The study is based on the GEM Russia Adult Population Survey (APS) 2006-2009 data sets. The APS survey in Russia is steadily based on the nationwide, multi-stage, stratified and probability sample (N=2000) that represents the entire adult population older than 18 years. The sample design is based on the Census 2002 data revised by the data of Rosstat (Russian Government Statistical Committee) on January 1st, 2009. To collect data, face-to-face interviewing is used. GEM estimates the level of involvement in early-stage entrepreneurial activity by calculating the sum of nascent entrepreneurs and new business owners. The GEM methodology is briefly characterized on the project website (www.gemconsortium.org).
The crisis in Russia lead to an increase of the role of economic reasons of business discontinuation, but most of former entrepreneurs who discontinued a business from economic reasons will in mid-term perspective try to (re)start anew, in contrast to those who would never try it once more; most of the latter group are escaping from other than economic reasons. They would hardly re-start again under any macroeconomic conditions. From this point of view, the crisis influenced the entrepreneurial potential only temporary.
Meanwhile, this temporary effect was rather strong - the intensity of business discontinuation under the crisis grew compared with previous years, and the difference between entries and exits became negative.
Persons with entrepreneurial past, who quit a business forever, form a ‘big loss’ of entrepreneurial potential because of their experience and skills. The factors which play a role in deciding whether to (re)start again or not, are gender and education: men and persons with higher education are more often considering a possible entrepreneurial comeback, while women and respondents with lower level of education tend more often to escape from business definitively.
Besides, there are subjective factors - negative perceptions of opportunities to do a business and low self-efficacy - which play an important role preventing a significant part of former entrepreneurs to start up anew.
The crisis have had a negative impact on the motivation to start-up among non-entrepreneurial part of population; however, the share of necessity driven should didn’t become higher than the share of opportunity driven potential entrepreneurs – maybe, because of a relatively moderate impact of the crisis on the situation on labour market.
The crisis in Russia did lead neither to a deterioration of motivational structure of early entrepreneurship nor to any dramatic increase of those who entirely resigned as entrepreneurs. That is why efficient government policy to promote entrepreneurship should encourage adults both to start-ups by promoting skills and self-efficacy (to increase the share of opportunity entrepreneurs) as well as to ease the process of closing down inefficient existing businesses.
At the turn of 2012 Russia will celebrate its 20th anniversary of accepting the path of radical social change, which was thought (according to its initiators) to bring structural reorganization of the Russian economy. Having become a symbolic event in contemporary Russian history and predetermined the way and trajectory of the countrys further development, these economic reforms have affected all aspects of state and social activity. The primary faces, who initiated the reform, B. Yeltsin and E. Gaydar are now gone, however, the debate about their political heritage is still a very challenging matter to a large part of Russian population. And this debate gets especially engaging given the current highly ambivalent epoch in Russian establishment partly inheriting the policy adopted by the reformers and partly rejecting it: i.e. one part of Russian society criticizes current authorities by accusing them of giving up a heritage of the Yeltsin-Gaydar reforms, and, first of all, the principles of political democracy and economic freedom, while the other, on the contrary, is convinced that the continuity of current policy to the reforms of the 1990s is the major problem and obstacle to Russias development. It is obvious that many of reformers actions had often spontaneous character and were even forced due to a complete system crisis which has broken prior to the collapse of USSR, when there were little or no time to discuss the alternatives of step-by-step transformation. At the same time mass consciousness tends to disregard the historical context under which the reforms were implemented, or even mythologize and simplify many things. That is why it is so important to look back at the past events once again and analyze them from the point of view of present generations. It is also very important to analyze, in what way these changes have affected the everyday life of Russian citizens, their social and economic well-being, opportunities for self-actualization, the evolution of their worldviews, national self-identification, their opinions towards the role and place of the state, democratic institutions and norms in the life of society. In order to reveal and investigate, how Russians evaluate the practice of reforming economic, social and political life of their country over the last twenty years, as well as the changes that occurred in society during these years, in April 2011 the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences has launched a nation-wide sociological survey «20 Years of Reforms through the Eyes of Russians». The survey was based on a representative sample that covered all Russias territorial and economic regions including Moscow and St. Petersburg (a total of 1750 respondents aged 18+ who represent eleven social groups of the general population). Weve also used the data from an earlier survey of 2001 «New Russia: 10 Years of Reform». Since both surveys were carried out based on a similar sample model with similar questionnaires, it was possible to conduct a comparative analysis to track the present-day state of Russias mass consciousness, as well as trends in its development from as early as 10 years ago.