Young Talents Program
Economic and Social Council
Language: ENGLISH only

"Youth of the XXI Century: Realities and Perspectives" Kiev, Ukraine, 24-26 September 2003

(Prepared by Mr. Andrei Generalov and Ms. Olga Kutuzova, International Investment Center, Russian Federation)

The "Young talents program" of the International non-profit organization "International Investment Center" was established in 1989 and is aimed, first of all, at detection and development of creative and entrepreneurial abilities of youth.
It enables young people to be acquainted with principles of management and control in small business and how to make first steps in practical business.
On the other hand, the program allows to find leaders in youth environment, which are capable to organize and to head activities, where all the responsibility for production activities lies on a creative group, while a director is only the coordinator.
The creative projects in the youth companies promote the detection of talented youth and engaging them in study of culture of a native country.
As a matter of fact, the youth company supplemented by development programs of leadership skills can become a good education for the accountable and goal-minded citizens of the country.
It is especially important because in present Russia there is no a system approach to educational problem of youth and expressed policy on this problem.
Today, unfortunately, Russian youth often spends its time on the streets, backyards and cellars. The young people cannot sit at home on a sofa or in front of TV-set. And what is offered to them in exchange? At meetings and actions of protest students, which are absolutely poor in present economic conditions, demand payment of grants. The standard of living in Russia is about $150. The student's grants oscillate from 10 up to 20 US dollars. Isn't it a paradox - strong young people demand miserable amount from the government instead of demanding what is really vitally and necessary - creation of working places for youth, which will give them a capability to earn money for living, entertainment and education. And who knows, maybe they will learn more to appreciate this education.
The creators of the "Young talents program" consider youth as a special category of the population, with their own requirements, needs, desires, and, at last, with their own capabilities. These needs are impossible to satisfy at a level of the inquiries of the people of middle age, as it is impossible to demand from youth capabilities and qualification of the 40-year-old people. The youth is completely unique, unlike on other categories, customers of the goods and services: specific and often of completely different quality. The young people also can offer relatively cheap price. It results in the creation of the market for the youth goods and services, where both suppliers and customers are young people. As a matter of fact, the "Young talents program" already has made the first relevant step in this direction.
If we analyze the announcements for workforce, existing nowadays in Russia, it appears that practically all of them prefer to deal with the workers already received professional training. And what to do, if your professional activity only starts? Now, in Russia they offer only few "youth employment services" having furthermore weak state support, and some programs like "New start", which cannot change a situation. Due to reasonable policy on youth entrepreneur ship, the young people can supply themselves with necessary goods and receive a professional experience. Such conclusion we can draw from the "Young talents program". Creative and entrepreneurial young people quickly feel market tendencies and are able to fill in niches with own projects, especially in such fields, as entertainment (discotheques, youth theatres), mass media (youth newspapers, broadcasting), production of fashion accessories and jewelry.
The invaluable help to the government in the solution of this problem can be given by non¬profit organizations, and it is necessary to attract them to cooperation. Working with youth, we permanently realize that we deal with the special category of the population. The "Young talents program" affects the citizen of Russia in the most important period of becoming of his or her public consciousness, search of the place in life. Therefore, our aim is to help the young people, to conduct them on narrow path in turbulent life. Thus, the young people can reach adult life with reinforced knowledge and professional skills, believing in better future and convinced of their necessity and usefulness for the state. From 1989 to 1993, the "Young talents program" was included as a part in a more general development program of self-employment created with the purpose of development of crafts and economic education of the unemployed. The program was implemented with the financial support of International Investment Center, without any government subsidy, and was profitable. During these five years, in different regions of the Russian Federation, the experts of the program organized more than 500 working places, accumulated the teaching and organizing experiences. In 1995, Director of Center Ms. Olga Kashina was named "Patsy Preston Fellow" and awarded a grant of the World Bank Group Volunteer Services "in recognition of the commitment to improving the lives of women and children in Russia". The essence of the program consisted in the creation of small businesses for production of souvenirs and crafts, using for this purpose remnants from cloth-production industry, construction and forest industry. The unemployed women were main workers in these businesses and they also attracted to working activity the members of their families - in most cases - schoolchildren. Businesses consisted of 10-20 members, each business had the specialization: ceramic toys production, textile dolls, hand-painted brooches and boxes, jewelry made from semi-precious stones, souvenirs made from leather and furs.
In the beginning of activity, the first workers were trained by specialists, then most qualified employees conducted training with newcomers.
Items from museums of decorative-applied arts inspired the first models and workers themselves created part of them. The items made in small series were on display on the exhibitions and sold in art shops and souvenir racks. Taking into account huge concern to the program, it was restored in 2000 for development of youth creativity and business skills in the Central Russia region and this time received a name "Young talents program". In the beginning of this program, the educational training in business-planning, marketing and management was held for representatives of small business, during which more than two thousand people were trained. The purpose of the program is to give young people practical experience in the field of business, in the creation and management of their firms. During working process participants carry out marketing researches, produce and sell goods and services, prepare accounting documents and financial reports, i.e. pass all milestones of formation, development and everyday activities of business.
The production sector is an economic business-laboratory, which gives implementation of many theoretical laws and economic concepts, such as: demand, proposal, variable and constant costs, productivity (output) and so on. Working together, the young people apply these laws to the solution of actual problems of business.
The advisers can provide the invaluable assistance. The business-adviser is an accountant, marketing expert or artist, who comes one - two times per month and consults the company on all problems, bound with organization and operation of firm.
Working in the small business, young people understand the commercial decisions for similar problems. Many advisers try to apply in activity methods of quality management, which help to eliminate errors in the production line instead of finding them out in finished products.
The second relevant component of the program is the connection of experience in training and business development with capabilities of modern communication technologies. First of all, it is Internet networking as well as a fast developing system of electronic trade. The application of a system of electronic trade enables young companies to receive the orders from abroad and do not depend from changing natures of domestic market, to receive orders and have constant earnings, as well as to expand the business, involving in this activity more and more young people. Foundation of the Center of electronic trade in a system UNCTAD/WTO (Trade Point) has allowed young people to begin search of the foreign partners and modern trends in the Internet.


1) The participation in the activities of the youth company enables to put the laws of business and economic theory into practice as well as to develop the responsibility, administrative and leadership skills.
2) The development of national crafts allows youth to realize creative skills and to learn the history and culture of the native country.
3) Young employees usually start to work in the company on the temporary basis, and then continue to work permanently or start their own businesses. Thus, the self-employment grows and new working places are created on the labour market.
4) New technologies allow youth to run their businesses with the help of the modern methods of business activity as well as to make inventions in the production process.
contact information +7(916)276-36-71
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