NAFI projects. Development of territories and creative industries.
Director General of the National Agency for financial research
Guzelia Imaeva, 'Every second woman-entrepreneur educates once in 6 months'
National Agency for Financial Investigation (NAFI) headed by Chief Executive Officer and the member of Eurasian Women's Forum Council Guzelia Imaeva implements several projects aiming at the development of territories and creativity industries.
Since 2017, the project 'Women's Entrepreneurship Index' estimates the dynamics and perspectives of the development of women's entrepreneurship with the help of specific indicators. Women's social categories (business leaders and owners) and their age (18-60 years old) are among the indicators used.
The Women's Business Activity Index shows the entrepreneurial activity of women fr om 3 sides. The first component is 'Culture of Entrepreneurship'. It reflects the attitude of the society towards women-entrepreneurs. The second is 'Business Ecosystem'. It is expressed in the assessment of the business conditions: availability of financing and necessary infrastructure, opportunities for business education and others. The third component is presented by 'Personal Qualities', it accounts professional skills, family life, hobbies, so to say, that qualities which could build up a leader.
'Lack of relevant knowledge and skills is one of the key boundaries which prevents women from business or its expansion. Nowadays, the business education market is actively developing: we see the emergence of targeted educational programs, including special programs for women on maternity leave, with small children. These programs are available both online and face-to-face. The results of the research conducted by the Agency show that every second woman-entrepreneur gains additional knowledge in the sphere of business once in 6 months. There is a need to continue this work and to attract a wide range of sources to inform about such educational opportunities. Some people are motivated by this and make the first step to try on a role of entrepreneur, some of them are already in business, and this information could become an incentive to enter other markets, to expand the range of goods and logistics', Guzelia Imaeva, the CEO of NAFI noted.
Stereotypes about women
In 2019, National Agency for Financial & Investigation implemented a research-based project. The aim of the project was to study the stereotypes about women and their consequences. In total, 1,811 residents of 150 cities of Russia over the age of 14 were involved into the research. The Eurasian Women's Forum Council provided the support of the research.
So, according to the research data, nowadays, there are 78.8 mln women in Russia, comprising 54% of the total population. At the same time, they are less involved into the economy of the country than men: the employment rate among the able-to-work women is 60%, while men - 72%.
One of the challenges faced by women on their career path is the wage imbalance. 28% - is the difference in salary between men and women with the same qualifications. Moreover, women are involved into self-development and pay more attention to the education than men: 36% of women involved in the economy have a higher education. As for the men - 28%. As a result, there are more high-qualified women-specialists than men: 63% and 37% respectively. The women's consent to such conditions leads to the fact that 'feminine' fields of activity are paid less, loose the respect and attractiveness for the talented specialists.
To overcome the imbalance in the involvement of women in the economy and other traditionally 'masculine' areas could be rather complicated, so it needs a complex and consistent approach. Many organisations and companies hold various events in order to motivate women. For example, the Eurasian Women's Forum Council under the Federation Council announced the competition for employers - 'Development of Women's Leadership'. The main goal of it is to encourage the employers who succeeded in support of working parents. In turn, Google launched a line of workshops 'I’m Remarkable' wh ere women learn how to present their professional and personal achievements to the audience, how to respect themselves and develop in different spheres of life. Nowadays 1,000 Russian women have taken part in the workshop. The employees of Google, SAP, Severstal, Unilever and other large companies are among them.
Tourist attraction of Russia
The National Agency for Financial Investigation implements not only the research of the women's role in economy and business but also large-scale projects. One of them is presented by the sociological studies of tourist attraction of Russia for residents of European countries. The survey is conducted in 24 languages depending on the respondent's residence. European residents over the age of 18 became target audience of the research, in total, 2,106 respondents took part in a survey.
According to the data of a research Russia took the 9th place among the leading countries of a EU tourist flow. The 1st place is taken by the USA. The majority of Europeans - 71% who took part in a research has never visited Russia. 90% of European tourists who have visited Russia enjoyed it. Among the general negative memories connected to the travelling in Russia they named lack of tourist infrastructure, as well as unfriendliness of the citizens towards foreign tourists and the lack of confidence that the trip would be safe.
NAFI specialists concluded that the image of Russia as a tourist destination among the European residents is formed in a spontaneous way. There is no single coordinated program on the boosting the attractiveness of the Russian regions for the European target audience. A third of Europe residents plans to visit Russia in the nearest future. The European residents who do not plan to visit Russia in the nearest future explain that they have no information about places of interest in our country and about the tourist infrastructure in general. Another stumbling block for the European tourists is the high cost, complexity of visa procedures and difficult transport accessibility in comparison to other destinations.
Another essential problem is the stereotype that it is necessary to know Russian language in order to visit the country. The residents of Western and Northern parts of Europe are mostly concerned about it. Though, the majority of tourists who have an experience in visiting Russia were satisfied by their journey. All in all, the negative attitude towards Russia mostly occurs due to the stereotypes and myths spread around the European target audience.
Taking into account the fact that foreign tourists have a significant number of prejudices about the tourism in Russia (stereotypes about Russian mentality, political image of the country) and the lack of current information about the resources which help to get acquainted with the opportunities, directions and conditions for travelling to Russia it is significant to create and develop a concept of the tourist image of the country, which will be spread around the target groups.