On November 20, 2019, Bishkek hosted the World Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. For the fifth year in a row, the Kurak Women’s Forum joined the WED (Women Entrepreneurship Day) global initiative to hold a conference entitled “Courage To Be Yourself”, with the support of UNDP in Kyrgyz Republic. The goal of the event is to support and develop women’s entrepreneurship in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asian countries, improve the economic standard of living of women, and promote personal and professional growth.
The conference brought together representatives of the business sector from all over Kyrgyzstan. The main goal was to demonstrate the importance of women’s entrepreneurship for the development of society, to inspire women develop business, and to encourage them to be economically independent and self-sufficient.
This year, Prime Minister Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziev, former and only female head of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva, Deputy Prime Minister Altynay Omurbekova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Jenty Kirsch-Wood and other high-level guests attended the event. It demonstrated the interest of the state and international organizations in supporting the activities of women entrepreneurs.
The Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan M. Abylgaziev congratulated everyone with Entrepreneurship Day and thanked the public association “Women’s Forum Kurak” for their great contribution to the development of women’s entrepreneurship. “Successful women entrepreneurs - successful economy and development of Kyrgyzstan!" - said Muhammedkaly Abylgaziev.
SIAR Research and Consulting Agency has identified interesting trends in our country. Sociological surveys have shown that women spend 90% of their earnings on education and children’s health. As the organizers of the Forum noted, society can be prosperous only when women’s rights are protected and the gender balance is observed.
“For us, this is an opportunity for dialogue between women entrepreneurs who can help each other. Entrepreneurs from different sectors of the economy gathered here and there is an opportunity to find business partners" - Perizat Toichubekova, a private entrepreneur.
With UNDP support, a mentoring programme is being implemented to promote the development of women’s and youth entrepreneurship in the Osh, Jalal-Abad, Issyk-Kul and Naryn regions. The programme creates conditions for women to receive practical knowledge on business from existing entrepreneurs. These mentors help them to avoid typical mistakes and increase their chances of receiving financial resources, such as credits (loans) to start or develop their own businesses.
“Women’s entrepreneurship is a special topic for us. We believe that by empowering women entrepreneurs, we are creating a more equal and sustainable society and will be able to prosper for millions of people. At the WED conference, the results of the UNDP’s mentoring programme for women entrepreneurs were presented,” - said Jenty Kirsch-Wood, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The ultimate goal of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is to empower women around the world and to create a community of women leaders, and this year’s activities were successful in doing so.