The article deals with the characteristic features of women’s rural social activism, the result of which is the practice of entrepreneurship. Challenges of the era, marked by a change in the political course of the country in the late 1990’s, gave ideological and psycho-logical impetus to the motivation of rural social activists not only in the organization of pro-duction practices, but also in the improvement of the spiritual and cultural life of dying villages in Nechernozemie. Social activism as a form of life activity of social actors is more typical for people living in rural areas, in contrast to civil activism, characteristic of urbanized, mobile educated groups of young and able-bodied population of cities. Rural social activists carry out projects that are more time-consuming and far-reaching in terms of time prospects than urban activists. Rural social activists, especially women, make a positive, future-oriented contribution to the social, spiritual and economic development of depressed rural areas. The motives of women’s activism resulting in entrepreneurial activity in the rural areas of the Russian North (Vologda and Leningrad regions) were: 1) traditionally positive attitude to the phenomenon of women’s extra-family production activity in the population who did not know the serfdom (remote areas of the Vologda region); 2) the difficult economic situation in which women found themselves in post-perestroika Russia; 3) the realities of administrative and legal relations of modern liberal democratic society, in which there continue to be “glass” and “silver ceilings” for socially active women, as well as psychologically motivated desire of women entrepreneurs to overcome these barriers; 4) spiritual guidelines for the combination of production and material activities and work in the field of preservation and development of historical and cultural heritage of rural regions of the North of Russia, based on the clear understanding of the importance of spiritual culture for the reducing rural population.
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