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Russian-Swedish project “Women’s entrepreneurship from West to East”

20 november 2011

In November, 17-18th, the first pre-project meeting within the framework of the project of SKBIC “Women’s entrepreneurship from West to East”, planned to function during 2011-2013, took place in Umeå. Project’s purposes are development of women’s entrepreneurship, stimulation of women to organize and promote own business and equal in rights participation of women in economic life. Group of Russian participants, which consisted of representatives from Association of women-entrepreneurs of the Republic of Karelia, Administration of Petrozavodsk, Karelian Centre on gender researches and Karelian Regional Movement of women, Women’s organization Yaroslavna in Kostomuksha, Karelian Women’s NGO Amal and tourist agency Druzhba, visited such organizations which give support to entrepreneurs as BIC Factory, Leia Accelerator and Coompanion-Kooperativ utveckling.

During the meeting with the representatives from BIC Factory main directions of the activities of the Centre were presented to the group. BIC Factory is a business incubator for entrepreneurs up to 40 years old where they have opportunities to use premises, equipment and so on. This business incubator which consists of 17 companies (21 persons – 10 of them are women), gives entrepreneurs opportunities to conduct own business, exchange knowledge and business ideas, use common network of contacts and attract new clients. Moreover, entrepreneurs have opportunities to get consultations about economic activity within own company, work with documentation and training courses. BIC Factory promotes young entrepreneurs to the market.

 Representatives from Leia Accelerator presented information on main activities and companies which work within the project Leia Accelerator. Leia Accelerator helps entrepreneurs after 40 years old, having business more than 3 years, to organize own business by putting  premises and necessary equipment at entrepreneurs’ disposal, holding training courses and giving consultations on different issues and to develop and promote own business. Leia Accelerator includes 24 companies from different spheres: journalism, design, healthcare, translation activity, publishing house, migration issues and others. 50% of all companies in Leia Accelerator belong to women. Leia Accelerator is a project financed by EU Program, Umeå Commune and Region of Västerbotten. Representatives from Leia Accelerator will be main experts in the project “Women’s entrepreneurship from West to East”.

Also the group of participants had a meeting with the representatives from “Coompanion-Kooperativ utveckling”. Advisor of “Coompanion-Kooperativ utveckling”, aimed at giving support to entrepreneurs in organization and development of cooperative companies, Doris Brändström  told about main activities of the company and basic principles of cooperative companies in general. “Coompanion-Kooperativ utveckling” conducts its activity in different spheres – healthcare, education, cultural aspects, social issues (childcare, care for elderly people and others) – and helps private persons and groups of people to organize and develop own business in these spheres.

Project participants have got an opportunity to mark out and compare positive moments in structures and activities of organizations and companies aimed at development of women’s entrepreneurship in order to form a plan of future activities within the project and create a project expert group.

Next project step is a training course on business planning for the representatives from Kostomuksha, Louhi and Kalevala regions in the middle of April in Kostomuksha.