Oh, mummy: 100K for winner among 35 women on maternity leave in Tatarstan for business idea

While people are debating about taxes for self-employed people in Russia, the biggest category of this will be supported by the scholarship of ‘Entrepreneur Mother’ programme

'Entrepreneur Mother' Federal Educational Project supporting female entrepreneurship kicked off in the Entrepreneur's House in Tatarstan on 9 July. 35 young mothers some of whom are mothers of two-three-year-old babies have gone through a preliminary selection of the contest and joined the educational project to win a grant of 100,000 rubles to run their own business. The winner will be known on 13 July. And it seems a participant with a start-up in the beauty industry will become the winner.

For those who are at home with babies

'Entrepreneur Mother' Federal Educational Project created by the SME Corporation together with Opora Russia to develop female entrepreneurship as early as 2016, has finally reached Tatarstan. The start was officially declared by officials of the Entrepreneurship Development Fund in the Entrepreneur's House on 28, Peterburgskaya Street on 9 July. It is 35 young women whose business ideas were preliminarily evaluated by experts. And now they are candidates for the main prize of 100,000 rubles from the co-organiser of the charity fund's programme – Amway company specialising in cosmetics. It's a grant for a young mother to run her own business.

Head of the Entrepreneurship Support Fund Timur Gumerov, who was one of the organisers of the programme, told why Tatarstan had joined the federal programme together with other regions, though with a 2-year delay. According to him, the programme's main goal is to help female entrepreneurship in the region, and not everybody but the most socially vulnerable women. That's to say, those who are on maternity leave, mothers of minors and women who are registered in the employment service (unemployed mothers), he specified. Others can't join it. However, there are enough formal reasons. To join 'Entrepreneur Mother' educational programme, the candidates had to go through a casting of business ideas evaluated by experts.

According to Timur Gumerov, the programme's main goal is to help female entrepreneurship in the region, and not everybody but the most socially vulnerable women. Photo: e-nkama.ru

Mothers' contest: 10-12 per seat

The contest among young mothers who rushed to re-train in business being on maternity leave was high. According to Timur Gumerov, 400 applications have been received from women, that's to say, 10-12 people were candidates for each seat. He stressed the jury evaluated not traditional business projects with all consequences but only business ideas as they are – without economic estimates about the necessary start-up budget. ''Many ideas of the mothers came from real life while caring about a kid or from previous work experience,'' said Timur Gumerov. ''For instance, a mother offered to create a point to rent walking pushchairs, another mother – a school to prepare kids for the 1 st grade. But there were ideas that were outside family issues. A woman who has worked as a secretary for 15 years offered to create a school to train professional secretaries. First of all, we evaluated an idea's originality, its feasibility but we didn't estimate its economic effectiveness,'' he explained. Most importantly, the ideas can't be downloaded on the Internet, it must be their own original ideas.

100K rubles – enough in the beginning

The organisers think the initial capital equal to 100,000 rubles to run a business can be enough for a young mother in the beginning. To prove it, Timur Gumerov shared an idea his wife had offered him to run her own business. ''While preparing for the Islamic wedding, she couldn't find a suitable dress in the city. This is why she started to look for it online. I remember she said 200,000 rubles were enough to open Muslim wedding dress rental,'' he told. It turned out the cheapest Muslim dresses were sold in the capital of the Chechnya Republic, in Grozny, while here one should pay 2-3 times more. And there are still many simple ideas to launch a business of mothers without going far from the cash desk or, more precisely, babies.

During four days, the participants will learn not only theoretic basics of a business but also dive into the real business environment

''100,000 rubles are enough in the beginning,'' he believes. ''Tomorrow when they feel stronger they can turn to us and use other state support measures. It's not true that we taught and said: ''Girls, goodbye, don't call us any more.'' We have a hotline, the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship Support Fund, Entrepreneur's House. If she needs equipment, please, she can take it on a lease,'' he dreams. ''If she wants to appear on an industrial site, please, go to the Entrepreneurship Support Fund, we will locate you! We can plant a seed, water and help until it's grown.''

Female logic

Why do young mothers on maternity leave rush to run a business if little kids need them most at this point? The very participants call the aspiration for financial well-being, a desire to fulfil an idea and be beneficial as the main stimulus for the entrepreneurship activity. The absence of financial possibilities and lack of knowledge and experience call among the barriers to run a business.

During the next four days, the project's participants will take part in lectures and masterclasses. During this time, they will learn not only theoretic basics of a business but also dive into the real business environment. They will be able to get personal recommendations for their business projects from successful businesswomen. A contest of the participants' business plans is the final part of the programme. After defending their business plans in front of the independent jury, a winner who will get a scholarship to run her business will be known. She will be chosen on 13 July. And perhaps the woman who works in the beauty industry will become the winner, as a cosmetics company grants the charity scholarship.

The winner who will get a scholarship to run her business will be chosen on 13 July

We will add that the programme was fulfilled in 21 regions of the Russian Federation in 2016-2017 where the corporation's specialists gave 25 training, taught over 700 women, of which 28 winners got scholarships. In 2018, with the participation of the corporation, the programme has already been launched in 12 regions, 323 women have taken part in it, 12 winners got scholarships. It's planned to fulfil the programme in at least 50 regions of the Russian Federation till the end of the next year.

By Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: tatarstan.ru