pointed out the necessity to apply systemic and long-term approach in implementation of mentoring in entrepreneurship programmes. They emphasized the ethical aspect in mentor – mentee relationships and agreed that full confidence and elimination of financial incentives are prerequisite. In the closing of the Forum, Sofia Azizyan of EY Russia represented the results of the EY global research on employment and youth entrepreneurship, dedicated to the analysis of the influence of non-financial services on startup business development, including mentoring. Sofia pointed out that the young entrepreneurs who were supported by mentors acknowledged the great virtue and substantial contribution of mentoring in their business development.

Anna Palagina, Director of the Department of Business and Services of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Artyom Davydov, Director of the Russian Centre for Support of Youth Entrepreneurship were asked to make their closing remarks. Anna Palagina stressed the need for the large-scale involvement of infrastructure organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and Industry into promotion and development of the mentoring in entrepreneurship in Russia. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry intends to continue this activity together with partners and relevant organizations. Artyom further pointed out the necessity to include mentoring on the federal programme You Are Entrepreneur and invited the experts and Forum participants to continue the discussion at the platform of the Russian Youth Entrepreneurship Congress that was planned as part of the agenda of the Days of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship.

The final part of the Forum was enlivened with awarding of the certificates for contribution in the development of mentoring in entrepreneurship to the Centre of Entrepreneurship, Our Future Fund and IBLF Russia issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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