Chamber of Commerce and Industry and UNDP examine challenges of women entrepreneurs in Uzbekistan

Oct 13, 2017

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and UNDP ‘Business Forum of Uzbekistan (Phase III)’ project with the support of the Women's Committee, and the Business Women’s Association has been conducting a research examining the barriers women face when starting, running and expanding a business in Uzbekistan. The results of the research will become the basis for a policy brief on stimulating the women entrepreneurship development in the country.

A report of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2014, finds that women entrepreneurs play an important role in the entrepreneurial economy, both in their ability to create jobs for themselves and to create jobs for others. In the United States, 6.4 million self-employed women provide employment for 9.2 million people. In Sweden, women have on average 0.6 full time employees.

In Uzbekistan, women represent only 10% of all business entities. Therefore, the research aims to study the reasons for the low female representation in business, to identify the main problems constraining the expansion of existing enterprises and determine opportunities for further women's entrepreneurship development.

The research is conducting through surveys and focus group discussions with women entrepreneurs, and examining challenges women face while running a business in tourism, agriculture, sewing, and dairy products. The organizers explain the choice of the sectors by the need to examine the opportunities for involving women in the industries, prioritized for the country, but low represented by women. Examining of the problems in sewing and dairy industries that are common for women entrepreneurs will help create additional opportunities for expanding their business.

The study is undertaken in the Andijan, Bukhara, Jizzakh regions, in Tashkent and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. To participate in the study, women entrepreneurs with experience of more than two years and having their own not inherited business are invited. It is expected that the project team will comprehensively study the opinions of over 100 women entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan.

The study will also examine respondents' answers to the questions of the online questionnaire, which is distributed to members of the Business Women’s Association and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The study will last until October 20, 2017.

The joint initiative of UNDP and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the empowerment of women is implemented in line with the Strategy of Actions on the Further Development of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021, and with the UNDP global activities on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ensuring women and girls with equal access to education, decent work and participation in economic will help achieve economic sustainability and benefit society and humanity as a whole.

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The ‘Business Forum of Uzbekistan (Phase-III)’ project is a joint initiative of UNDP and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry which aims to improve the business environment in the country by introducing online services, improving regulatory frameworks, and promoting inclusive business models.

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