The number of SMEs operating in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra (less individual entrepreneurs) is 23.5 thousand. As at 1 January 2014 SMEs employed 122.9 thousand people. The share of SMEs in the GRP was 15.5 %. At least half of them received government support in 2013.
One of the private entrepreneurs' support tools is the patent taxation system which was introduced in Ugra from 1 January 2013. It simplifies accounting and reporting, as well as tax administration systems. The region's government has recently extended for another 2 years the offer to SMEs to buy-out land at discount prices; it has approved the procedures for the lease of state-owned facilities in the Okrug to private businesses on preferential terms.
In addition new forms of SME support have been approved: reimbursement of expenses for commercial real estate construction in the remote and difficult-to-access territories of the region; compensation to the Okrug's municipalities of their expenses for the construction of commercial real-estate to be rented to private entrepreneurs providing products and services to the population.
Ugra has a developed SME support infrastructure including branches and offices of the Ugra Foundation for Entrepreneurship Support, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Okrug's Business Incubator, the "Ugra Hi-Tech Technopark", the Microfinance Fund of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra. A dedicated Guarantee Fund was set up within the Ugra Foundation for Entrepreneurship Support structure. In addition the Export Oriented Businesses Support Coordination Center was established in 2013 to enhance the companies' export potential. One of the Center's facilities is the Ugra Euro Info Correspondence Center. Another one of the Ugra Foundation for Entrepreneurship Support agencies is the Innovative Social Sphere Center also set up in 2013. The Center's main goal is fostering socially-oriented business, as well as support of non-profit sector implementing welfare projects.
To ensure the guaranteed government protection of private businesses' rights and legal interests in Ugra the region's government has appointed a regional ombudsman.
The Ugra Foundation for Entrepreneurship Support was established in 1995. It provides loan guarantees; offers partial compensation of interest expenses; provides training to start-up businesses and partial compensation of specialists' training expenses; and offers small grants programs. SME Investment Support Fund provides business project financing via equity financing schemes. The Fund's capital is financed from the Autonomous Okrug's budget and the federal subsidies. In 2010 another organization was set up - the Microfinance Fund - which specializes on micro-loans to small businesses. The function of start-up business support is performed by the Okrug's Business Incubator. It provides training and office rent services at preferential prices. The Automonous Okrug agency responsible for innovative business support is the Hi-Tech Technopark with the total area of 18,000 square meters.
SMEs receiving government support operate in manufacturing sector, agriculture, advertising, education, civil engineering, IT, publishing; provide domestic, as well as legal and accounting consulting services.
Beginning from 2011 Ugra has been implementing the young entrepreneurs support program. The program's objective is motivating the young people to set up their own businesses, stimulating business training programs and providing support at the initial stages of new businesses operation. A training course "Business ABC" has been added to the high school curriculum. It helps to stimulate the student's interest in business and identify potential leaders and future managers. The Okrug's municipalities sponsor an annual business projects contest "Road to Success"; the Young Entrepreneurs' Forum in Surgut, and the Okrug's Young Entrepreneurs Conference. Business management project "Growth Point" is the largest Russian regional company management contest based on computerized business model for young managers, entrepreneurs and university undergraduates.