Nizhniy Novgorod hosted a ceremony for the presentation of grants to the winners of the Start Your Own Business Competition, which is the second phase of a program to develop social business initiatives being undertaken by the United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow). Vyksa Steel Works (AO VSW, an OMK company) is pursuing the program with support from the Nizhniy Novgorod Social Innovation Center, the Vyksa Municipal District Executive, and the Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Entrepreneurship.
It is the first time that the Start Your Own Business Program for Social Business Initiatives is proceeding in Vyksa. It includes a training component, a competition for grants, and a business accelerator. A total of 36 contest applications have been received. Upon review, an expert panel selected 12 projects to receive funding from OMK. The Company allocated up to RUB 200,000 in business development funding to each of the nominated social business people.
“As charged by Regional Chief Executive Gleb Nikitin, we are testing mechanisms in support of social business initiatives in municipalities. And our collaborative project with OMK in the monotown of Vyksa is the first of its type and an unprecedented instance of support for social businesses from big business. We will scale this up and we are hoping that all major companies in this region will join us in support of social business initiatives. And this is something we are discussing with companies already”, related Nizhniy Novgorod Minister of Industry, Trade, and Entrepreneurship Maxim Cherkassov.
“Small businesses frequently offer unexpected solutions to pressing social issues. That is the reason OMK runs the Start Your Own Business Program in the municipalities where it operates. The Nizhniy Novgorod Region is the third region already where we are developing social business initiatives. Monocities have similar problems but the projects in Vyksa are remarkable for being very varied. We have provided support for educational and health care services to socially vulnerable populations, for finding employment for persons with disabilities, projects to care for the elderly”, noted OMK Corporate Social Responsibility Lead Olga Mironova.
“As far as we are concerned, it is important that our monotown has developed a culture of social business ventures. What makes me happy is that business people have proposed initiatives in difficult areas that are extremely important for Vyksa. We will continue our efforts in this area by developing social business initiatives in this town and by changing people’s lives for the better”, noted Vyksa Steel Works Director of Corporate Services and Communication Konstantin Kaddo.
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