Small business support

Small business support is a strategic priority for Sberbank Group. Our goal is to become a preferred partner for small businesses in Russia and facilitate our development in this segment in other countries.

Sberbank and its subsidiary banks maintain a common approach to supporting small businesses. We offer a wide range of products for those who start business and for the companies willing to develop and expand their operations. We develop the infrastructure of Business Development Centres and support the development of new business culture.


Today, to approve small loans to start-up entrepreneurs, we use the “Credit Factory” technology: a simplified scoring model for borrower analysis that accelerates obtaining approval to three days. For small businesses that have stable operations, we offer the “Business” product line. In 2013, 231,500 small businesses obtained financing from Sberbank, a 26% growth year-on-year.

Fig. 5. Sberbank’s loan book by “Credit Factory” scoring model and “Business” product line, RUB bn

In 2013, Sberbank continued to develop the “Business Start” product that provides financing for launching a new business based on franchising programmes or model business plans. Over 450 entrepreneurs participated in this programme last year, with the types of businesses eligible for financing rising 1.8 times to a total of 85.

Aiming to create favourable conditions for small business development, in 2013 we actively expanded the network of business development centres (BDC) across Russia. The BDC infrastructure enables entrepreneurs to obtain access to free seminars and trainings, advice from Sberbank’s experts, and negotiating rooms and conference halls that they can use for their own purposes. In 2013, we built up a network of more than 170 specialised offices in 70 Russian regions which are used by 3,000 entrepreneurs every week. In average, all BDCs hold 300 events every week. We introduced innovative formats for cooperation between BDCs and entrepreneurs: all-Russia business seminars broadcast online to more than 100 Centres located in various cities across Russia. In 2013, we held 3 seminars that attracted some 7,000 participants in total. In 2014, we plan to connect at least 150 centres.

We continued implementing the online initiative named “Business Environment”, a unique portal where entrepreneurs can communicate, discuss business ideas, learn latest news, obtain expert advice, and undergo training. The portal traffic for the entire period of its existence exceeded 2.9 mn unique visitors.

Business Environment performance in 2013

  • 237,000 registered users

  • 120,000 registered businesses

  • 111,000 products and services sold

  • 157 training courses at the Business School

  • 37 web apps in online shop


In 2013, DenizBank participated in the EU programme to finance small businesses in underdeveloped Turkish areas. Total DenizBank financing under the programme is EUR 34.8 mn (RUB 1.8 bn). As of December 31, 2013, DenizBank granted loans worth a total of TRY 10.6 mn (RUB 177 mn).

In 2013, to improve the quality of small business service, DenizBank set up a special call centre team KOBI UMIT dedicated exclusively to providing services to small businesses. In July 2013, DenizBank launched, a project designed to support small businesses in finding appropriate government subsidies and donations. Small businesses use this portal to select a government subsidy programme and learn how to apply for it. Since the web-site launch, it was visited by nearly 100,000 users, and the service was used by more than 10,000 small businesses.

Sberbank Europe

Today, Sberbank Europe is in the very beginning of creating a unique strategy for the small business segment. However, a number of Sberbank Europe’s subsidiary banks have achieved certain progress in small business financing. In particular, Sberbank Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded an agreement with the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) for financing micro and small businesses worth EUR 7 mn (RUB 297 mn).

The bank plans to further improve the quality of service provided to small businesses, in particular through monitoring their progress and offering customised products in a timely manner. The bank also plans to develop a package offer for small businesses including the launch of salary payments to small business employees.

Sberbank Ukraine

In 2013, Sberbank Ukraine’s small business client base increased by 51% (from 11,500 to 17,400). This growth required from the bank to take a number of organisational measures to improve management of this segment. In particular, the bank introduced the system of training for the managers involved in small business operations.

Sberbank Kazakhstan

In 2013, the bank introduced a new service model for small business clients across the entire branch network: the institute of account managers responsible for specific clients to ensure an individualised approach to every client. Together with account managers, the bank launched the Business Express product with simplified financial analysis, and reduced the approval period for banking guarantees.

As part of developing the small business infrastructure, the bank opened a specialised Business Development Centre in Almaty with the primary aim to provide advice to entrepreneurs on financial and business issues.


In 2013, BPS-Sberbank concluded a five-year agreement with EBRD for small business financing worth EUR 10 mn (RUB 424 mn). The programme includes small business financing for upgrading production, optimising energy consumption and improving energy efficiency. The programme participants can also obtain advice and technical support from world-class experts in energy efficiency. In addition, in 2013, BPS-Sberbank focused on improving the quality of service and training employees of local branches.

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