Giving Entrepreneurs a Voice in the Future of Southern Kyrgyzstan
The violent events that unfolded in Southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 resulted in the destruction of homes and businesses, and threatened the livelihoods of micro and small entrepreneurs operating in the country’s southern region. One year later, as the country seeks to move forward from the violence and its entrepreneurs resume their business activities, significant challenges remain. This report outlines the issues and potential areas for development raised in interviews with entrepreneurs from Osh, Jalalabad and Batken Oblasts. Through the release of the study, UCA seeks to encourage policy discourse on issues of entrepreneurship and business development from those voices not currently being heard: the voices of entrepreneurs themselves.
In the winter of 2010-2011, the University of Central Asia (UCA) in partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) undertook a study to gauge the views of those entrepreneurs who planned to continue living and working in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID-OTI), the study engaged over 150 entrepreneurs, as well as representatives of financial institutions and credit unions in a series of interviews, mini-surveys, and through participation in a Regional Entrepreneurship Roundtable in Osh City. Participants represented all three southern oblasts and sectors of the economy, with particular focus on micro and small entrepreneurs.