BAZ to Spend RUB 3 Million Developing Social Business Initiatives in Blagoveshchensk

Blagoveshchensk Valve Plant (AO BAZ, Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan, a United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) subsidiary) announces the start of the Start Your Own Business Program for Social Business Initiatives. It will be implemented in 2017 in the town of Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan, and the Blagoveshchensk Municipal District.  Its primary objective is to address social issues, enhance civil and business activity in the area, and ease social tensions.  

The program has partnered with the Republic of Bashkortostan Social Innovation Center, the Our Future Regional Social Program Foundation, and the Blagoveshchensk Municipal District Government.

The Start Your Own Business total budget is RUB 3,000,000, including RUB 2,000,000 that will be used to fund grants. Business people will be able to get up to RUB 200,000 to start their businesses.

The program comprises an educational components and a competition for grants. The first part includes four master classes. Budding social business people will be trained in the basics of business planning, marketing, and target setting by experts from the Our Future Foundation.

The Start Your Own Business program will include the Social Innovation Center's Social Program Accelerator as a third component. The Accelerator is a three-month business initiative support effort where experienced coaches will assist the business people to expand and promote their businesses. The most interesting and promising ideas may be submitted to the second qualifying stage of the National 2017 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Competition of Projects, held by the Our Future Foundation and get an interest-free loan of up to RUB 10,000,000 they are an operating business and up to RUB 500,000 if you are a start-up.

On March 14 AO BAZ Managing Director Sergey Filipiev presented the Start Your Own Business Program to the II-nd Bashkortostan Social Entrepreneurship Forum in UFA, that was co-sponsored by OMK and AO BAZ. A collaboration agreement was also signed between AO BAZ and [01]the Infrastructure Build-Up Projects for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses in the Republic of Bashkortostan which is an independent non-government organization.

On March 15, the program was presented to local residents in Blagoveshchensk. Social Innovation Center CEO Irina Abramova called on active business people to become enrolled in the business registry as well as not to be afraid to announce themselves. "We are looking for caring people that wish to develop and to start a social business. OMK is a team of professionals", noted Irina Abramova.

"Developing social business initiatives is the new and the most sustainable format in which business can aid in creating a comfortable urban environment and improving the urban infrastructure. We expect the Start Your Own Business program to help provide social, medical, and other services to vulnerable populations. In addition, this years has been named the year of the environment; therefore, those participants that will offer projects addressing environmental issues, such as, collecting and recycling plastics will certainly have a good shot at winning. OMK and our facility have a vested interest in developing the social sector, in improving living conditions in Blagoveshchensk and the Blagoveshchensk District", commended AO BAZ Managing Director Sergey Filipiev.

Background

Applications for the Start Your Own Business competition for grants will be accepted between April 10 and May 11 throughout the Republic of Bashkortostan. On May 15, judgments will take place, and winners will receive awards. By October 1, the plan is to fund and promote the winning projects.

The educational component was launched in Blagoveshchensk on March 15 with a seminar on social design and master classes by Bashkortostan's successful social entrepreneurs.  And Blagoveshchensk District Deputy CEO for the Economy Rafael Khanbikov talked to the audience about the town's social issues as well as possible solutions and said that he stood ready to assist in project implementation.

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Social business initiatives are an innovative activity a priori targeting or mitigating social issues in a sustainable and economically viable manner. Social entrepreneurs are people wishing to change social reality by working in niches that have escaped notice by the Government and conventional business. They represent micro, small, or medium-sized businesses that see a social problem, can visualize, and proceed to a legal solution using their potential and business skills.

Developing social business initiatives is a new thrust of OMK's social investment. The first such Start Your Own Business program was undertaken by OMK in 2016 in the town of Chusovoy Perm Territory). It was co-sponsored by the Our Future Regional Foundation for Social Programs and the Perm Territory Ministry of Industry and Trade.

As decided by a panel of experts, the Territory's 20 best social projects were funded with grants to be able to proceed. Nine winning projects were included in the acceleration program run by the Perm Business Development Foundation.

The Perm Territory Ministry of Industry, Business Development, and Trade has given a subsidy of RUB 850,000 to social entrepreneur Anton Gorokhov undertaking a sorted garbage collection initiative in Chusovoy. His project, called “Recycle Your Plastics”, won an award in a competition held by the Ministry.
In February 2017, OMK won an award in the Russian Business Leaders: Trends and Responsibility 2016 Competition sponsored by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE).  The Company was named third in the category for companies that support and develop social business initiatives.” RUIE President Alexander Shokhin presented OMK Deputy Chair Natalya Eremina with a badge of honor on March 14.

In 2017, the program for social business initiatives will proceed in the Republic of Bashkortostan and the Perm Territory.