Half of Russian Women Want to Become Entrepreneurs – Poll

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About 84% of Russian women are considering the possibility of starting their own business, while 50% are ready to launch one

This conclusion was shared by research agency “Opora Rossii” and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives in their study on the Women Business Index (WBI).

The index reflects the likelihood of the social and business acceptance of women as entrepreneurs. The Women Business Index is based on three main criteria: societal attitudes towards entrepreneurship, economic conditions and infrastructure for business development, and personal qualities related to developing one’s business. The study involved 1,500 women, among which were both entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals.

Almost a third of women-run enterprises are export-oriented. Twenty-six percent of respondents stated that they already sell their products in other regions of Russia, while 7% do so globally. In addition, 5% are confident that their products could spike interest in other countries, but their lack knowledge on entrance into other markets inhibits them from making a move.

“In Russia, women make up 54% of the working population. The country ranks first in the world in the share of women-executives, but only 56th in terms of female entrepreneurship. It's not just the numbers, it’s the ability to assess the potential for economic growth,” said Nadia Cherkasova, Board member and VTB24 Director of Customer Service Department for small business owners, who initiated the creation of a special committee at “Opora Rossii.”

The most enticing business spheres amongst women are service sectors (58%) and trade (28%). The main incentives are higher income (53%) and personal fulfillment (49%). According to the participants, the main barriers in creating one’s own company are the lack of financial resources (65%) and business education (48%).