Youth startup initiatives support programme launched in Uzbekistan

Jan 28, 2016

UNDP and Chamber of Commerce and Industry 'Business Forum of Uzbekistan (Phase-III)' project in cooperation with higher educational institutions of the Tashkent city have launched a unique pilot program to support startup initiatives. The intensive startup initiatives support program provides an opportunity for students and young scientists to open their own startup and realize their potential in the field of entrepreneurship.

On the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan National program for personnel training is being implemented, which in a short historical period enabled radically change not only the form but the education system of the country. Currently in Uzbekistan there are 73 higher education institutions acting, including 66 government higher education institutions and 7 branches of prestigious foreign universities.

Higher education institutions are a powerful "source" of ideas and technologies where innovative projects are produced for social and economic development. At the same time, there is still untapped potential. Thus, in many higher education institutions the incentive and support mechanisms for the development of early stage small innovative startup projects of students and young scientists used insufficiently.

To address this issue the program to support youth startup initiatives is launched. The pilot program in cooperation with more than 15 higher education institutions of Tashkent city attracts students and young scientists for active participation in developing innovative entrepreneurship.

The project is a free three-month intensive program enabling participants to master skills of  implementing startup ideas, get consultations of individual business mentors, develop and test minimum viable model of the product or service and make presentation of their projects to potential investors. Information about how to participate in the program, the criteria for selecting projects and requirements for participants are available on: http://startup.chamber.uz/

Given the specific working methods of the startup project support program it is expected that this model of supporting startups at early stages of development get widespread adoption by higher education institutions of Uzbekistan, as well as improve systems and mechanisms for interaction of higher education institutions with the private sector, ensure integration of production and higher education, and support creation of new skilled jobs.

The initiative is implemented within the framework of promoting the development of inclusive business models aimed at creating new jobs, increasing youth employment and improving welfare of people with the financial support of 'Sasol' representative office in Uzbekistan and the British Embassy in Uzbekistan.

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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 and is aimed at improving the business environment through introduction of online services, improving the regulatory framework, and the development of inclusive business models.

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