Center of social innovations

RUSAL is using a systems based approach to supporting social businesses in the regions where it operates. Since 2012 the Company has been building a regional infrastructure for the development of social entrepreneurship in conjunction with the Agency of Strategic Initiatives and as a result, centers for innovations in the social sector have been established in several cities in Siberia and the Urals. The main goal of the project has been to focus the efforts of various organisations (RUSAL, other businesses, municipal governments etc) to offer consultative and organisational help to such businesses alongside raising funding for socially oriented business projects. Partners of the project include local governments, financial institutions, employment centres, small and medium-sized business support foundations, regional and municipal chambers of commerce and industry, associations of industrialists and entrepreneurs to name a few.

One area of the project has been the creation, in the regions where the Company operates, of social entrepreneurship schools, whose students learn about how to run their own business. The teaching agenda includes business planning, legal and financial foundations of running a business, the best global and local business conduct practices and state, regional and municipal programmes for supporting small and medium-sized businesses. The top graduates of the social entrepreneurship schools got a chance to open their own businesses funded by grants, subsidies and low interest loans they obtained from RUSAL and other partners of the project.

In 2017, the centres for innovations in the social sphere started offering online classes. These included classes in social projects, as well as project management methods and technologies. Entrepreneurs that successfully complete the training can get funds to implement their projects through RUSAL's grant co-financing scheme.