SIBUR introduced best business practices to Amur Oblast’s entrepreneurs

19 may 2021

The Leadership Code business forum was held in Blagoveshchensk and Svobodny on May 12 through 14 with about three hundred local entrepreneurs in attendance. The forum, conceived of as a way of stimulating the development of small and medium enterprises in the nation’s Far East, was conducted with the joint support of SIBUR as part of the company's social investment program, the Formula for Good Deeds, and of Amur Oblast’s Ministry of Economic Development and External Relations.

The forum’s participants attended lectures given by leading experts and professors of finance, business law, marketing, PR, and entrepreneurship psychology, and round tables discussing the use of information technologies for business purposes and doing business in the fields of education and agriculture. Entrepreneurs were able to ask the speakers questions about most efficient setup of their own businesses and exchange their experiences and ideas with other participants.

We can see that, despite restrictions and difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the region continues to implement major investment projects, and that the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant and the Amur Gas and Chemical Complex is proceeding on schedule, Vasily Orlov, the Governor of Amur Oblast, said. However, we are still lagging behind in the development of our small and medium enterprises. The aim of this forum is to showcase the best available business practices, inspire the local business community to find new ideas and solutions, and provide local entrepreneurs with detailed information about various support measures offered in the region. I am referring not only to the measures offered by us as a state authority, but also those offered by SIBUR operating a support program for small businesses in Svobodny. In my opinion, this help is very valuable and we are ready to replicate such practices throughout the region.

At the forum in Svobodny, representatives of the authorities, SIBUR, and local entrepreneurs discussed the issue of urban environment development using a strategic planning session format. The participants put together and presented a pool of business ideas in such areas as Sports, Education, Hobbies/Services, and Public Spaces that would help improve urban environment.

Elmira Tokareva, Senior Manager for government relations and socio-economic projects of Amursky Gas and Chemical Complex LLC, told participants about a similar project aimed at building comfortable urban environment in Tobolsk, implemented together with the city’s business community. Other experts shared their own examples of successful business practices that had had a positive impact on the cities’ perception. These included the likes of Oksana Selendeyeva, founder of Coddy, an international programming school (online), Vladimir Dolgiy-Rapoport, founder of #tagsport soccer school and the GirlPower soccer club, Anastasia Trendberg, one of the co-founders of REMARK’a and REMARK’a KIDS book stores, and Oksana Razumeyeva, entrepreneur from Blagoveschensk.

At the forum, the first five participants of the small business support program launched by SIBUR together with Amur Oblast’s Regional Business Credit Support Center were provided with special certificates. Under the terms of the program, they will get reimbursed for up to 50% of the business development loan taken at the center. The initiatives that received support from SIBUR included projects to open new catering outlets, a project to organize a private kindergarten, to expand a car maintenance business, and to develop municipal passenger transportation services.

For me, this business forum represents, first of all, an opportunity to learn firsthand about the support measures that I, as an entrepreneur, can use to expand my services. Plus, of course, it’s an opportunity to meet people, potential partners and experts who are ready to share their successful experience, something I find very useful. My only suggestion is to hold such fora more regularly and, if possible, expand their format, said Alexander Yefimenko (Svobodny), a sole proprietor and winner of a certificate of SIBUR's SME support program.

The event in Svobodny included a career guidance and entrepreneurial skills development session for schoolchildren. The students attended lectures on future professions and state-of-the-art digital technologies and played a career guidance game called the Career Atlas.

The value of this forum is in that it can become the very platform that will bring together enterprising people who care about their environment and are ready to improve it via their business projects. This is a place where they can interact with each other, absorb positive emotions and get new ideas, Stanislav Kasparov, Director of Business Support in the Regions of SIBUR's Presence, commented. SIBUR has been devoting a lot of attention, time and resources to making sure that local business initiatives are developed in the cities where the company is present, so that the seed of entrepreneurship would germinate and bear fruit in the form of new successful business start-ups. By virtue of interacting with local communities with a view to achieving these goals, we can see that there are a lot of ideas out there, that people are enterprising and full of initiative, and that they want to change the world around them for the better. Our task is to support them in these endeavors.