Russian business dreams: Better late than never or better never?

Many Russians dream to have their own business and believe in the "lucky star". However, only three percent of Russians can boast of their business success. Therefore, Russia is too premature a country to fall into the arms of the "all-powerful liberal market," forgetting about the role of the state.

For businesses we are ready 

On May 30, Russia's Public Opinion research Center WCIOM published the results of a curious poll that studied the attitude of Russian people to business activities. The number of people wanting to start their own businesses has grown from 29 to 34 percent since 1991. Business ideas are especially popular among young people: up to 60 percent of young respondents said that they were willing to start their own business. 

Not very big fans of the market model may find out, not without satisfaction, that the number of those who do not want to be self-employed has increased from 49 percent since the end of Gorbachev's perestroika to 60 percent.

The growth in each of the categories of respondents occurred due to a sharp decline in the share of undecided - from 20 percent in 1991 to 3 percent. 

Indeed, during the last years of the USSR, most people would learn news about market affairs from newspapers and TV. In the quarter of a century, however, the market phenomenon has affected all Russians without exception. Interestingly, most people share negative attitude not just to the market model per se, but to their ability to play an independent role in business. 

True Russian businessmen 

As for 34 percent of "potential businessmen," nearly a half of them, 47 percent, has not taken any steps to start a business at all. Another 33 percent are going to "do it in the near future." Better late than never, or better never? 

Only 17 percent (from 34 percent of the total amount of potential businessmen) take real steps in achieving business success. However, these people make up only a little less than six percent of the total amount of respondents. Three percent of those, who took part in the research, already have their business.

Thus, the actual proportion of actual businessmen (and those who make real efforts to become them) balances near nine percent. Everything else is about wishful thinking. 

Is it a big problem, though? One should try to answer this question proceeding from the list of areas that are of interest to Russian business talents. 

Also read: How Russia wins economically

It turns out that the majority of them are most attracted to trade - 24 percent. Food service, transportation, consumer services - 17 percent. Food industry, consumer goods - 8 percent. Medicine, education, culture and leisure of the population attract five percent. The production of equipment attracts only 8 percent of respondents. 

Another 16 percent of the polled are willing to engage in mysterious "other" activities. Maybe one should not ask for too much from home-grown business enthusiasts. One does not need many stores in Russian provinces, although they do give jobs to many people. 

During the 1990s, under the guise of "market reforms," pro-Western liberals were destroying the industries that were inherited from the Soviet Union. Many people lost their jobs and they had to do something to be able to make their living. Fortunately, Russia recovered from the fuzzy dream and started rising to reassert herself as a great power.

Russia's revival is based on the success of the defense industry and other strategic sectors such as oil and gas, construction, automotive industry, etc. Small and medium-sized businesses have not played a crucial role in Russia's revival. In all developed countries, it is large corporations that play the first fiddle. They have a limited circle of owners and top managers, but they give work to millions of employees.

Thus, the choice was made a long time ago - not only in Russia, but throughout the world - for the benefit of big business, whether it is private business or state-owned corporations. In large companies, enterprising people can use their talents to the utmost as directors, supervisors, etc. 

The role of millions of small owners in the power of the national economy is not so significant although they are praised and encouraged in the Western civilization. Consequently, those who either want to start their own business or never want to do it, do not change the rules of the game. 

Yuri Nosovsky


Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov