OMK to Support Social Business People in Three Monotowns

The United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) announces the start of the fourth Start Your Own Business program to support social business initiatives in three locations hosting company facilities: Chusovoy in the Perm Territory, Blagoveshchensk in the Republic of Bashkortostan, and Vyksa in the Nizhniy Novgorod Region. The Start Your Own Business program has been in existence since 2016 and is designed to look for and implement business ideas to address urgent social issues, provide alternative employment opportunities as well as to develop the social aspect in urban and rural communities.

The program includes an educational component, a competition for grants, and an acceleration program to provide business support to the best projects. The knowledge imparted will help launch social projects while the acceleration program will help business people expand their businesses under the tutelage of experienced business mentors.

The program is open to town residents prepared to start their own businesses and register as sole proprietors, existing serious business people, representatives of small and medium-sized businesses as well as non-profits desiring to offer new social services. Company financial assistance will be offered to initiatives in the health services, educational, agricultural, environmental, tourism, and sports sectors as well as those that help the elderly and the disabled.

The total budget for the Start Your Own Business Program is RUB 9 million. Social business people may be granted funding for their businesses to the tune of up to RUB 150,000 in the Chusovoy District and up to RUB 200,000 in the Blagoveshchensk and the Vyksa Municipal Districts. By supporting social businesses in areas where Company facilities operate, OMK promotes effective social investment in developing these regions via social services to residents, including Company employees.

The program is being implemented through a partnership of OMK's facilities, regional Centers for Innovation in the Social Sphere (the Perspektiva Center for Social Projects Non-Profit in the Perm Territory), municipal executives as well as sectoral regional ministries and agencies.

The Start Your Own Business program fits in with the national development strategy. Support for social businesses is included in a list of Russia’s 12 priority national projects. Currently, a bill on social business initiatives designed to designate such initiatives as a separate activity for small and medium-sized businesses is being readied for a second reading in the Russian Federation State Duma. When adopted, the statute will prove a significant help to social business people and help address social issues in the provinces”, noted AO OMK Corporate Social Responsibility Lead Olga Mironova.

BACKGROUND:

OMK has been involved in developing social business initiatives since 2016. The first such Start Your Own Business program was undertaken in the town of Chusovoy (Perm Territory). In 2017, it was launched in the Republic of Bashkortostan. In 2018, it went to Vyksa (Nizhniy Novgorod Region).

In the three years, over 190 jobs have been created in OMK's areas of operations, 88 social business initiatives have been implemented, including 4 by disabled persons. The program’s budget was RUB 18,000,000, including RUB 12,450,000 in grants.

In 2019, the program will be different because attendance of educational seminars will become mandatory. Those with projects that have not completed their social business training will not be eligible to participate in the competition.

More information regarding the Start Your Business program will be provided and enrollment in the educational seminar sessions will be available at kick-off conferences: in Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan, in March 14; in Chusovoy, Perm Territory, om March 20; in Vyksa, Nizhniy Novgorod Region on March 21.