Russia’s economy continues to be referred to as a transition economy – still in the process of changing its structure from a planned to a free market system. Medium-sized enterprises hold a special place in this change of economic structures; hence, the government of Russia, hand in hand with the International Monetary Fund besides other major global organizations, is presently aiding the people of Russia to set up increasing numbers of medium-sized companies that may all compete in a free market system (“Small and Medium-Sized;” Camdessus). The Netherlands, like most mature economies, is also interested in doing business with the Russians. To put it another way, all mature economies would like the Russian economy to grow so as to participate effectively in the global economy.
Opora Russia is an organization that conducted a survey in the year 2006 with three hundred Russian medium-sized enterprises as participants. According to the results of the survey, the Russian medium-sized company is in dire need of innovative practices, solutions, and products; in addition to specialists, who are usually hard to retain (“Innovative”). The survey report reads:
Small and medium-sized innovative enterprises represent a unique resource, which combined with a rather strong research and educational potential of the country can become a key factor of sustainable economic growth of Russia.
The need to diversity the Russian economy provides for a necessity to significantly increase the number of small and medium-sized innovative enterprises. This task becomes even more critical in the light of coming reorganization of research and educational organizations of public sector, which may radically change the Russian system of research and development (R & D) (“Innovative”).
Apparently the educational system of Russia is also in transition. The Opora Russia’s survey report further states that the newly emerging research and educational institutions in Russia must bear in mind the true organizational and financial needs of the economy (“Innovative”). Seeing that the mature economies of today are already researching the organizational as well as financial needs of Russia, the following sections of this business plan would outline the process by which we may bring Russian business professionals for higher education in the Netherlands – a country where Russia is already understood by the academia.
Acknowledging the fact that higher education in addition to effective training are crucial elements of economic growth, we propose bringing Russian business professionals to the Netherlands for executive programs. The Dutch Masters and MBA degrees are world class. And, the Russians who are currently employed at medium-sized enterprises – helping their country to grow economically, and successfully pass its transition period – may very well benefit from business courses in the Netherlands. Besides, these business professionals are expected to eventually facilitate the growth of the entire global economy.
We would especially target business professionals at medium-sized enterprises in Russia – a business form that has received much attention in the country since the 1990s, with a huge number of medium-sized enterprises added yearly (Pripisnov). Given the importance of these enterprises to the transition economy, we would like to reach out to their employees, providing them with all necessary information to come to the Netherlands for higher business degrees.
Also according to the Opora Russia’s report: “The government of the Russian Federation undertakes certain efforts on encouragement of creation and development of small and medium-sized innovative enterprises. Nevertheless, rates of growth, quantitative and qualitative indices of innovation sector do not yet correspond to the scale of the Russian economy and the task of its modernization (“Innovative”).” Considering that the medium-sized enterprises of Russia – with tremendous growth potential – are not yet able to fulfill the economic needs of the country, our organization would like to assist them in doing so with well-educated business professionals.
We would be purchasing visas for Russia so as to train at least two Russian professionals in education consultancy especially for the Netherlands. The cost of visas would be nominal. Moreover, we would have to arrange for the stay of our trainers for at least two months in Russia. The expected cost of stay for two trainers is roughly US $2000-US $2500 (including accommodation for two months, food, and miscellaneous expenses).
Next, we would be renting office space in Russia, preferably furnished. The expected cost of such space, including a PC terminal, phone and fax facilities, is approximately US $400 to US $700 per month, depending on the facilities on offer at the rented office. It is also possible to rent office space and employ four staff members through an event management company, e.g. Event Planning (http://eventplanning.ru/). However, we would like to employ educational consulting professionals in Russia, apart from two members of support staff.
It is best for us to use an office in Moscow, before we may plan to branch out. Our second office could be in St. Petersburg. We may decide to branch out after approximately two years in Moscow.
In order to reach out to the business professionals at the medium-sized enterprises in Russia, we would have to advertise our educational consultancy in the trade journals as well as major newspapers of Moscow, and the entire nation. We would be launching a website, too. The cost of maintaining the website is expected to be minimal.
Marketing in Russia, and holding seminars is not very expensive. We plan to host three seminars each month for targeted business professionals to be acquainted with educational offers in the Netherlands. Each person attending the seminar would be paying a small fee to help us cover the costs. Our office would also provide ready information to all interested business professionals from medium-sized enterprises.
We would be offering free brochures as well as scholarship information to the Russian business professionals. It is estimated that three seminars every month for two hundred people, plus advertisements in major newspapers and trade journals, and the printing of brochures would cost approximately US $2500 per month.
Depending on the response of the Russian business professionals to educational offers in the Netherlands, we may plan to expand our operation in Moscow by increasing the number of employees. Initially, we may rent around 28 square meters of office space. Because the facility would also act as a meeting place for educational consultants and business professionals who are keen to study in the Netherlands, we may further decide to expand the size of our office.
Keys to Success
We desire to effectively introduce the Dutch business education system to the Russians. In particular, we are interested in inviting business professionals from medium-sized enterprises to join the business programs in the Netherlands, seeing that medium-sized enterprises are predicted to help Russia’s economy change its structure most easily. We would be gathering all necessary information about the business programs, imparting the information to interested business professionals, and helping them decide whether they would like to climb up their career ladders through a world class business program in the Netherlands.
At our seminars, we would be discussing the importance of higher business education to the Russian economy. Our trained consultants and/or invited speakers from the Netherlands would prove by way of scholarly research that such education would be very valuable not only to the business professionals at a personal level, but also their country, and ultimately the entire world. Furthermore, we would be helping out the interested business professionals in filling out application forms for business schools in the Netherlands. For a small fee, our trained educational consultants would also be willing to help out the interested business professionals in filling out visa forms, and to pass through all necessary stages of application.
We expect a large number of business professionals to visit our consultancy for help with their applications for higher business degrees in the Netherlands. It is certain that our business would be profitable. Most importantly, our business is designed to benefit the global economy.
Russians are known to be very patriotic people. They want their country to achieve great economic success. It is, therefore, essential to invite enterprising Russians to study in a country with a mature economy. Eventually this would also help the educational system of Russia to become reorganized, especially with respect to business studies. After all, countless Russian business professionals that study in the Netherlands are expected to return to their country as educators! Indeed, there is a strong link between education and economic growth.
Camdessus, Michael. “Russia and the IMF: Meeting the Challenges of an Emerging Market and
Transition Economy.” IMF (1998). Available 21 August 2007, from http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/1998/040198.HTM.
“Innovative Small and Medium-Sized Enterpreneurship: Challenges of Development.” Opora
Russia (2006). Online. Internet.
Pripisnov, Vladimir. “The Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in
Russia.” STEEP Discussion Paper No. 35 (1996). Available 21 August 2007, from
“Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Countries in Transition.” UN-ECE. Available 21
August 2007, from http://www.unece.org/indust/sme/review96.htm.