A press conference was held in Moscow in the run-up to the first ever Moscow Entrepreneurship Week, which will consist of five major events and run from 28 May to 1 June. Details about the event as a whole, which is expected to draw at least 60,000 participants, as well as about each individual forum were provided by Director of the Moscow Department of Science, Industrial Policy, and Entrepreneurship Alexey Fursin, Russian Franchise Association President Agnessa Osipova, Skolkovo Forum General Director Yekaterina Inozemtseva, Designer Igor Gulyaev, and Vnesheconombank Senior Vice President Gleb Yun.
Opening the press conference, Director of the Moscow Department of Science, Industrial Policy, and Entrepreneurship Alexey Fursin noted that the event, which is not actually a new thing – Entrepreneurship Day has been held in the capital at the end of May since 2015 – has significantly changed the format this year due to the fact that Moscow has a large number of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs working in a wide range of economic spheres.
“Such a wide palette can’t be packed into a one-day forum or a single business event. That’s why we came up with a proposal for Entrepreneurship Week to discuss problems and work out support measures that the city can provide to entrepreneurs”, Fursin explained.
Fursin spoke about the events that will be held as part of Moscow Entrepreneurship Week. The week will kick off with the Moscow Entrepreneurship Forum, which will be held on 28 May and will provide a discussion platform for technology-oriented and medium-sized businesses. Moreover, Fursin said the organizers want to move away from the traditional format of plenary sessions towards a business talk show. The organizers also promise conventional sessions with unconventional themes and much more.
The ‘Transformation 3’ educational business forum will be held on 29–30 May and this year will focus on the digital agenda, as businessmen not only learn about the experience of Moscow and global companies that have proven themselves in digitalization, but also acquire practical knowledge about what business can stand to gain without leaving the office while utilizing electronic resources.
“The digital economy already exists and surrounds us. It’s time to talk about ‘the digit’ and how a modern entrepreneur should live in it. The digital economy is one of those areas in which active work will help to make the leap the President spoke about”, VEB Senior Vice President Gleb Yun said. VEB is a strategic partner of Transformation this year.
Separate mention should be made of the World Franchise Forum and the Franchise Expo, which will be held in Moscow for the first time. Fursin described it as a landmark event for the city since Moscow accounts for almost 40% of the entire franchise business in Russia. It is important that the Forum be attended not only by entrepreneurs who have already established themselves, but also those who are still only interested in starting their own business, Fursin said.
Russian Franchise Association President Agnessa Osipova called the Forum a key event in the franchise industry for the entire world and added that the meeting of the World Franchise Council, the World Franchise Forum, and the Moscow Franchise Expo 2018 will be attended by representatives of more than 30 countries as well as 70 heads and leaders of international associations representing five continents. These events will serve as a unique platform for the development of an existing franchise business or the opening of a new franchise business according to Russian or international concepts.
“All branches of franchising will be represented. Not just one or two, but all aspects of our life: public catering, retail, social and medical franchising, franchising in digital technologies, manufacturing, and so on. Russia is the presiding country for franchising this year, so we will have an opportunity to present all areas of the industry during the event and set out the strategic objectives for the next year”, Osipova said.
As for the Fashion Industry Forum, which will be held on 31 May, Fursin said the Moscow authorities recognize the fashion industry as a “huge area for growth” and invite industry representatives to discuss problems and ways to solve them. Speaking at the press conference, designer Igor Gulyaev noted that many people are wrong not to believe in the Russian fashion industry.
“A lot of people don’t know that we have excellent quality or don’t believe in Russian manufacturing, but we have something to be proud of. So we need forums where people can communicate and make contacts, and particularly need them for ‘Made in Russia’”, he added.
Skolkovo Forum General Director Yekaterina Inozemtseva spoke about one other event being held under the auspices of Moscow Entrepreneurship Week – Startup Village. She said the theme of the sixth startup conference on 31 May – 1 June will be ‘Supersapiens’.
“Startup Village is a platform where innovators, startup founders, investors, and representatives of the government and corporations can meet up. It’s a place where you can get together informally and find the person you need, get him/her interested in your project, and raise funds for it”, she noted.
In conclusion, Fursin explained why entrepreneurs should attend events during Entrepreneurship Week. For starters, businessmen will get unique content from leading industry speakers, have an opportunity to discuss the issues that are of most concern to the business community, and receive information about new trends. Second, participants will have a chance to establish contacts and meet the people they need. Moscow Entrepreneurship Week is expected to be attended by at least 60,000 people, so Fursin recommended “stocking up business cards”. In addition, participants will be able to hold negotiations, conclude preliminary deals, and find potential partners within the framework of individual events.