YBR launches in Novosibirsk Region

On 11 March 2011 the Novosibirsk Oblast government headquarters hosted an official launch of a youth business support and promotion programme called Youth Business Russia (YBR). The YBR programme provides financing on easy terms to first-time entrepreneurs without start-up capital, advice and training in running own business, as well as one-to-one mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs at business startup stage.

The attendees were welcomed by Sergei Nikolayevich Syomka, minister for industry, trade and private enterprise promotion of Novosibirsk Oblast. He told the audience about the oblast's programmes to support and promote private enterprise and specifically about the activities of the Microfinance Fund of Novosibirsk Oblast, set up in the autumn of 2010. The Fund offers loans to entrepreneurs with a track record of over 1 year. So, according to the minister, the YBR Programme will be a new product for the oblast, and its cooperation with the Fund will facilitate consolidation of funds fr om different sources and synergy of projects.

“The YBR programme is a programme of practical assistance to young people who decide to go into business for themselves. When granting a loan, we put emphasis on training, advice and assistance from mentors as a formula for business success,” says Boris Nikolayevich Tkachenko, head of the Russian branch of International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and manager of the programme. He also stressed that it is very important for us that the programme is being implemented in coordination with local government authorities, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations.

Nicholas Denny, from Credit Suisse, outlined the factors that influenced the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation’s decision to support the programme, (through providing funds for the loan portfolio), here rather than elsewhere: a high level of education provided by local colleges and universities, successful businesses in operation, free and independent nature of entrepreneurs in Siberia. All of these factors will ensure the success of the programme, and it will help create jobs and raise the living standards in the region.

On behalf of Novosibirsk City Hall, the programme was welcomed by Vladimir Andreyevich Afanasyev, chief of City Hall's Department for Industry, Innovation and Private Enterprise. He described the facilities that are currently offered by the city to small businesses and that can be used to implement the YBR programme. Among them are the Government Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, which offers comprehensive support to small businesses; a business incubator for first-time entrepreneurs; district associations of entrepreneurs; a First Step programme for those who want to open their own business.

Vera Viliorovna Pronkina, head of Division for Youth Affairs of Novosibirsk Oblast, described the Division's target audiences: those not familiar with business but willing to learn; those who have a business idea, and first-time entrepreneurs who are developing their business. She emphasized that she saw mentoring as an area wh ere YBR and the Division can pool their resources.

In his address, Sergei Petrovich Parshikov, head of small and medium-sized business promotion department of the ministry of industry, trade and private enterprise promotion of Novosibirsk Oblast, highlighted the importance of comprehensive support that is offered to young entrepreneurs by the YBR Programme.

Yelena Leonidovna Gorbunova, deputy chair of the Small Business Support and Promotion Committee of City Hall's Department for Industry, Innovation and Private Enterprise, stressed that all entrepreneurs registered in Novosibirsk can count on all kinds of support from the municipal and regional programmes. She highlighted a key component of the YBR programme, mentoring, which is a must for beginners.

Alexander Viktorovich Kangro, executive director of the Microfinance Fund of Novosibirsk Oblast, said that in the current environment, young business can be easily confused by financing offers. He described the terms of loans offered by the Microfinance Fund and the contribution the Fund was going to make to the YBR programme.

Yuri Vladimirovich Mandronov, businessman and director of Nota Intekh manufacturer, thanked Credit Suisse and the YBR programme for choosing Novosibirsk to implement the project and talked about his commitment to sharing experience with young entrepreneurs.

Yegor Aleksandrovich Kazantsev, director of GTsRP (Government Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise), described the centre, which was set up in 2009, focusing on competitions, the school of youth and socially responsible business and the opportunities for cooperation between the Centre and YBR in the area of training and advising under the YBR programme.

Oleg Viktorovich Suvorov, YBR regional coordinator for Novosibirsk Oblast, described the involvement of the Novosibirsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a sponsor of the YBR programme, with entrepreneurs and outlined the steps that young businessman would have to take to join the YBR programme.

The presentation was attended by more than 120 young men and women. They eagerly asked specific questions about the support programmes and about the options for going into business for themselves.

Event organizers: International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and Government of Novosibirsk Oblast. The YBR Programme in Novosibirsk Oblast is implemented with support from The Princes Youth Business International (YBI), Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), OXFAM, Microfinance Fund of Novosibirsk Oblast, Novosibirsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and KPMG.

Youth Business Russia Programme

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