UCA Summer Camp Participants Shape Ideas into Enterprises at Entrepreneurship Evening
Participants at this year’s University of Central Asia (UCA) Summer Camp gained insight into how a business grows from an ambitious idea to a successful enterprise at the Camp’s 2016 Entrepreneurship Evening, held 1 August 2016 at the Royal Beach Resort in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz Republic.
Seventy-three students from Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan were tasked with creating a business proposal with the potential to thrive in Central Asia. Each proposal required an original idea that demonstrated positive social impact and aligned with market needs.
With a business plan and budget in-hand, each group presented before a committee.
The businesses generated by the enthusiastic Grade 10 students spanned a variety of sectors and included environmental innovations, health care technology, alternative energy systems, inventive uses of tourism and public spaces, and organisations providing assistance to the disabled.
Working in groups of four, students used a planning model that outlined the specific areas aspiring entrepreneurs must consider. The Business Model Canvas required students to identify key partners, craft a value proposition, establish customer relationships and distribution channels, and determine a cost structure. Groups also generated budgets detailing the resources necessary to launch their ideas.
With a business plan and budget in-hand, each group presented before a committee. They were evaluated on proposed enterprises, social impact, originality and innovation, among other criteria. The presentations helped hone students’ public speaking skills and showcasing what they learnt in the collaborative academic environment.
Grade 10 Students work in groups to develop business proposals.
A team of Central Asian and international teachers and counsellors guided the brainstorming and discussions. The activity aimed to deepen students’ critical thinking, applied math and creativity, and explore ways to utilise communication, teamwork and leadership skills to transform ideas into reality.
“The Entrepreneurship Evening provided a rich platform for students to engage with one another and learn the skills needed to start a business. Working with their peers, students were encouraged to be imaginative, creative and curious in their approach to identifying a business idea and planning its execution. The broader goal of activities like this is to show students the social impact possible through entrepreneurship,” explained Farrah Kamani, Summer Camp Director.
UCA offers an innovative style of learning dedicated to addressing real-world challenges through a focus on entrepreneurship and ethics. Undergraduate degree programmes at UCA are designed to foster the next generation of Central Asian leaders and prepare graduates to leave UCA not only able to secure a good job, but also to generate entrepreneurial solutions to the region’s greatest needs.
"We worked as a team to prepare our business proposal on wireless electricity for remote regions in Central Asia and were able to generate a lot of creative ideas, rather than just dismissing suggestions as unrealistic or difficult to implement. The model we used made us plan and think critically to ensure success of our proposals."
"I came to the Summer Camp to help me advance my goals of building a career in business. I am sure the presentation skills we learnt will help me to achieve these goals successfully."
"By generating business ideas we also learnt proper business vocabulary and how to best present our concepts."
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic