The companies that support IBLF place significant emphasis on the importance of educating the new generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs in responsible business practices and business ethics.
Over the years, our programmes have taken different forms, from workshops with CEOs to developing ethics courses for business schools to providing mentoring for young entrepreneurs; from training in compliance at the request of the government for the top leadership of State-run companies, to creating educational materials in business ethics for students at business schools: whatever the format, our programmes are invariably challenging, interactive, practical and relevant.
In 2014, we are continuing with the development of educational materials for teachers of business ethics in China and Russia. In countries such as these, this is a very new subject. The courses cannot just be translated – the subject has to be adapted to the local culture, case studies have to be found, teachers have to be identified in other subject areas. The materials are therefore developed with the help of local companies and long-term foreign investors who are familiar with the business culture – another example of Collective Action.
This year, we will also be creating, on the back of the Business ethics course, an Anti-corruption tool kit. As local state-run and private “national champions” come under increasing pressure to create a culture of compliance, they will need to train their own staff and that of their distributors and business partners. The Anti-corruption tool kit will enable them to do this without reinventing the wheel.
Last, but my no means least, we continue to develop our support and mentoring for young entrepreneurs in the regions of Russia through our Youth Business Russia programme. Founded by IBLF with the support of the Prince’s Youth Business International, we set up funds in different cities of Russia to provide loans to young people who want to set up their own business. They go through a rigorous selection process involving local business people and government, and receive the support of YBR’s local representative, and of a mentor who advises them and helps them through the challenges of running a business in Russia. Supporting companies provide funding but also pro-bono expertise and training. The programme is up and running in Moscow, Kaluga, Voronezh, Rostov, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok, and in 2014 is set to expand in St. Petersburg.