This paper is my attempt to answer the question, “How does small-business development contribute to positive social change [SC] in rural Russia?

I accepted the interpretive paradigm for my research. This paradigm is described in Learning in the Field, written by Rossman and Rallis (2003). Therefore, my research methods involved face-to-face interaction. I conducted 32 in-depth interviews. Guided by Learning in the Field, I developed four topics to explore in the interviews, but I remained open to pursuing topics brought up by the interviewees. The questions are:

• What is meant by both small-business development and social change in Russian rural areas?

• How do Russian businessmen, governmental officials and rural citizens define their roles in the process of social change?

• What are the obstacles to small-business development in Russia’s rural areas, and what are possible ways to overcome these obstacles?

• What kinds of development programs exist in rural Russia, and what is the difference between the Russian programs and programs implemented in other countries?

I studied documents regarding successful small-business development programs, the implementation of social initiatives in Kaluga Region and other regions of Russia. I also conducted a deep literature analysis about the world experience.

Based on the research, I recommend developing two different methods of development for the rural Kaluga Region that will work as well for many other regions in central Russia. The first method is industrial cluster development. The second is a combination of a community-based credit program and creation of mobile teams of professionals to educate prospective entrepreneurs.


Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations