The Russian State Duma adopts the First Reading of a Bill on social entrepreneurship
This legislation if approved will provide help to pensioners, large families, orphanage graduates, disabled people and others in employment.
At its plenary session on 5 March, the Duma adopted the First Reading of amendments to the law on the “Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Russian Federation” which in particular strengthen the understanding of “social entrepreneurship” and “social enterprise”, said a report on the State Duma’s website.
The Bill defines the concept of “social enterprise” and the types of support available to social enterprises. Among the Bill’s priority support measures is providing infrastructure in regions where social enterprises can receive wide-ranging support. Social entrepreneurship is identified as a separate priority work area for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
Who the law is intended to help
Under the Bill, an SME provides employment for certain citizen groups including parents with large families looking after under-age children, graduates from orphanages under the age of 21 and 23, pensioners and those of pre-retirement age, people released from prison and the disabled. A definitive list of citizen categories will be underpinned in law by the Russian Government but it is already common knowledge that the proportion of such workers should be at least 50% of the workforce and comprising at least 25% of a company’s wage bill.
“The strengthening of this new concept in law will enable the Government to support social entrepreneurship through a public-private partnership in the fields of education, culture and social protection, as well as providing the necessary conditions that allow these entrepreneurs to gain access to public procurement. These businesses will be able to enter the market for goods, works and services produced by disadvantaged citizen groups”, said Anatoly Vyborny, a member of the Security and Anti-Corruption Committee when commenting on the Bill.