The Forum comprised a number of events for entrepreneurs and representatives of local authorities. The participants had an opportunity to share their experience and opinions on the key issues of private business development in the provinces, and to learn about the international practices in the fields of innovative entrepreneurship development, alternative business financing options, and financial technologies for small and medium business development.
The Regional Entrepreneurship Forum is mainly aimed at popularizing the entrepreneurs’ role and contribution to sustainable regional development. The forum became a platform for sharing opinions on an entire range of issues related to the development of the entrepreneurship support infrastructure; operation of business support centres, small entrepreneurship incubators and technology parks; functioning of business unions and business circles. The forum provided for the establishment of a communication platform for streamlining the collaboration between business, national and local authorities, community councils and nongovernmental organisations providing support to private initiative, small and medium business.
“The conduct of the First Regional Entrepreneurship Forum is an evidence of the gradual and determined movement of the state in the sphere of regional development. With this major landmark event in Brest, we would like to demonstrate that it is in the provinces that innovative entrepreneurship might rise to a new level of its development. The state is interested in local entrepreneurship development and makes every effort to help local business establish a solid footing,” – noted Mr Dmitry Matusevich, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.
“The European Union actively supports the efforts of the Government of Belarus in making further improvements of the business climate in the country, supporting small and medium entrepreneurship and private initiative. These efforts are crucial elements for the modernisation of the Belarusian economy and improving its competitive edge,” – stated Mr Berend de Groot, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation in Belarus, at the opening ceremony of the forum.
“The project on supporting local economic development is designed to unleash private initiative on the regional level and assist beginning entrepreneurs in the provinces with addressing the arising challenges. As part of the support to entrepreneurs, the projects provides for expert assistance, training events and workshops, as well as engagement of new financing tools: microfinancing, financial support with setting up partnerships, as well as, for the first time, support within the framework of the Local Initiatives Contest,” – emphasized Ms Alexandra Solovieva, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme.
The Mentor of the Year national award was presented at the First Regional Entrepreneurship Forum to its winner, Mr Kirill Voloshin, a business angel; former CEO and currently a co-founder of a popular web resource and a number of IT companies; a professional, whose business mentorship and consultations have helped a number of startups from entire Belarus. The Mentor of the Year title is a confirmation and recognition of his efforts on the establishment, education and support of the startup ecosystem in Belarus.