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Interview of the Ugra Governor, Natalia Komarova to the portal "New Business: social entrepreneurship"


Interview of the Ugra Governor, Natalia Komarova to the portal "New Business: social entrepreneurship"

Natalia Komarova: Ugra as a territory of social entrepreneurship

Every year, social entrepreneurship gains more and more supporters, including, at the highest levels. Among those who believe in young sector of the economy is the Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District –Ugra, Natalia Komarova. In her interview to the portal "New Business: Social entrepreneurship" Natalia Vladimirovna talks about social entrepreneurs of the region, the Hearing Center in Surgut and School of social entrepreneurship at the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District-Ugra.

- Natalia Vladimirovna, what measures does the Government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District take to support development of social entrepreneurship in the region?

- Now the district implements the state program “Socio-economic development, investments and innovations of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District – Ugra for 2014-2020”. It incorporates measures of support and development of small and medium-sized businesses, including social. So, we plan to provide compensation and grants for social projects, especially to centers for children day care. Moreover, local governments and infrastructural organizations mainly support social entrepreneurs – their projects have priority.

Ugra is a favorable environment for development of social entrepreneurship, and we believe that in the near future, a private business implementing social projects will only grow. We are working on drawing investments to the region: on 23rd of December 2014 we have signed a cooperation agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund under which we intend to jointly develop investment activity and attract foreign investments to projects of the region.

- Is there any training in the region for social entrepreneurs?

- First of all they are provided with information support: in 2013, the region has established a Center of innovation in social area on platform of the Entrepreneurship Support Fund of Ugra. Now it organizes training courses, information and consultation workshops and trainings. CISA allows social entrepreneur to get individual advice of certified business coach and promptly resolve the issues.

Second, in July 2014 Ugra Entrepreneurship Support Fund has signed an agreement on joint work with the Foundation "Our Future": we have launched the School of social entrepreneur. Now over 60 social entrepreneurs study there, two sessions have already passed. In total students will have to pass through five educational sessions and learn how to form marketing, financial, industrial and organizational planning, manage the personnel and typical risks, cooperation with authorities, to study legal aspects of social business. In 2015, there is planned a release of students of the School – and new enrollment.

- What projects in field of social entrepreneurship are the most demanded at the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District?

- In planning activities for development of social entrepreneurship, we first have studied the needs of municipalities, so that we can say for sure: we need projects in field of pre-school education, health, and social services. By the way, these are exactly the areas where social entrepreneurs of Ugra usually start their projects; so, in fact, a social entrepreneur is operating in area where he is particularly needed and in demand. Now about 30% of social projects in Ugra are private preschools. For example, in Khanty-Mansiysk there are several pre-school groups "Antoshka" attended by children aged from 1 to 6 years who do not attend municipal kindergarten. Skillful teachers, creative and intellectual development, consideration of opportunities and temperament of the child are all present.

- What other social businesses of Ugra could you mention?

- There is a very bright and interesting project in field of Health, the Hearing Center "Audiofon" in Surgut. It works in field of hearing aids. The center manufactures individual inserts and miniature in-the-ear hearing aids, provides services, such as preventive maintenance, warranty and post-warranty repair of all models of hearing aids. The Center helps in the rehabilitation of five thousand deaf people and people with impaired hearing; among its customers there are pensioners, veterans of war and labor, and wealthy citizens. And in 2013 on basis of the center there have emerged a center of development of children, "Kesha" carrying out educational activities for children in age from one to seven years. Currently, it is attended by more than 30 children.

Private health institution the "Golden Heart" in Surgut provides palliative services, i.e. it provides medical, social, psychological, legal and spiritual assistance to intractable patients, and support their families. It is the only such institution in Ugra: palliative care is a very important and necessary field, which is not often talked about. It is not in sight. Therefore it is good that social entrepreneurs of our district are ready to act in such demanding and challenging areas of healthcare.

On the whole, at the territory of each municipality of Ugra there are projects to be proud of. To talk about them, we have created on the basis of CISA a virtual exhibition of social projects successfully implemented at the territory of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. Our residents have where to choose from. In the future of social business of the district is launch of projects in field of family policy, healthy lifestyle, adaptation and rehabilitation of socially disadvantaged groups.

- In autumn of 2014 Ugra held V Forum of Young Entrepreneurs. Please tell us about this event - who took part in it, what was memorable?

- Each year the Forum focuses on one actual topic of economic development. In 2014, its main topic was the "Strategy of socio-economic development of Ugra up to 2020 and for the period till 2030": human capital, the "green economy" and healthy environment.

The V Forum was attended by over 300 young people from all over the Urals Federal District, by those who already has own business, and those who just plan to open one. Also, the Form was attended by students involved in the project the "School of Business"; the students enrolled in program, "The ABCs of Business"; representatives of municipal and public services; higher education experts and specialized institutions of the Autonomous District.

Of course, the Forum covered the topic Gathering of social entrepreneurship, too. So, within the event there was held a discussion-contest on topic "Social-oriented business of Ugra: Mission Possible?" Two teams have discussed whether there is a place in modern society for social entrepreneurship, the role it can play in its development. By the way, the supporters of social entrepreneurship have won with the score of 4:2. The event was also attended by representative of the Fund "Our Future", by head of the Directorate for support of Fund’s projects, Tatiana Skoraya.

As a result of discussions at the Forum we decided to create in municipalities on basis of higher and secondary educational institutions of the district, the centers of youth entrepreneurship. In addition, we plan to hold a Family Forum of Ugra in similar format, i.e. rich educational program, discussion platforms, round tables ... We intend to work together on development of small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, of social entrepreneurship at the autonomous district, to create new vectors of development.



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