RUSAL grants loans to social entrepreneurs
RUSAL has decided the results of a contest for interest-free loans for social entrepreneurs
Five regional social entrepreneurship projects have received financial support totalling 2.7 million roubles from the company RUSAL. The projects to be implemented are a shop making clothes for people with disabilities, a wellness centre, a private medical care service, an inclusive kindergarten and a dental clinic for people with congenital or acquired maxillofacial defects.
The contest for interest-free loans to support programme implementation took place in six cities: Achinsk, Bratsk, Kamensk-Uralsky, Krasnoturinsk, Krasnoyarsk and Severouralsk. The organisers of the contest, now in its second year, received 24 applications – twice as many as in 2015. The five winning projects were determined by experts drawn from the regional and municipal authorities, non-profit and business organisations, banks, and administrative agencies supporting small and medium enterprises.
The business ideas chosen for support seek to use new entrepreneurial approaches to solve social problems in spheres such as medicine and healthcare, early years inclusive education and assistance for older people and those with serious illnesses and disabilities.
A tailor specialising in clothes for people with disabilities is to open in Achinsk, while in Krasnoturinsk the ‘Salt Cave’ wellness centre and the ‘Helping Hand’ private healthcare service will be established. An inclusive kindergarten and a dental clinic specialising in maxillofacial defects will open in Krasnoyarsk. According to its Centre for Social Innovation, RUSAL will provide loans from 250,000 to 1 million roubles for the implementation of the projects.
The contest forms part of RUSAL’s social investment programme, which aims to develop social entrepreneurship and increase social and economic activity in regions where the company operates. In addition to the contest, the programme also includes an annual training course at a school of social entrepreneurship, support from experienced entrepreneurs for socially orientated businesses, the high-profile ‘Day of Social Entrepreneurship’ event, the creation of a network of programme participants, and the development of partnerships between business, the authorities, NGOs and local communities.
Author: Yulia Vyatkina