Options for delivering risk capital to innovative enterprises in Belarus
- Securing financing is important for innovative firms–and vital for enabling and promoting innovation for sustainable growth and development.
Insufficient or inappropriate means of external finance often compound the risk inherent in innovation and constrains the broad experimentation with new ideas that is essential for Belarus to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
These questions were the main agenda for the webinar today organized by UNECE and State Committee for Science and Technology (SCST).
In her opening speech UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki highlighted that private sector innovation and SME development are key to any economy, especially at the time of recession.
“Venture capital which is the main topic of today’s seminar organized by UN Economic Commission for Europe and the State Committee on Science and Technology, plays an important role in supporting private sector development. Government, though regulation and proper investment policy, should maximize availability of venture capital to fund private sector projects. At the time of global challenges of COVID-19 and global climate emergency, governments and private sector must prioritize investments and direct them in sectors and innovations that have positive economic, social and environmental impact. This is the new quality that should be regulated and delivered as a minimum standard of responsible business. Investors – both government and private sector, need to prioritize green solutions and innovation that will help curb climate change”, - noted Joanna Kazana.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus emphasized that in Belarus, innovation and venture capital for private sector development is incipient. Financing options for startups are limited and many institutional and regulatory barriers continue to constrain the development of proper “ecosystem” for business innovation that should be in place in an advanced industrial economy.
The UN, together with international partners, in particular the EU and Sweden who funds the UNECE project which organized our today’s webinar, are supporting development of private sector and small and medium sized enterprises in Belarus. Government and other innovation stakeholders in Belarus should be working together to deliver innovation to all people – through smart cities and villages, online administrative services not only for businesses, but for regular people, also meaningful engagement between the citizen and state as service provider through e-platforms for discussion and feedback. Investments in intelligent and low carbon transport systems, innovation in construction sector and modernization of waste management and recycling – these are just a few examples of growth areas which, with the right mix of regulation, state support and private sector investment, also through venture capital, could flourish and make the economic model more sustainable and more competitive in the global market.