Today, the entrepreneurship is developing at a significant pace. Modern entrepreneurs are characterized by a high level of socio-economic responsibility entrusted to them by society. Thus, in addition to the traditional tasks of improving the welfare of citizens, reducing unemployment, paying tax deductions, entrepreneurs in an innovation-driven economy solve the problems related to the development of socio-cultural sphere, the creation of new products, the introduction of innovative technologies, as well as the conduction of research and development. Thus, entrepreneurship becomes a driver that determines the level of socio-economic development of a particular territory. This assertion is particularly applicable to the Northern regions of Russia.
In accordance with the Strategy of innovative development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020, a special role in the context of innovation-driven economy is assigned to the Northern regions of Russia due to the fact that they possess significant resource potential. These concerns the Khanty-Mansijsk Autonomous District-Yugra, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Chukotka Autonomous District, Nenets Autonomous District, Murmansk Region, Arkhangelsk Region, Sakhalin Region, Magadan Region, Irkutsk Region, Kamchatka Territory, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Khabarovsk Territory, Republic of Tuva, Republic of Komi, Republic of Karelia and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
The main problems complicating the enhancement of the entrepreneurial activities in these regions are related to severe climate, uneven socio-economic development, low transport accessibility, low population density, considerable remoteness from economic centres and low infrastructure development. Despite the existing difficulties in the Northern regions in terms of entrepreneurship development, the innovation-driven economy causes the emergence of new external and internal challenges, such as accelerating the development of technology, searching for alternative energy sources, creating innovative products and reducing the environmental pollution. Taking this into account, the existing unresolved problems of entrepreneurship enhancement in the Northern regions are also subject to global challenges, to which the Northern regions must provide an effective response.
Under innovation-driven economy the authors of the study understand the complex of social relations regulated by the innovation environment, the basic elements of which are innovations, scientific development and information technologies. The authors of the present article come to the conclusion that the most important challenges for the Northern regions in the context of innovation-driven economy are the development of the receptivity of the entrepreneurial sector to innovation, as well as the promotion of research and development at small and medium-sized enterprises.
The entrepreneurial sphere in modern conditions of innovation-driven economy is studied by many domestic and foreign scientists. This is due to the fact that the policy documents of many countries and regions pay close attention to entrepreneurship. The implementation of economic modernization cannot be carried out without providing extensive opportunities for entrepreneurs to do business and open new niches.
Today, the assessment of regions and countries in terms of the level of entrepreneurial activity development is becoming increasingly important for domestic researchers. Researchers Peikov et al. (2017) explore quantitative aspect of the assessment of the regional business environment functioning. To assess the development level of business environment, these authors chose four indicators: investment in fixed capital, turnover of the organizations, number of enterprises and organizations and the balanced financial result (Peikov et al., 2017). Some authors focus on the development of methods for assessing the effectiveness of the state regulation of entrepreneurship in the regional business environment. So, for example, Malikov and Zaynashev (2017) analyse the following indicators characterizing the current business environment status: the average time needed to register legal entities, the average number of relevant administrative procedures, the average number of inspections conducted by officials, the average number of additional documents requested, the proportion of companies that have faced corruption and others (Malikov and Zaynashev, 2017).Some researchers, when formulating the methodology for assessing the level of business environment development, use multicriteria parametric estimation of a variety of factors. Parametric estimation includes consideration of factors, such as for example, the level of basic training of entrepreneurs, experience in core activity, knowledge of the problems associated with the business...