UCA convenes Forum on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Southern Kyrgyz Republic

Date: 16 December 2011
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Osh, Kyrgyz Republic, 16 December 2011 – The University of Central Asia (UCA), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, convened a Forum on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Southern Kyrgyzstan on 16 December 2011. Held at Osh State Social University, the Forum brought together 34 members of the academic community from Osh, Batken and Jalalabad to discuss enabling factors for and obstacles to the successful growth of entrepreneurship, from their perspective as leaders in regional higher education institutions.  
 
The Forum featured brief presentations by academics from Osh, Batken, and Jalalabad describing their perspectives on opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurship and economic development in the South, and concrete recommendations for overcoming these identified challenges. 
 
Presentations were delivered by five academics, including:
  • "Emergence and development of small and medium business in the Kyrgyz Republic” – Amankul Zulpukarov, Jalalabad State University
  • “Entrepreneurship in Osh: conditions, problems, suggestions” – Abdurakhit Nizamiev, Osh State Social University
  • “Modernization of small and medium business in South Kyrgyz Republic”. – Gulzat Tashkulova, University of Economics and Entrepreneurship, Jalalabad
  • “Problems and perspectives of the consumer market in South Kyrgyz Republic” – Ainura Jusupalieva, Osh Technological University
  • “Creating an innovative regional network for effective development of entrepreneurship in South Kyrgyz Republic” – Mariya Kochkorbaeva, University of Economics and Entrepreneurship, Jalalabad

Participants engaged in a question-and-answer session following the presentations, with discussion focused on benefits of improved markets and availability of goods, barriers for the growth of the small and medium business, and strategies for improving the link between universities, their graduates, and the business community.  

Attendees were welcomed by Gulnara Djunushalieva, Director of UCA’s School for Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE), and Idris Kenjaev, Rector of Osh State Social University.  Djunushalieva emphasized the importance of engaging the academic community in dialogue on economic development. “Today’s Forum brings together educational leaders from the South, whose ideas represent an important contribution to regional dialogue on socioeconomic development. The event presents an excellent opportunity to share new ideas that can, in turn, spark innovative solutions to help expand entrepreneurship in the South.”

Concluding remarks were given by Dr Duishon Shamatov, UCA Senior Research Fellow; Professor Joomart Sulaimanov, event moderator, and Ashiraly Borboev, Vice Rector, both from Osh State Social University.  
 
The Forum also featured a presentation of the UCA report Giving Entrepreneurs a Voice in the Future of Southern Kyrgyzstan. Based on interviews with over 125 entrepreneurs from the South, the report captures entrepreneurs’ perspectives on opportunities and barriers to business development in the country’s southern region. In July 2011, UCA released the paper at a Roundtable in Bishkek, which brought together 75 members of the business, diplomatic, international, and academic communities, and featureda panel discussion with three of the entrepreneurs originally interviewed for the report. Research and production of the report was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
 
The Forum is one of several UCA initiatives focused on the promotion of entrepreneurship and economic development in Southern Kyrgyzstan.  Through UCA's School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE), UCA has provided training in the areas of microfinance, entrepreneurship, and professional and vocational training in cooperation with state institutions. In addition to existing locations in Naryn and Bishkek, UCA plans to launch an SPCE Learning Centre in Osh in 2012.