21 Mar 2023 15:00

Interfax launches SPARK REGISTER service for voluntary disclosure of information by SMEs

Interfax Group announced the launch of a voluntary information disclosure service, SPARK REGISTER for small and medium-sized businesses. SPARK REGISTER is designed to make it easier for small companies to access transactions with large businesses, as well as receive loans and participate in public procurement.

The presentation of the service took place at the site of the Intersectoral Council under the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs of Moscow.

The new service is integrated with the SPARK-Interfax system. It allows companies, having passed the identification and verification procedure, to enter and update data on their activities and financial results.

An analysis of feedback from SPARK system clients showed that public databases contain sufficient information for only about 3% of Russian companies. 97% of companies, including almost the entire SME segment, are in the "grey zone" for the scoring algorithms that are used to assess the reliability and creditworthiness of partners.

The lack of data increases the costs for potential lenders and partners of SMEs to collect, process and analyze information. As a result, the attractiveness of doing business with SMEs in the eyes of these counterparties remains low, and access for them to loans, public procurement, subsidies, factoring and leasing transactions is hard to come by.

Participants in the SPARK REGISTER service disclose the exact data that is most in demand when searching and choosing a counterparty: registration and contact information, information about management and beneficiaries, about goods and services, and signs of financial and economic activity.

The participant's profile becomes available both through the SPARK system, which is already used by the largest banks, companies and organizations, and can be directly sent to a potential partner. An SME that has joined the project can place a special "Participant in SPARK REGISTER" sign on its website.

"Our experience shows that SMEs that voluntarily disclose information about themselves strengthen their reputations and receive additional opportunities for business development. In an environment where the interest from the corporate sector in cooperation with small businesses is constantly growing, the SPARK REGISTER service should become an additional link between customers and suppliers, giving small companies the opportunity to express themselves," commented Vladimir Gerasimov, First Deputy General Director of Interfax Group, on the launch of the new service.

"Small and medium-sized enterprises are provided with a number of preferences when participating in public procurement. These are a mandatory 25 percent quota for their participation in tenders, reduced payment times for goods and services and for the sum paid for application security, as well as other support measures. However, there are difficulties when working with government orders. In 2022, 15% of requests to me, as the Commissioner for the Protection of Entrepreneurs, concerned precisely this topic. The deficit of reliable information about the condition and operations of SMEs is one of the key problems in their interaction with large businesses and a barrier to development. Voluntary disclosure of information by SMEs about themselves has great potential," Tatyana Mineeva, the Commissioner for the Protection of Entrepreneurs of Moscow, commented on the event.

You can get additional information about the SPARK REGISTER service and become a member at the link spark-register.ru

Interfax is the largest non-governmental information group in Russia, a creator of advanced information and analytical systems for B2B, and one of the country's leading and most cited Russian news agencies in the world.

SPARK-Interfax is the industry standard in the field of counterparty checks, a professional solution for assessing the reliability and financial stability of a business, searching for affiliations and hidden connections, and monitoring risk events. More than 70% of large and medium-sized companies use the SPARK system to check the reliability of partners. Over the past few years, SPARK has led the rating of information and analytical systems for businesses compiled by RAEX by a wide margin to its competitors.

The Intersectoral Council under the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in Moscow unites 40 specialized associations headed by leaders of industry communities.

Among the main goals and objectives of the Council are the identification of sectoral and intersectoral issues in the field of entrepreneurship development; the formation of proposals for sectoral and intersectoral measures of state support; determination of links between the activities of industries with the goals of the country's national development and the development strategy of Moscow; and formation of intersectoral proposals for changing the legislation regulating entrepreneurial activity.