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Russian Federation: Key Issues and Policies

image of Russian Federation: Key Issues and Policies

This publication examines the major policy challenges, achievements and next steps for the creation of a more entrepreneurial population and a stronger SME sector in the Russian Federation, which are critical to the country’s economic growth and diversification. Despite less regulatory burdens and more subsidy financing for start-ups, production modernisation, innovation and exporting, framework conditions need to be improved in areas such as the rule of law, commercialising science and improving entrepreneurial skills and education. Gaps in SME and entrepreneurship programmes also need to be filled, such as through new initiatives for high-growth firms and large firm-SME linkages. Strengthening business development services infrastructure and improving access to finance are further important challenges. All these improvements will need to be spread across the regions of the Russian Federation if national objectives for growth and balanced spatial development are to be met.

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The Local Dimension of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in the Russian Federation

This chapter identifies strong spatial variations in SME and entrepreneurship performance across the regions of the Russian Federation together with differences in the scope and nature of constraints in regional business environments. Some regional and municipal governments are active in improving their regulatory conditions for SMEs and entrepreneurship, but the progress is highly uneven across the country. Federal government ministries and agencies also operate some locally-differentiated actions such as in cluster and financing support. However, regional and municipal governments are not as active in SME and entrepreneurship promotion as they could be, reflecting constraints in their budgets and professional capacities for strategy making. This gap needs to be addressed if government objectives for growing the SME economy and achieving more balanced spatial development are to be met. The co-funding arrangements of the federal SME support programmes are critical in helping to secure local interventions and could increase participation further with greater flexibility and dialogue in design and implementation. The federal government also has a role to play in building the strategy-making capacities of regional and municipal governments.

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