The first 15 projects selected for receiving grants
On 11 March 2020, the first 15 projects to be supported by grants for entrepreneurs in Kenozero and Onega Pomorie were announced in a ceremonial event organized in Arkhangelsk. The grant awarding committee chaired by Elena Shatkovskaya, director of Kenozero National Park, has selected in a competition 15 projects which include a wide range of entrepreneurial activities like seaweed harvesting in the White Sea, small cheese factory, weaving workshop, joiner’s shop, community bakery, smithy, guest houses and a goose mini-farm, just to name some of the successful endeavours.
One of the experts, marketer Natalya Mchelidze, drew attention to the fact that among the applications there were some almost ready-made projects, and some that require detailed elaboration and corrections. But this is precisely the value of the Northern Lights programme, as the winners receive not only funding through grants, but also consultations by lawyers, economists, marketers, designers and technologists.
“The most important thing is the desire and initiative of local people. Then ahead lies a serious task to implement the selected entrepreneurial activities. Entrepreneurship means a lot of work, risks, a huge array of information to be processed and constantly changing conditions. But, on the other hand, these are opportunities for local development and a decent living in rural areas with work of the lifetime for many years. It is such local initiatives like the ones supported which are changing the life in the villages of our protected areas for the better”, said Alexandra Yakovleva, coordinator of the Northern Lights project in the Arkhangelsk region.
Already on March 27, the representatives of the selected projects will gather in Arkhangelsk for a training seminar, in which, under the guidance of experienced experts, they will convert their business ideas into full-fledged business plans. Project financing starts in May, and in autumn, selected local entrepreneurs will be able to join a study tour to the Czech Republic and Slovakia (coronavirus permitting). The first results of the entrepreneurial activities will be evaluated before the end of this year. The total amount of grant financing allocated in 2020 is about five million rubles.
List of the first 15 projects supported by a grant in the first round of the competition
In the Kenozero National Park area:
1. Smithy “Hammer and anvil” (village Morshchinskaya, Kargopol district)
2. Kulikovs‘ gingerbread bakery (village Morshchinskaya, Kargopol district)
3. Ecological farm “Mezenka” (village Morshchinskaya, Kargopol district)
4. Ethnographical programme “Trail of the ancestors” (village Morshchinskaya, Kargopol district)
5. Weaving workshop “Magic of the weaving shuttle” (village Ust-Pocha, Plesetsk district)
6. Small food production “Forest gifts of Kenozero” (village Ust-Pocha, Plesetsk district)
7. Joiner’s shop “Music of the tree” (village Ust-Pocha, Plesetsk district)
8. Small cheese factory “Cheeses of Kenozero” (village Vershinino, Plesetsk district)
9. Bakery “Kenozero cooperative” (village Vershinino, Plesetsk district)
10. Workshop for processing wild plants and other non-timber forest resources “With love from Pocha” (village Pocha, Plesetsk district)
11. Guest house “Poteryaevo” (village Pocha, Plesetsk district)
12. Guest house “House of the miller Abramov”(village Zekhnova, Plesetsk district)
In the Onega Pomorie National Park area:
13. Guest house “Lyamtsa foothills” (village Lyamtsa, Onega district)
14. Mini-poultry farm “Kukuyanochka” (village Pushlakhta, Primorsky district)
15. Seaweed harvesting in Letna Zolotitsa” (village Letna Zolotitsa, Primorsky district)
These first 15 projects in Kenozero and Onega Pomorie are to be financed by grants provided within the framework of the Northern Lights project with the support of the European Union.