State foundation of SME development in the Murmansk region
In the framework of realization of
Developing EXcellence – DEX
the state fund for SME development of Murmansk Oblast (FORMAP)
was selected for the role of Excellence center assisting the
government of Murmansk Oblast in developing and promoting the
cooperation projects related the Good Neighbors programs.
state fund for SME development of Murmansk Oblast (FORMAP) was
founded in 1995.
main purposes of the Fund activities are:
and supporting SME in Murmansk Oblast;
programs, projects and activities aimed at the development and
support of SME in Murmansk Oblast;
infrastructure for SME;
the establishment and development of business contacts among the
subjects of the small-scale entrepreneurship.
Since the year 2001 the program of the micro-crediting for SME is
operating in Murmansk Oblast, which was organized by
state fund for SME development (FORMAP).
This is a socially-oriented program and is primarily aimed on
supporting the entrepreneurs with limited revenues, nevertheless
aspiring for the success in business. The offices of
are also operating in the towns Apatity and Mochegorsk and the
entrepreneurs from adjacent towns and villages can also obtain a
loan from the Fund.
The problem is that the majority of the banks (about 30) operate in
Murmansk city, and there are only 2-3 banks, operating in Oblast. It
is often difficult for entrepreneurs to get a loan, especially for
those lacking credit history or assets for a pledge. Besides, banks
are not financially interested in micro-crediting, because of its
has found a niche, in which banks do not operate, because crediting
the small-scale business is risky and the entrepreneurs do not have
assets for a pledge.
Since 2001 under the program of micro-crediting more then 2000 loans
were provided in amount of more than 125 millions rubles. The
clients of the Fund are entrepreneurs (both legal entities and
non-legal entities) registered and operating in Oblast. They operate
mainly in trade business, but the share of those operating in
manufacturing and services is growing. The entrepreneurs, who got
financial support from the Fund, retained or created no less than
It is a common situation that entrepreneurs do not know how to
submit a proper application for the loan, demonstrating the
prospective provider of the loan that the entrepreneur will repay
the loan in time and completely. Many entrepreneurs also lack the
skill for formulating properly the idea of their project in a
written format. The absence of the applications for funding
projects, fulfilling the requirements of investors, is a serious
obstacle for getting loans.
2003-2006 with the purpose to help entrepreneurs to resolve this
problem FORMAP has organized for them seminars and trainings on the
issues of business planning in various towns of Oblast, in which
more than 200 entrepreneurs has participated. FORMAP was able to
support the projects because of the financial support, provided by
Eurasia Foundation. The next task is to create the infrastructure
for supporting “start-ups” and the criterion for success will be a
number of new entrepreneurs.
The SME supporting infrastructure in Murmansk Oblast is rather
limited. These are mainly business-centers affiliated to the
placement service, supported by grants from TACIS, STPP and its
branches, SPP, the Agency for the Support of the Small-Scale
Business, NGO “Kola North”, FORMAP.
The existing infrastructure is mainly aimed at resolving issues,
related to getting grants, some specific events, or narrowly
specialized activities of the organization.
In 2006 FORMAP has started creating the system of the territorial
centers for informational and legal support of entrepreneurs. This
network of info-centers is supposed to be organized on the base of
the existing infrastructure for the small-scale business support in
the towns of Oblast, which includes:
centers of the Department of placement service;
facilities of educational organizations;
The centers for informational and legal support will be created with
the direct assistance of the municipalities, participating in the
project. The centers for informational and legal support will supply
the new entrepreneurs with informational materials and documents of
the local governments, consultations of experts on legal, taxation,
and financial issues, and on the issues of relationship between
entrepreneurs and local governments. If needed, the individual
consultations will be provided on the issues of conducting business,
and elaboration and realization of business plans. Frequently asked
questions of entrepreneurs and the answers of experts will be placed
at web-sites of FORMAP and municipalities.
The organization on the basis of permanently operating informational
centers, educational and training classes for the entrepreneurs
could resolve the problem of investments in SME projects.
The participation of FORMAP in DEX project could significantly
increase the chances for success in organizing the centers for
informational and legal support, because the Fund would be able to
use the resources and the previous experience of the similar
projects realized in Finland.
In 2005-2006 FORMAP jointly with Kola Research Center (Apatity) and
Norwegian technical parks participated in the project for the
development of the conception for creation of innovational “Barents
business park” in town Apatity.
The main idea of the project is creating at the territory of
Murmansk Oblast the structure supporting innovational ideas and
projects of the enterprises and entrepreneurs of Oblast, especially
the projects, related to the crossborder cooperation with SMEs of
the province Finnmark. In the framework of the project it is planned
to organize two structures: innovational school and business
Innovational school will use the experience of the Alta Business
School of Finnmark university and Kola Research Center. The activity
of the Innovational school will be aimed at the managers and the
owner of the operating enterprises, developing and realizing
innovational projects for the development of their business and at
educating of the trainers-consults, which later will help businesses
to develop and to realize innovational projects.
The topics for teaching in the Innovational school will be
model for the border zone business for Murmansk and Finnmark
sources for financial support for innovational projects
the experience of the successfully operating business
TV, video and web-studios for education
experience by the educators from Norway and Russia
basic knowledge in the sphere of personnel management
It is planned to create a business incubator for the innovational
projects on basis of business incubator in the town Apatity.
On June 27-28, 2006
in Murmansk in the framework of
the seminar of the project DEX
the representatives of the Department for economic development of
Murmansk Oblast presented the strategy of regional development and
the program “The development of entrepreneurship in Murmansk Oblast
in 2005-2008”. The representative of the Department for economic
development of Murmansk Oblast informed about Murmansk Oblast
participation in the programs of international cooperation,
including the Neighborhood Program KolArctic. There was a discussion
of the strategy of international cooperation and strategic
approaches for implementation of the model of SME support in the
Head of the
Tel.: 42-86-46, 42-86-38;