Europe has a lot to learn from Russia about family business

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Unlike the Russian state which is keenly aware of the role of family
businesses in the economy, the European institutions are guided
predominantly by the size of the corporations, the number of employees, and
the revenues when they formulate their fiscal and social security policies.
Sadly enough, the legal definition for small and medium enterprises follows
this bureaucratic logic on the Old Continent. The organization of the European
Family Businesses (EFB), a member of which is Family Business Network
Bulgaria, believes that the current statistical understanding of the business
environment is incomplete, to put it mildly. Europe has a lot to learn from
Russia about its policy with regard to the family-run companies, said the
philanthropist, honorary consul of Uzbekistan, and founder of FBN Bulgaria,
Petar Mandjoukov. He expressed his satisfaction with the fact that as early as
2020, the draft legal regulations in Russia started mentioning the introduction
of the concept of ‘family enterprise’. Privileges which we, the Europeans, can
only hope for. If Europe manages to overcome its limited statistical
understanding and to broaden its horizons, the Member States could start to
formulate more adequate policies supporting the growth and prosperity of
European businesses. In this way we could have a knowledge-based
economy, were the hopes of the Bulgarian entrepreneur.

He added that being Orthodox nations, both Russia and Bulgaria consider the
family not only as a central value, but also a solid foundation on which we
build our businesses. It is no accident that according to numerous studies,
Russian family-run businesses are among the global leaders in innovation,
high technology, and digitalization. Whereas our Western partners are only
now starting to develop sustainable strategies, Eastern countries have for a
long time been incorporation charity, social commitment, and environmental
protection as a natural part of our management strategies. The reason for this
is that all around the world family-run businesses are built on intransient moral
values. They are a natural antidote to the global corporate ‘religion’ of
overproduction and overconsumption. While the international economic giants
aim at profits, family businesses place solidarity and empathy toward the
problems of humankind at the heart of their work. It is only logical that family
companies are the absolute leaders in corporate social responsibility’, said
Mandjoukov.

He ranks among the leading European donators in the fight against COVID-
19, investing in a state-of-the-art molecular genetics laboratory for the needs
of the Faculty of Biology at the oldest higher learning institution in Bulgaria.
Thanks to this incredibly generous gesture, today the scientific community in
his home country is on the verge of a major breakthrough related to the
genome of the virus which could make possible the precise prognosis of the
course of the disease in different individuals in the future. He set aside more
than EUR 1 million of his personal wealth to provide ambulances and life-
saving medical equipment for the Bulgarian Military Medical Academy. This
gracious act helped save millions of lives in the height of the COVID-19 crisis,
according to healthcare professionals working at the medical facility.

‘Although the mentality of both Bulgarian and Russian entrepreneurs is rather
cosmopolitan, our leading values are rooted in Orthodoxy. It is our firm belief
that this is the foundation on which family businesses will affirm spirituality as
an alternative to the perilous urge to consume’, said the philanthropist. As an
expression of his genuine faith, he started a large-scale programme to build
and restore a whole network of orthodox churches in Bulgaria. Petar
Mandjoukov is the main donator for the erection of 5 churches – is Sofia,
Pamporovo, Lovech and the village of Breste, Cherven Bryag. Also he was
the exclusive benefactor in the construction of the ‘Saints Peter and Paul’
Church in the eponymous monastery just outside Sofia. Thanks to his
generous donations, the church ‘Transfiguration of Jesus Christ’ was
constructed in Plovdiv in the year of the 70 th birthday of the businessman. As a
result of the self-sacrificing contributions to the Christian faith, the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church honoured him as an Archon, a title given to him personally
by the Plovdiv Metropolitan Bishop Nikolai.

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