University of Central Asia (UCA)’s School of Professional and Continuing Education supports entrepreneurs in Naryn
Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic, 20 October 2011– The University of Central Asia’s School of Continuing and Professional Education (SPCE) organized a roundtable, "Development of Small and Medium Businesses in Naryn Town" in Naryn on 19 October 2011. Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the roundtable was part of SPCE’s Entrepreneurship programme launched under the auspices of a two-year initiative to promote stability and economic opportunity in the Kyrgyz Republic.
It brought together 32 representatives from the local business community, members of the Department for Small and Medium Businesses Development under the local administration, and staff from the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB), which is programme partner. The event served as a platform for dialogue with discussions focusing on the current state and development prospects for private enterprise in the Naryn Oblast. Graduates of the Entrepreneurship programme also shared their learning experience at SPCE, and some of the opportunities provided by the programme.
“The programme was an eye-opener for me to understand the basics of business planning, learn marketing tools and make more familiar with accounting. I took a KICB loan and my bakery business is growing and my products are successfully supplied to a local school, kindergarten and hospital,” said Gulmira Toktosunova, graduate of the Enterpreneurship programme and a bakery-owner.
To stimulate enterprise development in the Oblast, SPCE has established an enterprise development fund at KICB in Naryn, amounting to $50,000 with support from the Norwegian government and KICB. Through the fund, so far, three entrepreneurs, graduates of the Entrepreneurship programme, have received low-interest microloans and started businesses: a handicrafts store, chicken farm, and bakery. From October 2011, microloan recipients will also receive technical assistance and mentorship, and the programme will be offered to an additional 12 entrepreneurs from Naryn City.
Since 2006, SPCE has graduated over 9,000 learners from Naryn oblast with professional and vocational qualifications in accounting, entrepreneurship, tourism development and applied languages that have improved their employment and income generating opportunities. The School is Central Asia’s first provider of post-secondary, short-cycle education with learning facilities in Khorog and Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Naryn and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic; Tekeli and Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan; and Faizabad, Afghanistan.