Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Morozov Project Brings Business Training to Regions

Georgia and Abkhazia, which have been at odds since they first went to war nearly two years ago, agree on at least one point: Both believe that Morozov business training centers are worth having on their territories. Representatives of Georgia and the breakaway republic of Abkhazia both presented proposals for new centers this week to Miroslav Nikoruk, the rector of the Management and Marketing Academy that runs the Morozov project, which plans to spend about $20 million on investment projects and business centers in the former Soviet republics over the next two years. The project was founded in 1992 at the Moscow mansion of pre-revolutionary entrepreneur Savva Morozov by the marketing academy, the Finance Academy, the State Management Academy, USAID, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The project began operating early this year with 10 centers in Russia, one in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and another in Ashgabad, Turkmenistan. Philippe Dewilde, the director of the EBRD's education department, said that the idea of the project was to help Russia set up consultancy and educational centers that would ultimately be able to operate on their own, without aid from the West. Regions and municipalities in the former Soviet Union are encouraged to pitch plans for new centers, where curriculums can include accounting, banking, finance, marketing, public relations and other business-related subjects. The project provides venture capital to businesses on a competitive basis to establish 1 million jobs in small and medium businesses within two years. According to Nikoruk, the Morozov project has received some 100 proposals for investment and new centers from businesses and municipalities throughout the former Soviet Union since the beginning of the year. Georgia and Abkhazia, however, are not likely to have their proposals approved until they solve their differences, he said. Tuesday, members of the Management and Marketing Academy Council approved a second stage of the project in which 11 new centers will be established, all in Russian regions outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Nikoruk said that the project is focusing on the regions since they are the hardest hit by the country's economic reforms. "Our presence in the regions will especially be necessary to smooth social consequences as the bankruptcy law and privatization for money start working," he said. The EBRD has committed $14 million over the next two years and another $11 million in the following five years, Dewilde said. A representative from USAID, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. government agency also earmarked "several million dollars" for the coming two years.