Social Business People in OMK's Areas of Operation Launch Personalized Online Courses During Lockdown

Social business people from Vyksa (Nizhniy Novgorod Region), Blagoveshchensk (Republic of Bashkortostan), and Chusovoy (Perm Territory) that were able to start their businesses by winning the Start Your Own Business competition (run by the United Metallurgical Company, AO OMK) have launched personalized training courses while lockdown is in effect.

These include business people managing foreign language schools, educational centers, and gyms. At the time of the pandemic, they were able to find their bearings quickly and transfer their classes online.

Thus, Alexey and Aygul Okatyev from Blagoveshchensk hold foreign language classes using the Zoom online platform and interactive methodologies. There are both individual and group sessions. The social business people even hired some programmers that help students solve technical issues without stopping the training process.

The Vyksa mental arithmetic and speed reading school opened by Zhanna Orlova trained over 80% of their students online, including handicapped children. Classes are being attended by over 50 people. The project has an in-house platform where students can do homework and instructors can track the progress of every student and provide feedback.

Vitaly Sazonov from Chusovoy launched several online courses at the same time allowing students to learn basic self-defense skills and natural ways to maintain wellness. Olga Dvinina of Blagoveshchensk holds online yoga classes. Her yoga therapy center offers a series of classes to improve flexibility, rehabilitate, and regain mental balance. The center offers both personal and group classes to people from any part of Russia and even foreign countries.
Many social business people are planning to continue online classes even after lockdown is lifted given that such remote training has proven effective.

"Even before the pandemic, many of our online businesses were already developing their online training courses. Lockdown has simply expedited this development, which is great. Technology is developing lightning fast, and it is very important for business people not to shy away from innovation but rather use it to their advantage instead. Many understand this and were able to convert their businesses to the online mode quickly", noted Corporate Social Responsibility Lead Olga Mironova.

BACKGROUND

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). Over the years that the program has been ongoing, some 260 jobs have been created in OMK's towns of operation. Some 128 social business initiatives, including 4 by disabled people, have been implemented. Over a 4-year period, the program’s budget was RUB 27,000,000, including RUB 19,500,000 in grants.