‘Time for New Opportunities 15-20’ Forum of Entrepreneurs
On May 26, 2015, a business forum took place at VDNKh in Moscow. The event was organized by the Moscow city Department of Science, Industrial Policy, and Entrepreneurship. The session called ‘Social entrepreneurship. New opportunities’ turned out to be the most popular and went on longest. It was headed by Alexandra Moskovskaya, Director of the HSE Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Studies, and Anna Shaikhutdinova, co-founder of the intellectual volunteering programme PRODobro.
‘Not only did we start the session earlier than the others, we also finished last surrounded by colleagues from other sessions, who stayed to listen to ours. This is evidence of a serious shift in people’s attention to the work of social entrepreneurs. In 2007, when we and Our Future, a regional social programme foundation, started our work, a web search did not come up with any links on this topic in Russia’, said Alexandra Moskovskaya after the session finished.
The session participants put forward some ideas to the Moscow government. They included:
- Creating an online resource that would bring together information about social entrepreneurs’ work in various spheres of urban life;
- Developing mechanisms for integrating innovative projects in the social sphere, both entrepreneurial and charitable, in order to help them support and promote each other;
- Developing clear criteria for identifying social entrepreneurs, in order to help the city government work with them effectively and promote the development of non-standard markets in the social sphere.
‘We often forget that entrepreneurship is primarily social creativity, and profit is only its evaluation. People’s interest in social projects shows that they are actively looking for meaningful things to do with their lives’, Alexandra Moskovskaya commented.