Importance The article deals with the problem of development of small and medium-sized businesses in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation using a case study of the Volga Federal District. Objectives The aim of this study is to identify the relationship between the level of socio-economic development of the Volga Federal District and level of development of small and medium-sized businesses in the region. Methods We used a systems approach as a methodological basis of the study to analyze the system of socio-economic indicators of the actors of the region and the system of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as their interaction and relationships. Socio-economic indicators of the Volga Federal District and statistical data on the development of small and medium-sized businesses are the study source information. To assess the relationships of these two indicators, we derived integral indexes, which were compared by using a correlation analysis. Results We rated the entities of the Volga Federal District, by integral indexes of socio-economic indicators and development level of small and medium-sized businesses in each entity, for the studied periods (2010–2013). We found out that there is a close relationship between the level of development of small and medium-sized businesses and socio-economic indicators of the region. Conclusions and Relevance We conclude on the necessity to improve the well-being of the population and create a favorable economic climate in the region in order to increase the pace of development of small and medium-sized businesses. The results of the research can be used to develop measures to improve the level of development of small and medium-sized businesses within the regions and the country as a whole, because this particular segment could become one of the key factors in the growth of the economy of the Russian Federation.
Keywords: small and medium-sized business, socio-economic development, regional economy, aggregation, standardization
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