Youth Entrepreneurship

Youth Entrepreneurship

On 10 May, panel session ‘Youth Entrepreneurship’ was held at the International Youth Legal Forum as part of the 11th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

The session was moderated by Andrey Petrakov, Acting Director of the Business Law Institute; Deputy Head of the Department of Entrepreneurial and Corporate Law of Kutafin Moscow State Law University; Co-Chairman of the Youth Movement of the Association of Lawyers of Russia. He outlined the issues and problems on the session agenda, which hinder the rapid growth of youth entrepreneurship.

Danila Dremenkov, Deputy Head of Legal Support Department of Moscow Innovation Cluster Foundation, briefed the participants on the essence of the Foundation’s work – from project idea to its scaling with securing necessary support measures, and also on the fact that the start-up register is being created not only in Moscow, but also at the federal level. At the same time, a new accreditation procedure is being introduced for IT companies.

Alexander Vaino, Head of Youth Initiatives Center of the Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI), spoke about lowering the age of entrepreneurial initiative to 14 years, about ASI’s infrastructure project called 1424 (a decade of entrepreneurship formation) and intellectual property protection (‘patent law’). As for new project start-ups, he noted the lack of preparation of initial documentation and financial plans for the implementation of start-ups. At the same time, ASI is working on an artificial intelligence-based system that will generate new ideas. As for problems, the speaker drew attention to the fact that today there is no single federal body responsible for the development of youth entrepreneurship and no single standard of support measures at the regional level, which in turn hinders the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Yuri Sibirskiy, Head of Regional Development Department of Skolkovo Foundation, drew the participants’ attention on the Foundation’s activity in technological entrepreneurship and pointed out that Skolkovo currently has over 3,500 member companies (approximately 150,000 people) in 74 regions of the country and over 200 different support measures. Of these, 25–30% come from universities and academia. All companies are provided with platform support measures: tax preferences (7.6%), VAT, customs and income tax benefits, investment cashback for individuals of up to 50% with a limit of up to 20 million roubles. “We are not building competition, we are building a system of cooperation,” concluded Mr. Sibirskiy. 

Vasiliy Konkov, Partner, Head of Corporate Law Practice and Co-Founder of Sudokhod, shared his vision of existing problems in corporate law and ways the government could use to solve them both at the start of projects and subsequently. He believes that “at the start one needs, first of all, to determine both the project concept and necessary support measures. Financing alone will not solve all problems. Before the start, it is necessary to communicate constructively with experienced companies working with Skolkovo and the ASI”.

Valeria Zotova, Director of the Center for the Development of Creativity and Scientific and Technical Initiatives of Children and Youth of the Kalininsky District of St. Petersburg, and Alexandra Proshkina, Head of Development of the Project Office at St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University, spoke about their experience of engaging young school and college students in entrepreneurial activities, developing their legal and financial training. This includes 12 quantoriums on the basis of the Children’s Technopark, legal support for business, development of projects and business plans, sharing experience at the regional and federal levels, and training seminars with experts and investors. “The formation of such an ecosystem has been underway since 2019, but there is still no single state structure responsible for the development of youth entrepreneurship,” said the speakers.

Inna Gazieva, Head of the Accelerator, Director of the Center for General Academic General Educational Initiatives of the Institute for Organizational Development and Strategic Initiatives at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA), shared her vision of social entrepreneurship development, as people face social problems in absolutely different sectors of public life, and their resolution affects the quality of life and lifestyles.