Ms. Elena Sapozhnikova spoke at the SPIEF’18 session titled “Small and Medium Size Enterprises: Priorities Are Set, How to Achieve Them?”. The following session participants shared their views on the development of entrepreneurship and small businesses: Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the Financial Market Committee of the State Duma, Alexander Braverman, General Director - Chairman of the Board of SME Corporation, Markus Jürger, CEO of German Association of Small and Medium Businesses (BVMW), Alexander Kalinin, President of OPORA OF RUSSIA Association, Vittorio Torrembini, Vice President of the Italian Businessmen in Russia Association (GIM Unimpresa) and others.

Elena Sapozhnikova, one of the partners of the UCP Investment Group, stated that the improving ranking of Russia in the World Bank’s Doing Business rating did not convert into an increased interest from international investors in acquiring Russian companies. Traditional valuation discount of Russian assets has not disappeared, but despite low asset prices investors are in no rush to increase their exposure in the Russian assets. In such situation entrepreneurs are demotivated to take on risks as they realise that even if their business projects succeed, the expected financial return on the potential exit from their business is not attractive.
"We, also being investors, do not attribute such a phenomenon to unfavorable external policy and sanctions (valuation of Russian companies was well below the global average also five years ago), but rather link it to the inadequate quality of the internal business environment as evidenced by a certain set of indicators", said Ms. Sapozhnikova. "To date, there was no readily available instrument that would enable us to answer the question of how to improve the valuation of Russian companies, so together with the experts from the SKOLKOVO business school, we developed a special index which can be used as an assessment tool for measuring the quality of conditions for exiting from a business, a so called «Selling Your Business Index».
Based on the quality of business environment in top thirty economies of the world, the Index sets out and measures key parameters that influence the valuation of a company by potential buyers. The purpose of the Index is to provide an incentive for joint efforts of regulators and business community, to monitor the dynamics of business environment and also becoming a precision tool in the process of fine tuning the entire system with an ultimate goal to improve the business climate in our country.