Svetlana Shmakova
Founder of the FOODCODE brand

Do you interact with other contest participants?
The APEC BEST AWARD community is a unique concentration of innovative ideas, pleasant communication and mutual support. Despite different experiences, business models, markets and cultural peculiarities, on the one hand, we often face similar tasks and challenges, and on the other hand, we generally pursue similar global goals.

Finding like-minded women, especially from other countries is priceless! Thus, we continue to interact and work out common ground for cooperation after the contest, which united us all.
Did participation in the contest affect your future activities? What did the contest give you?
The APEC BEST AWARD contest opens up opportunities for women entrepreneurs in a variety of fields. As for me, I have identified three main points that have already affected me and my business significantly:

  • Networking: the competition provides a unique opportunity to present your project, learn about the initiatives of women entrepreneurs from 21 APEC countries, exchange experiences, get valuable recommendations and discuss partnership ideas. The participants and the jury are very passionate about their work, they are ready to share ideas and join forces in order to make the world a better place, no matter how simple it may sound!
  • Independent assesment: The prestigious award that I received when presenting our gluten-free FOODCODE products aroused even greater interest in the company both from the media and from potential partners. Not only Russian media, but also international ones wrote about my victory: for example, I gave a big interview about the competition and women's entrepreneurship for the Japan Spotlight magazine, which is issued by the Japan Economic Foundation. Such international publicity significantly helps us to enter the markets of other countries – FOODCODE products are already being sold in Kazakhstan, and we are at the final stage of negotiations with a number of other export partners.
  • New ideas: all the projects that were presented within the framework of the APEC BEST AWARD are truly unique, they demonstrate the best experience adopted in the cultures and countries of the participants, and are distinguished by high social responsibility. Inspired by the examples, I thought about how to implement such useful initiatives in my company so that our work would bring even more benefit to society and satisfaction to employees.

    These are only three things, but the benefits, opportunities and emotions that I gained from participation, of course, are much wider!
Do we need to hold such contests? Do you plan to get involved in the promotion of the contest and the projects of finalists from different economies in the future?
The APEC BEST AWARD contest is now clearly associated with the word "opportunities" in its broadest sense! I would like to thank Nadiya Cherkasova, Vice-President of OTKRITIE Bank, Chairman of the OPORA RUSSIA Women's Entrepreneurship Development Committee, and Irina Saltykova, APEC BEST AWARD Coordinator, for their trust and support!

Such contests have a huge positive impact not only on the participants and their projects, but also on the field of women's entrepreneurship in general, inspiring, helping and instilling confidence that everything is possible.

The APEC BEST AWARD Grand Prix and, thus, my involvement in this unique project is my great pride, which I actively share with others. In the future, I will be happy to join the even more intensive promotion of the contest and support the activities of its participants in various fields! The first steps in the field of mentoring support are already bearing fruit.

I am very glad that there is such a wonderful initiative, thanks to which women entrepreneurs and managers can present their project on the international arena, exchange experiences, get valuable feedback and be inspired for new achievements.

Participation helps to rise above the horizon, compare your business with projects in other countries, apply new tools and objectively analyze your achievements. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about other business models and distribution channels, find like-minded women to create partnerships with and reach a new level, also by expanding the geography of sales.

It is also important to note that very high-quality and targeted advice from the jury members provides significant support for the assessment and development of business.