Any activity is connected with risk in the process of market relationships. The risk notion is used in a number of sciences. Rendition of the notion of «risk» is the most diverse. Traditionally the risk is interpreted as possibility, probability of loss, damage, emergency of any failure in the company activity. On the other hand, risk is a potential danger of resources loss or profit gap in comparison with the scheduled level or with alternative choice.

The risk is considered in two ways. On the one hand, this is an event, which may take place or not in consequence of which the result may be negative, zero, or positive. On the other hand, the risk is subjective value of such outcome and its conditioned profit or loss.

Risk may play innovative role in case when a risk decision leads to more efficient production, protective role in case when risk is a natural state, which requires development of tolerance to failure from a manager and a business person, analytical role as risk policy suggests the necessity of choice, and, consequently, study and projection of situation. Risks may be classified on various characteristics. Depending on the possible outcome, the risks may be pure and speculative. Pure risks imply the possibility of getting a negative or a zero result. Pure risks imply the possibility of getting a negative or a zero result.

There are various risk types:

— on the source of origin they may be internal, related to peculiarities of a company or enterprise (for example, personnel risk, when it is impossible to predict the behavior of people in various situations),  external, related to the environment of enterprise (legislative regulation, tax system, arbitrary rules, political and economic environment, natural hazards, and many other things);

— on the hazard rate for the enterprise the risk may be admissible (danger of profit loss), critical (the possibility of bearing current losses), catastrophic (bankruptcy, collapse);

— with relation to practicability they may be justified, and unjustified;

— according to the loss escaping they may be surmountable, and unsurmountable, which, in turn are insurable and non-insurable;

— on the causes of origin risks may be political (nationalization, wars, conflicts, disorders), technical (failure, breakdown), production (lost time, faulty goods, early wear of equipment, cost escalation, capital losses), natural, and environmental;

— entrepreneurial risks (absence of demand on production, deterioration of the economic situation, non-execution of a contract);

— branch risks (change of economic status and the role of branch, simplicity or complexity of entering the branch, reinforcement of internal or external competition);

— natural (natural hazard, environmental risks);

— commercial risks (impossibility of production selling);

— inflatory (erosion of purchasing power money), deflationary (at the growth of deflation lowering of price level, worsening of economic conditions of industry and the loss of income take place);

— innovative (failure in the exploitation of emerging production markets, technologies);

— exchange risks — export and import risks (change in the cost of assets, reduction in yield and increase in the expenses in connection with the adverse change of exchange rate);

— investment risk (risk of loss of the invest capital and expected income, its decrease, risk of denied profit, which is the risk of occurrence of the implied financial harm as a result of failure of any business event, for example, insurance, hedging, investment);

— credit risks (non-fulfillment of obligations in consequence of dishonesty of partner, and incompetency). The types of credit risks are trade and bank ones (default on debt, non-creditworthiness). The causes for credit risks may be a lull in sales on the production of various branches, non-execution of an agreement, force-majeure. It may be business risk, which is conditioned by the lack business qualities of businessmen; moral risk, which depends on their personal skills; property risk, which is associated with the lack of personal assets in the borrower;

— interest-rate risk (adjustment risk of the overall level of interest rate, the rates on separate loan types).

Exchange, credit, interest rate and investment risks are combined into category of financial risks. They often have a speculative nature and refer to speculative risks. Furthermore, credit risk may be a variation of direct financial losses risks, which also include market risk, selective risk, bankruptcy risk.

Market risks threaten the loss from bargains.

Selective risks are the risks of incorrect choice for the type of capital investment, valuable security type for the investment in comparison with other types of valuable securities at the investment portfolio formation.

Bankruptcy risk threatens a total loss of property assets by a businessman and his inability to repay on the accepted obligations.

According to the visualization the risk classification may be shown in the following chart:

The risk may be calculated in the absolute value and in the relative ratio.

The amount of absolute risk value is a judgmental estimate of expected losses. It is defined as a product of expected loss on its probability.

The risk in comparative figures may be calculated by means of correlation of loss value and production (sale) volume or proprietary funds.

It is impossible to manage the risk in full, its existence is objectively conditioned by the presence of uncertainty, which may have various content and forms of appearance.

It is mainly the ambiguity of environment, which includes various conditions (economic, social and political), within the framework of which the entrepreneurial business is carried out. It is impossible to bear in mind and foresee all these changes fully.

The market environment is unstable, the economic situation is metamorphic; their nature and rate is absolutely impossible to predict.

The manifestation of the following risk source is related to the presence of contending tendencies in the external environment of the company, non-concurrence and even collision of various interests.

Another cause of ambiguity and, therefore, a source of risk is asymmetry and incompleteness of information on the object, process, or event of interest. The asymmetry of information is a common phenomenon in the market. It denotes a condition, at which one category of parties to the contract possesses larger amounts of information than another one. Incompleteness and restriction of information may be connected with the resource limitation of business entity. This ambiguity may be of «arranged nature», when some part of important information is hidden or deliberately corrupted on economic, political, and other reasons.

Another source of company loss may refer to various accidental events, which come within the scope of a definition of force-majeure.

One more risk feature is the presence of alternative, because a risk can be viewed as an action, which is performed under the conditions of choice; however, it is possible to get into the worse position than before that choice. The necessity to choose from several decision options shows that there is a situation of risk.

Therefore, the main features of risk are ambiguity, inconsistence, and alternative.

Internal and external factors have impact on the risk level. External environment, which produces the risk of enterprise, is made of economic, political, international, social, technological, and market environment. External factors may be of direct and indirect action. Factors of direct risk impact include changes in legislation, which regulate business activity; contingency actions of public organs; changes in the tax system; contingency actions of business rivals; change in the external and internal markets; revolutionary break in the scientific and technical progress; corruption and racket. The factors of indirect influence are unable to render an immediate direct effect on the risk level, they affect it instrumentally. Such factors are unsteadiness of political and social conditions; inadvertent changes of business environment in the region and business field; a change in the international atmosphere and within a country; natural disasters.

Internal factors can be divided into objective and subjective ones. Objective factors are changes in manufacturing process; lack in the organization of marketing service; shortage of business information, commodity stocks and supplies, labor power, especially qualified; development and implementation of innovative technologies; financial problems within a company etc.

Subjective factors are incompetence of responsible executives, mistakes of managers, insufficient qualifications of staff, impossibility of execution of obligations to customers and partners.

It is hardly possible or even impossible to take into account all risk factors, but it is real to specify the main ones on their effect on one or another type of business activity. But we should not link the risk with loss danger only. Adam Smith in his  book «Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations» pointed out that the obtainment of even a normal rate of return is always connected with a greater or lower risk. A businessman accepts risks in reliance on profit, rather than losses, which means that a certain risk weighting is a requirement for the acquisition of income.  It is necessary to consider both sides of risk (negative and positive) in the course of investigations of risk nature, which are a danger of failure, and possibility of profit; and what is more, the higher is the risk, the higher is the possibility of profit. All this means that the most important side of risk is efficacy expectation.

Herein, modern theories and risk management practice refers to the risk not only as to undesirable ambiguity property of future events, but primarily, as to the source new positive, profitable, and desired possibilities.

Thus, the understanding of risk as economic category considers risk as:

— for one thing, as danger;

— secondly, as uncertainty of future;

— thirdly, as a new possibility.