Development of Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment in the 4 North Caucasus Republics
In the past few years the situation in the North Caucasus has been gradually improved as a result of the implementation of social and economic stabilization programs, and it is for the first time in many years that people are given hope there. However, many years of devastation have had their effects in all the North Caucasian republics: in particular, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan have the highest level of unemployment, infant mortality and tuberculosis in Russia, while there are the lowest wages and incomes of the population, owing to the remoteness from the central regions of Russia, as well as the consequences of hostilities in the conflict zone and the lack of jobs. The rural areas are in more difficult economic situation. Small businesses are mostly concentrated in the cities, the main field of activity being trade and transport services. In rural areas, small business is weakly developed, therefore its involvement in solving local problems and creating jobs for the population is negligible. At the same time, according to statistics, the majority of the population in this region live in rural areas, where trade and social services are rather poorly developed, and people, particularly youth, have limited access to education and recreation.
The low level of entrepreneurial initiatives of rural population is due to:
- lack of knowledge and skills among organizations and employers;
- limited access to information on microcrediting and services;
- lack of a developed business structure and, as a result of it, problems in obtaining legal and economic information, and advice on marketing and legal issues;
- lack of capacities for studying the practical experience of small business development in rural areas;
To increase the interest of rural communities to setting up their own businesses, some positive examples of private initiatives should be given, related not only to agri-business, but also social services, trade, catering, agro-tourism, etc., necessary for the countryside. Capacities should be built for rural residents to obtain information and train skills that will help them to start their own small businesses.
b. Project Strategy
The goal of the project is to promote development of small businesses and self-employment in rural areas of Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia, through training, consulting, using of best practices from other regions and providing financial and logistical support.
The following objectives are set to determine the problem:
1) Collecting reliable and accurate information on administrative barriers which hinder small business development and improvement of conditions for entrepreneurial activity in rural areas of the four North Caucasian republics;
2) Strengthening the capacity of the selected participants from rural areas to develop and manage SB projects and build an effective network; introducing a distance learning course and exchanging best practices;
3) Improving the environment for small business development in rural areas by establishing partnerships and obtaining support from international and Russian financial institutions and local administrations;
4) Improving the public opinion in regard to small business by working with local media.
Target groups and beneficiaries of the project:
- Rural population of 4 Russian regions - Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and North Ossetia (North Caucasus) - about 30 people will participate in the project;
- Young people aged 18-29, mostly students (male and female) residing in the region - about 40 people will participate in the project;
- Local authorities and financial institutions in 4 regions;
- Representatives of local media: journalists, editors, publishers, etc.
Collecting reliable and accurate information on administrative barriers which hinder small business development and improvement of conditions for entrepreneurial activity in rural areas of the four North Caucasian republics
1.1. Carrying out secondary research and needs assessment in 4 project regions;
1.2. Writing and disseminating the report to all interested parties through the Internet, at meetings, conferences, etc.
Strengthening the capacity of the selected participants from rural areas to develop and manage SB projects and build an effective network; introducing a distance learning course and exchanging best practices
2.1. Creating new and update existing contacts with local and international NGOs working in many fields, representatives of local administrations;
2.2. Selecting project participants;
2.3. Developing training programs for participants in accordance with their needs in small business development and management;
2.4. Defining the best practices for small business development in Russia and Belarus and organizing exchange of experience for project participants;
2.5. Developing and implementing a distance learning course for young people and participants from rural areas.
Improving the environment for small business development in rural areas by establishing partnerships and obtaining support from international and Russian financial institutions and local administrations
3.1. Creating new and update existing contacts with Russian and international financial institutions regarding the provision of support to small businesses, informing them of the project contents and involving them in the project activities; participate;
3.2. Providing support to the participants in developing their small business projects by providing advice and assistance in fundraising;
3.3. Selecting the top three business projects and awarding the authors the means of production and materials;
3.4. Organizing a round table and press conferences with the participation of local authorities and mass media to receive support for projects on small business development.
Improving the public opinion in regard to small business by working with local media
4.1. Ongoing work with local media to cover the work on the project;
4.2. Developing and maintaining the website on best practices;
- 30 project participants from rural areas will take part in training on starting and managing small businesses;
- 40 young people will take distance learning course on small business;
- Around 15 business-plans will be developed by the project participants;
- Work on nearly 10 business-plans will be started in the course of the project implementation;
- The project participants will train skills of starting and managing their own small businesses;
- The working relationships between the authorities and entrepreneurs will be developed;
- The local population in 4 regions will have access to distance learning.